ORPHANED LAND — Mabool: The Story of the Three Sons of Seven

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ORPHANED LAND - Mabool: The Story of the Three Sons of Seven cover
4.23 | 47 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 2004

Filed under Folk Metal


1. Birth of the Three (The Unification) (6:57)
2. Ocean Land (The Revelation) (4:43)
3. The Kiss of Babylon (The Sins) (7:23)
4. A'salk (2:05)
5. Halo Dies (The Wrath of God) (7:29)
6. A Call to Awake (The Quest) (6:10)
7. Building the Ark (5:02)
8. Norra El Norra (Entering the Ark) (4:24)
9. The Calm Before the Flood (4:25)
10. Mabool (The Flood) (6:59)
11. The Storm Still Rages Inside (9:20)
12. Rainbow (The Resurrection) (3:01)

Total Time: 68:02

Bonus disc: The Calm Before the Flood
1. The Evil Urge (3:28)
2. A Neverending Way (3:14)
3. Mercy (3:46)
4. The Beloved's Cry (6:42)
5. The Orphaned's Medley: My Requiem / Seasons Unite / Of Temptation Born / Orphaned Land, the Storm Still Rages Inside / Like Fire to Water / Flawless Belief / Joy (9:33)

Total Time: 26:45


- Kobi Farhi / vocals
- Yossi Sassi / guitars
- Uri Zelcha / bass
- Matti Svatitzki / rhythm guitars
- Eden Rabin / synthesizers, keyboard

Guest musicians:
- Avi Diamond / drums
- Avi Agababa / percussion
- Shlomit Levi / female vocals
- Oren Koren / violin
- Noam Wiesenberg / cello
- Oriental Choir / vocals
- Moran Ensemble / vocals
- Yatziv Caspi / percussion (bonus CD)

About this release

Release date: February 23th, 2004
Label: Century Media Records

Thanks to progshine for the updates


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The Crow
Sometimes, when you think you've heard everything in music, appears something that surprises you and make you keeping the passion for this culture!

Is difficult to explain everything Orphaned Land has to offer, because these guys are really variated, and their music has a lot of details to explore... Basically, they make progressive metal. But they come from Israel, and the western influences are very very prominent. Here we can hear a lot of Arabic and Israel's music mixed with metal, but there's a lot of death metal, black metal and some hard rock influences, medieval tunes, some classical music... They sing in 6 different languages too. The final mixture is totally coherent and cohesive.

But I think is better to explain making a track to track:

1. Birth of The Three (The Unification): the album opens with the sound of kids playing and singing, very pleasant and mysterious... And then, the strong and melodic electric guitars appears. This is very surprising, because from the first moment you can hear the strong folkloric influences of the band, even in the stronger parts... The initial Kobi Fahri's growls lead to a very melodic and clean chorus. After that, appears the acoustic and Israelite instruments mixed with the heavy section. Incredible! The last three minutes are superb, with a lot of rhythm changes, real prog-metal mixed with western music, with the first example of the incredible Yossi Sassi's abilities to playing guitar. Awesome!

2. Ocean Land (The Revelation): maybe the most commercial song of the album. Great acoustic opening. The electric guitars are awesome, and the Avi Daimond's drums are really good in the first riffs. The verses are growls but very melodic, both acoustic and electric. The chorus is very catchy and Kobi Fahri demonstrates that he is a great singer here. Matti Savtitzki plays a fine solo too. How good are both guitarist of this band! The end of this song was secretly recorded inside the Taj Mahal by Kobi.

3. The Kiss of Babylon (The Sins): very strong and groovy guitars riffs opens this songs, with some great electric guitars... Then, comes a good section with clean vocals, interrupted by a catchy oriental acoustic part. After the second chorus, comes the best section of the song. Great duets between Kobi Fahri and Shlomit Levi with strong guitars. These choirs are really catchy and the end of the song, with Shlomit singing alone will surely make your skin bristle.

4. A'Salk starts united with the previous song, but then comes a totally folkloric instrumental development, with more voices from Shlomit Levi again. This is a great transition towards the next song...

5. Halo Dies (the wrath of God): my favourite track of the album. This song has everything that a prog metal fan can imagine. Just perfect from the first second to the last one. The guitar solo from Svatitzki is just incredible! One of the most passionate solos I've heard... Really, if you are a true prog fan, you can't die without hearing this song.

6. A Call to Awake (The Quest): this song is very curious. The first section is totally on the 80's ways, with very melodic guitars and a slow chorus with oriental guitars. Really curious... At the end of this first sections comes a great Yossi Sassi's solo. But the final section is very much stronger, and for some reason, remembers me a little to the most oriental parts of Dream Theater. Great Eden Rabin's keyboards playing and solo here...

7. Building the Ark: the song opens with an oriental choir in Latin. Very beautiful acoustic work... Then, comes a short part sung by Kobi, and the best section of the song. Three guitars solos: one acoustic, another with Spanish guitar, and acoustic again. Precious ending of this song! These guys are masters with acoustic and traditional instruments...

8. Norra el Norra (Entering the Ark): another highlight of the album. This is an Israel's traditional tune, but sounds like the rest of the album, fits perfectly with the whole record. Sung in Jewish, with very strong guitars and hen-skin maker choirs. The jazzy final piano solo by Eden Rabin is so cool. 9. The Calm Before the Flood: the first instrumental song of the album, totally acoustic. Its name describes perfectly the mood of the song, very beautiful and ethnic. At the end of the song, comes the rain, which lead us to Mabool.

10. Mabool (The Flood): maybe the harder song of the album. An orchestral opening related with the previous song. Storm, rain and thunders, and The Flood begins. The rhythm is always the same, except some breakings towards the end. But it's still totally progressive, because there's a lot of melody variations. The Uri Zelcha's bass is very prominent here. This is also the most related song with the previous works of the band. No guitar solo here, but it's not necessary because the song is totally variated and with a great structure. And the best solos are to come in the next tune!

11. The Storm Still Rages Inside: another rhythmic song, really epic, providing a perfect climax for this album. Here is also the best instrumental development of the album. Every instrument shines here, with protagonism for everyone. The music together with the sound of the sea remembers me to Savatage's "The Wake of Magellan". And this is not the only thing that remembers to Savatage, because the passionate Yossi Sassi's guitar solos are in a similar style of Al Pitrelli's ones. But, of course with the unique oriental feeling of this band. The final section, with the entering of the Spanish guitar, is another example of the ability of this band to give impressive moments.

12. Rainbow: the second and last instrumental song of the album. This song has some medieval feeling that makes it very special. Is a melancholic track, but the hope and happiness of the end of this story is also present here. This song leaves you wandering how only 6 guys and some collaborators are able to make so incredible music.

I wish also to talk a little about the history of this album. This is a conceptual record. The tale of three warriors of the light, representing the first monotheistic religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. These warriors try to fight against the sins and horrible acts of the humanity, but they failed in their attempt. And the humanity is condemned to The Flood. And then, appears another very well known hero with an ark... Marvellous history, and marvellous lyrics. Like I said, this album is sung in 6 languages: English, Jewish, Arabic, Latin, Yemen and Gibberish (a language invented by the own band). But the main language is English, and there is also translations to English of all the foreign lyrics, so there's no problem to understand everything. Maybe the strong religious influences of this band will not please everyone, but the way of writing the lyrics and expressing their believing is very original and they have a kind of "universal" feeling that make these lyrics and story very interesting and pleasant... Is different, for example, to the Neal Morse's lyrics, which I find a little disgusting and annoying.

Conclusion: a must for every prog lover... If you want to discover a band which really sounds to anything you've heard before, then listen "Mabool". You will find an incredible world of adventures, vast deserts, beautiful oasis, intricate oriental cities, devastation and desolation... Orphaned Land are capable to provide you so much feelings.

One of the best prog metal album of the new millenium!

My rating: *****

P.S.: this review was originally written for ProgArchives.com, and rewritten to be included here.
siLLy puPPy
Bands like Secret Chiefs 3, System Of A Down and my favorite prog metal band FROM the Middle East – Myrath have much a better Middle Eastern / Rock / Metal fusion sound than this. I don't find the material here very interesting and it seems like one of those paint-by-numbers type of albums. The lofty concept just doesn't seem like it is matched with songwriting quality. The songs that work best for me are the less metal ones. The growly vocals remind me of Unexpect. The occasional keyboard runs remind me of Dream Theater.

When I read about this it sounds like it should be great but when I listen to this I don't understand the hype. This certainly isn't the worst thing i've heard and there are some good moments but after 67 minutes of this it gets very tedious and well boring. If they would have trimmed this down a bit and edited a lot I might like this more but then again they need to add something to spice this up as well. I haven't heard any other albums by ORPHANED LAND but after finally hearing this release I can't say i'm in a hurry to either.
Personally, I just can't get aboard Orphaned Land's Mabool. Despite being their most acclaimed album and hailed as a classic fusion of progressive metal and traditional music, on listening to it I can't really see it as anything other than a thin veneer of occasional Middle Eastern traditional music motifs over what is actually a fairly standard progressive metal sound, rather than a fundamental fusion of traditional music and metal as accomplished by some works of Mr Bungle or Secret Chiefs 3. It's a fun enough album, but I really don't think it's the creative breakthrough it's often made out to be.

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