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Yossi Sassi & The Oriental Rock Orchestra - Illusion of Choice Award winner

Yossi Sassi & The Oriental Rock Orchestra
Illusion of Choice
by Marcos "Big Daddy" Garcia at 02 March 2018, 10:37 AM

Some musicians are known for their important musical contributions, but just a few people can know and understand the complexity of them. Some choices they made aren’t understandable for many. I believe that you all know that the Israeli guitarist Yossi Sassi was one of the founders of ORPHANED LAND. He is back with one more album under the name of YOSSI SASSI & THE ORIENTAL ROCK ORCHESTRA, and the title of it is “Illusion of Choice”.

If you look for something like ORPHANED LAND, you better think twice. We can say that Yossi makes music in a mix between Oriental Rock, Progressive Rock and World Music. It’s not to be assimilated by many, because of the diversity of elements that you’ll find on each song. It’s truly different, but how lovely this album becomes as you hear it more and more. It’s that kind of album that the more you hear, the more you’ll be seduced. It’s a conceptual album, in which the lyrics and ideas of the songs are talking about how our choices on life shapes our existences and the world.

The sonority that shapes “Illusion of Choice” is really excellent. To make such musical work sounds comprehensible is not an easy task, but everything is working amazingly. Let me tell you: all the musical instruments sound in their due places, with the right tunes. It seems that Yossi and the guys on the studios had a very hard time to find the best sound quality for the album, but they found it!

On the nine songs of the album, only three of them have lyrics, so the other six are instrumental ones. But nothing can be thrown away; everything on “Illusion of Choice” is truly precious. “Reveal” (a Progressive Rock/World Music song with fine Oriental melodies that can seduce you all), “Choice” (with a fine and introspective insight, and it shows a charming and tender atmosphere, with great vocals), and “The Syncopating Heart” (where some clean guitars gave the right idea of the Oriental influences mixed a Progressive Rock atmosphere). These are the songs with lyrics, but you must listen to the instrumental acts too, because the aggressive mix between Fusion and heavy elements shown on “Art of the Problem”, the seductive Oriental melodies of “Maktoob” with its monumental harmonic structures (especially on guitars), and the fusion of oriental World Music elements with a Classic Rock insight of “Monad” are amazing. By the way, in the Bandcamp version, you’ll find two excellent bonus songs: a version of “Choice” with the vocals of Yossi, and the long and progressive “Black Rock Jam” with its ethereal and modern elements.

All that’s left to say is that Yossi is really a musical genius, and “Illusion of Choice” is really an amazing album!

Originality: 10
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Kardia
2. Reveal
3. Art of the Problem
4. Maktoob
5. Choice
6. Orient Echoes
7. Akrotiri
8. Monad
9. The Syncopating Heart
10. Choice (Yossi’s vocals version)
11. Black Rock Jam
Yossi Sassi - Vocals, guitars (electric, nylon-string, acoustic), bouzoukitara, bouzouki, charango, oud, chumbush, mandolin, choirs
Or Lubianiker - Electric bass
Shay Ifrah - Drums
Ben Azar - 7 string guitars, guitar solo on “Maktoob”
Roei Fridman - Percussion
Danielle Sassi - Flute
Yogev Levi - Nay flutes
Ariel Qassis - Kanun
Ross Jennings - Vocals on “Reveal” (guest musician)
Ester Rada - Vocals on “Choice” (guest musician)
Amir Rozanes - Choirs (guest musician)
Roei Fridman - Choirs (guest musician)
Or Lubianiker - Choirs (guest musician)
Ben Azar - Choirs (guest musician)
Yoed Nir - Cello, strings, backing vocals on “Choice” (guest musician)
Hen Shenhar - Violin (guest musician)
Record Label: Independent


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