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Formed By Erez Yohanan in June of 2004 in Israel, Amaseffer is a band who's opening trio of albums is a concept piece focusing on the exodus biblical story. The name AMASEFFER in fact literally refers to the name of Israelites in the Bible which means, "People Of The Holy Book". After recruiting the rest of the members of the band including guitarist Yuval Kramker and another guitarist by the name of Hanan Avramovich, the band started a search for a lead singer which lead them to Vanden Plas frontman Andy Kuntz. However, after a long period unavoidable delays both parties decided to split and three piece AMASEFFER was forced to begin their search once more. During a long period of recording and uncompromised auditions the band was finally mentioned a singer which would be able to work on the album, and that was Mats Leven who had formally worked read more...
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AMASEFFER Slaves for Life album cover 3.81 | 15 ratings
Slaves for Life
Progressive Metal 2008
AMASEFFER KNA'AN (with Orphaned Land) album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
KNA'AN (with Orphaned Land)
Progressive Metal 2016

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Slaves for Life
Progressive Metal 2008

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AMASEFFER Slaves for Life

Album · 2008 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Here's another entertaining and extremely well done Prog-Metal album that i can highly recommend. AMASEFFER(People Of The Book) are an Isreali band and they base the concept of this record on the story of Moses and Isreal as seen in the book of Exodus. This album is part one of three and deals with the years they were in slavery(Slaves For Life)and the birth of their deliverer(Moses)up to the ten plagues that came upon Egypt before they escaped. The vocals are very well done by THERION's own Mats Levin plus we get ORPHANED LAND's Kobi Farhi doing the Hebrew vocals. What i love about this recording is that it takes you back to that time with the samples and sounds. Of course it's very Middle Eastern sounding and being Prog-Metal it does rock out pretty good at times.The focus is on the story though and usually this is where i'd complain as this is the reason i usually am not too into concept albums because the story is put ahead of the music. Here though i just get too caught up with this familiar event and really enjoy it. My favourite part of the album is during the song "Midian" where Pharoah comes in growling. This is so dramatic and powerful. Anyway the whole album is just a pleasure to listen to as they've been careful with every detail. A must for fans of concept albums.

AMASEFFER Slaves for Life

Album · 2008 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
"Slaves for Life" is the debut full-length studio album by progressive metal act Amaseffer. The album was released through InsideOut Music in June 2008. Amaseffer is an Israeli act which consists of drummer and main composer Erez Yohanan and the two guitarists Yuval Kramer (Prey for Nothing) and Hanan Avramovich. In Hebrew Amaseffer translates to "People of the Holy Book". The band was started by Erez Yohanan in 2004 and later the two guitarists joined the band. Amaseffer started looking for a singer and contacted Andy Kuntz of Vanden Plas who actually worked with the band for a while. He eventually jumped ship though and the band again searched for a singer. They ended up contacting Mats Leven (Therion, Krux, Yngwie Malmsteen, Fatal Force, Abstrakt Algebra, Southpaw) who was hooked on the idea of the project and entered the studio with Amaseffer. Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy also contributes with growls in the song "Midian". It´s the only place on the album which features growling vocals though and they are incorporated to provide a special meaning in the context of the concept. Other vocal contributors are Maya Avraham and Kobi Farhi.

"Slaves for Life" is the first album of a planned conceptual triology about Moses and the Exodus from Egypt ending with the Hebrews entrance to the Promised Land. A classic tale from the Old Testament. On "Slaves for Life" we hear about the Hebrew slavery in Egypt, Faraoh´s decision to slay every Hebrew manchild after he has learned of a prophecy telling about his downfall by the hand of a male Hebrew slave, Moses childhood when he was brought up as an egyptian by one of the Faraoh´s daughters, Moses realisation that he is a Jew, his escape from Egypt to Midian where he meets his wife Zipporah, Moses meeting with God who shows himself as a burning bush giving Moses orders to free the Hebrews from the slavery in Egypt and finally the story of the Ten Plagues which finally broke Faraoh and meant that he set the Hebrews free.

A storyline like that demands epic music and that´s exactly what you´re gonna get when listening to "Slaves for Life". The music is progressive metal but the metal parts are mixed with grand orchestral film type scores and lots of middle eastern instrumentation. In addition to that, sound effects of horses, slaves being whipped and crying babies, storytelling in Hebrew (maybe it´s verses from the Bible I don´t know as I don´t understand Hebrew) are some of the elements that make "Slaves for Life" a unique listening experience. Some of the standout tracks on "Slaves for Life" are "Zipporah" which is a quite innovative duet between lead male vocalist Mats Leven, who sings in English, and Maya Avraham who sings her parts in Hebrew, middle eastern styled, and the darkest and most heavy track on the album titled "Ten Plagues". The latter is wonderfully aggressive while still maintaining a beautiful epic sound. Even though these two tracks are among the highlights on "Slaves for Life" the album is very consistent in quality and deserves to be listened to as a whole.

The musicianship are generally strong. Especially Mats Leven´s vocal performance deserves a special mention. He is an incredibly skilled singer and he has a very distinct voice which suits Amaseffer´s music really well. His vocals sound a bit like Geoff Tate (Queensrÿche) in the low register but when he sings the more aggressive vocal parts he sounds very different from Mr. Tate. Erez Yohanan also needs to be mentioned for his outstanding compositional skills. His drumming isn´t the most exciting part of Amaseffer´s music though. He gets the job done but his playing definitely could have been a bit more adventurous. The two guitarists deliver what they should too, but again nothing out of the ordinay. "Slaves for Life" is not an album that focus on guitar solos or technical playing though. Here the compositions and the concept come first. The semi- complex playing second.

The album is recorded and mixed by Markus Teske (Vanden Plas, Abydos, Saga, live) and it´s a grand symphonic production. This is a really well produced album and the sound suits the epic music well. So in most ways "Slaves for Life" is a quality progressive metal album. The concept and the orchestral arrangements are second to none. Really fantastic thought out and composed. But the metal parts can be a bit generic at times. There are no fast parts and the tempo is slow- to mid paced all the way through. A couple of faster paced parts or preferably full tracks could have brought some nice variation to the album as this does become quite a heavy and pompous listening experience towards the end. For listeners interesting in epic symphonic progressive metal "Slaves for Life" is still a highly recommendable album though and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

AMASEFFER Slaves for Life

Album · 2008 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
For some odd reason, music, mainly metal, and a very strong presence of Progressive Metal from the East has become very popular. Bands like Orphaned Land have now become quite big, even though they have been around for a few years, and new bands like Myrath have now become targets for music lovers. It really has become a talent hotspot. Who would have thought of looking in Israel?

This band is almost like an eastern equivalent to Ayreon, with concept albums, guest vocalists and long epic songs. Most of the vocals are done by Mats Leven, who has done some amazing work with Therion.

The concept of the album is based on Exodus, mainly the story of Moses trying to free Jewish slaves from the pharaoh of Egypt. Quite well crafted and very dramatic, to be honest.

At times, the odd melodies aren't as melodious, but you have to take into consideration the Eastern influence, with their music, being scales, chords modes being different to Western music.

1. Sorrow - Beautiful intro. Nice atmosphere. 9/10

2. Slaves For Life - Very dramatic and an amazing vocal performance from Mats. Great arrangement, with the Arabic influences adding a deep texture to the music. 9/10

3. Birth Of Deliverance - The orchestral intro is very beautiful. Quite a kick ass song. Love the eeriness of the song. Mats vocals at the end are astounding and incredibly beautiful. 10/10

4. Midian - Some odd dramatic changes. Angela Gossows (Arch Enemy) vocals are quite impressive. She really is the best female growler there is. 9/10

5. Zipporah - Beautiful arrangement. The female vocals are very beautiful. Best song on the album. 10/10

6. Burning Bush - The arrangement reminds me of Pain Of Salvation. Vocally, Mats sounds like he should be doing Geoff Tates job in Operation: Mindcrime. 8/10

7. Wooden Staff - Very atmospheric instrumentally based song. Nice instrumental work. 9/10

8. Return To Egypt - Cool eastern influence throughout. 8/10

9. 10 Plagues - Mats vocals are amazing. The lyrics are great and to the point. 10/10

10. Land Of The Dead - Quite a sad ending. Leading up to the next album I hope.

CONCLUSION: This is part 1 of a trilogy, and the next one "When The Lions Leave Their Den", should be just as interesting. If you like metal with an Eastern influence, I suggest buying this album, and Orphaned Lands new one.

AMASEFFER Slaves for Life

Album · 2008 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Pretty good début album by this Israeli outfit; which sounds like a band we'll be hearing more from in the coming years.

Their take on music has a unique appeal to it for starters; mixing slow, metal-dominated segments with symphonic orchestrated sounding parts and atmospheric moods where spoken words - in Yiddish - and synths often are the only elements.

The compositions and arrangements are all majestic and pompous - the synths are layered and massive, the guitars just the same when used, and even the vocals come across in this manner.

The main element separating this release from other pompous releases in a prog metal setting are the impulses from middle-eastern music; melodies, vocals and rhythms all have that distinct mood about them that these are indeed performances written and executed somewhere in this region.

Main weakness on this release are compositional structure. The band can't quite seem to decide whether this is a prog rock/metal album or if it is a slightly elaborated soundtrack. This results in tunes high on mood and atmosphere but often lacking drive and tension in certain key parts of the songs.

Still, this is a good release, and one to check out if you fancy something new and distinct in you music collection.

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