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Orphaned Land - The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR (CD)

Orphaned Land
The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR
by Maria Kallinikou at 10 December 2009, 8:59 PM

Starting in 1991, the Israeli band made its stigma from the beginning. The first two albums, Sahara and El Norra Alila, put folk Arabic Metal (if we could characterize it as such) in the metallic map. If ORPHANED LAND is the first band that made that step is still under discussion - as PENTAGRAM from Turkey (MEZARKABUL then) exist since 1987. What happened for sure is that ORPHANED LAND got that amount of recognition that allowed them to become widely known to the Metal audience. The main topics that this band is covering are religious and philosophical, the fight between light and darkness and the exploration of religious meanings. In that aspect we could say that ORPHANED LAND is a conceptual band. Not only that, but their albums are like whole flowing histories with no specific structure, like refrains etc. Each melody flows and then another comes and then another one and (adding also the special features of this band) the result is somehow one of its kind.  

Sahara and El Norra Alila are the reference points of this band; even Mabool, their third album, has taken many features from these two. So after 6 years since Mabool what has changed and what hasn't?  Mabool had already begun with injecting purposefully progressive elements in the Arabic folk. In The Never Ending Way Of OrWarrioR, Steven Wilson from PORCUPINE TREE takes over the production and yes, the album still carries the trademark of ORPHANED LAND but the progressive aura is everywhere. It makes this album a great amalgam.

Sapari makes the start full of orient melodies, gently wrapped with female vocals, while both parts of The Path unveil a melodic masterpiece with neat, delicate changes between melodic and brutal parts, as many as happen between darkness and light. Olat Ha Tamid brings back lots of orient melodies while there is a change of melodic progressive and Arabic, even ethnic, with The Warrior and His Leaf Shall Not Wither. Disciples Of The Oath Ii combines everything with sheer mastery, progressive Arabic folk and epic intermezzos, lyrical themes stopped by brutal moments, all mixed perfectly. From New Jerusalem and onwards there is a stronger presence of progressiveness with glimpses of ethnic.

This fourth album of ORPHANED LAND has matured musically, each part serves the past and the following greatly. The voice of Kobi Farhi is an asset while the musical ideas being put in this work are quite original. Excellent musicianship is found in this album for once more. Melodies and images passing in front of you, feelings change, melodies change and flow without coming back. Honestly, an amazing trip full of eastern mysticism and melodies.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Sapari
From Broken Vessels
Bereft In The Abyss
The Path Part 1: Treading Through Darkness
The Path Part 2: The Pilgrimage To Or Shalem
Olat Ha Tamid
The Warrior
His Leaf Shall Not Wither
Disciples Of The Oath Ii
New Jerusalem
M I
Vayehi Or
Barakah
Codeword Uprising
In Thy Never Ending Way (Epilogue)
Lineup:
Kobi Farhi - Leading Chants, Growls, Narrations, Choir
Uri Zelha - Electric & Acoustic Bass
Yossi Sassi Sa'aron - Electric & Classic Guitars, Saz, Bouzouki, Chumbush, Choir Vocals
Matti Svatizky - Electric & Acoustic Guitar

Session Musicians & Guests:
Avi Diamond - Drums
Steven Wilson - Keyboards
Shlomit Levi - Female Vocals
Avi Agababa - Percussions
Avner Gavrieli - Piano (Track #15)
Nizar Radwan & Srur Saliba - Violins
Alfred Hagar - Nay & Kawala Flutes
Yonatan Danino - Shofar
Shmuel Ruzbahan - Santur
Record Label: Century Media Records
     


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