Folk Metal / Death Metal • Israel
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Day by day, in every news program on this planet, the Middle-East conflict is a major topic and it is one of the reasons the world we all live in is a world apart. For decades every attempt to make peace between Israel and the Arabian world has remained futile and the death toll keeps rising. Where politicians have failed, a mere metal band daringly labelling its style “Jewish Muslim Metal” or “Middle Eastern Progressive Metal” has actually achieved the unimaginable and united Israeli and Arabian people in spite of all their cultural, religious and political differences and conflicts!

Israel's ORPHANED LAND is probably the only band from this country that has managed to succeed at building up a huge following among Muslims and Arabian people. These fans communicate freely via the band’s social networking pages, some of them even proudly bearing ORPHANED LAND tattoos, even though that puts them
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ORPHANED LAND albums / top albums

ORPHANED LAND Sahara album cover 3.50 | 12 ratings
Folk Metal 1994
ORPHANED LAND El Norra Alila album cover 3.48 | 14 ratings
El Norra Alila
Folk Metal 1996
ORPHANED LAND Mabool: The Story of the Three Sons of Seven album cover 4.23 | 47 ratings
Mabool: The Story of the Three Sons of Seven
Folk Metal 2004
ORPHANED LAND The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR album cover 4.41 | 29 ratings
The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR
Folk Metal 2010
ORPHANED LAND All Is One album cover 3.45 | 20 ratings
All Is One
Folk Metal 2013
ORPHANED LAND KNA'AN (with Amaseffer) album cover 3.25 | 4 ratings
KNA'AN (with Amaseffer)
Folk Metal 2016
ORPHANED LAND Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs album cover 4.03 | 8 ratings
Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs
Folk Metal 2018


ORPHANED LAND Ararat album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Folk Metal 2005

ORPHANED LAND live albums

ORPHANED LAND demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ORPHANED LAND The Beloved's Cry album cover 3.10 | 7 ratings
The Beloved's Cry
Death Metal 1993

ORPHANED LAND re-issues & compilations

ORPHANED LAND singles (0)

ORPHANED LAND movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
The Road to OR-Shalem
Folk Metal 2011


ORPHANED LAND Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs

Album · 2018 · Folk Metal
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The Crow
After the mediocre All Is One and after the departure of the great Yoshi Sassi, my expectations about Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs were low... What a mistake!

Because this album fully retrieves the energy and the magic that this band had in the past, offering their typical mixture between metal, death, progressive and folk with outstanding songwriting. Chen Balbus and Idan Amsalen are fully integrated in the band till the point that Yoshi Sassi is almost not missed here, while the rest of the band makes also a splendid work.

It's very rewarding to hear that while some band like Opeth or Pain of Salvation lost their sound and personality with line-up changes, Orphaned Land retrieves all their elements and characteristic sound throughout the years despite all the members that gave up.

I wish also to mention the great collaborations that this album contains, playing Steve Hackett a fabulous guitar solo in the outstanding Chains Fall to Gravity (one of the most progressive tracks in the whole band's career) and singing Hansi Kürsch (from Blind Guardian) and Thomas Lindberg (At the Gates) in Like Orpheus and Only The Dead Have Seen The End Of The War respectively.

Best Tracks: it's complicated to pick only a few songs, because the overall quality of the album is very high, but The Cave is one of the best Orphaned Land's tracks, All Knowing Eye is touching and Kobi sings great, Chains Fall to Gravity is surprising and very prog, My Brother's Keeper (pure Orphaned Land magic) and The Manifest - Epilogue (precious homage to Victor Jara)

Conclusion: Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs is not only a triumphant return of our favorite Israeli band, it's also one of their finest records. Maybe not so great like Mabool, but at least as good as ORwarriOR. A varied, touching and very well crafted collection of folk-prog-death-metal with a beautiful message inside and tons of memorable songs.

After this album, I can only wish the best of lucks for this bands in the future! You have managed to give me back my faith in you.

My rating: ****

P.S.: this review was originally written for ProgArchives.com


Album · 2013 · Folk Metal
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The Crow
I am sure that All is One was a difficult album to make for Orphaned Land... Moreover, the music shows the band's problems at the time.

Avi Diamond, their drummer in their two previous (and excellent) albums did not return this time, along with their female (and great) singer Shlomit Levi. The founder guitarist Matti Svatitzki also left the band in 2012, and the main guitarist Yoshi Sassi also gave up shortly after the releasing of All is One, being this album his less inspired work.

The result is a disjointed and irregular record, which sounds like a mixture between the epic Mabool and the more intimate and folk ORwarriOR, but without reaching the quality of none of them and showing a worrying inability to bring anything new to the band's career.

Been there, done that feeling the whole time.

The production is fine, and the sound of the album is more orchestral than ever with violins sounding all the time. However, they cannot hide the lack of inspiration (or energy) that this album has with exceptions as the energetic All is One, the beautiful Brother and the epic Our Own Messiah.

Best Tracks: All is One (splendid opener), Brother (the best lyrics of the album), Our Own Messiah (a song which almost achieve to retrieve the magic of ORwarriOR)

Conclusion: All Is One was the reflection of the problems and line-up changes of this great band at the time. I has its good moments and a pair of fine additions to the band's classic song list, but after a the seond or third listening it turns out to be boring, repetitive and not challenging at all, being a clear step back in Orphaned Land's career.

I almost lost my faith in the band with All is One... Fortunately, this would change in 2018 with the release of Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs!

My rating: **

P.S.: this review was originally written for ProgArchives.com

ORPHANED LAND The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR

Album · 2010 · Folk Metal
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The Crow
After six long years, the follow-up to the masterpiece Mabool arrived!

And the surprise was big when the Orphaned Land aficionados realized that this album was some sort of return to their roots, retrieving the formula of El Norra Alila but improving it in a very beautiful and challenging way. The result is an album that is not so epic, diverse and accessible like Mabool, but excellent anyway.

The production is also more straightforward than Mabool, with a not so extensive use of keyboards (played by Steven Wilson by the way, who also appears in writing credits), clear and natural drumming and wonderful guitars. And talking about the guitars, they are the absolute protagonist in ORwarriOR, acting Yoshi Sassi as a true guitar hero!

Sadly, the songwriting is not so incredible like in Mabool, leaving a pair of subpar songs here (the too obviously commercial New Jerusalem, Barakah...) But the overall quality of the album is superb anyway.

Best Tracks: From Broken Vessels, Bereft in the Abyss, The Path, and Disciples of the Sacred Oath II.

Conclusion: improving and expanding the folk-death-prog metal formula of their first two albums and leaving a bit of the grandiloquence of Mabool, Orphaned Land created a truly great record with a ton of memorable songs, an incredible guitar work from Yoshi Sassi and beautiful singing and Arabic melodies, which is still one of the best prog- metal album of this decade, despite its obvious flaws.

Shocking at the beginning, hauting in the long-term.

My rating: ****

P.S.: this review was originally written for ProgArchives.com

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

Album · 2004 · Folk Metal
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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.


Album · 1996 · Folk Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The Crow
El Norra Alila is another Orphaned Land's journey in search of their true sound!

And on this attempt, they added even more elements to their mix. Dozens of oriental instruments which are more prominent than in Sahara, female vocals, choirs, Arabic chants, percussion, violins... But the result is nevertheless not so far from their debut album, sounding this record too immature compared to their later works, when they truly developed their authentic sound and personality.

But the album has its moments and is rather enjoyable despite being too long and lacking more catchy melodies. They increased the epicity of the songs, with great guitar solos from the very gifted Yoshi Sassi, and they added more clean vocals and tons of keyboards, being this album more accessible and easier to hear than previous records.

The production and musicianship are also good enough, and I can imagine that this album was not easy to make!

Best Tracks: Find Yourself, Discover God (powerful opener), The Truth Within (great guitar solos), A Never-ending Way (good slow track), Of Temptation Born (the best riffs of the album), The Evil Urge (in this precious acoustic track can we hear what a great singer Kobi Fahri is)

Conclusion: it's easy to hear that the band invested great effort and that they tried really hard with El Norra Alila to surpass the quality of their debut Sahara, crafting a pair of good songs in the process (sometimes even very good)

Nevertheless, El Norra Alila is a record that you can easily avoid if you are not a die-hard fan of the band.

My rating: ***

P.S.: this reveiw was originally written for ProgArchives.com and rewritten to be included here.

ORPHANED LAND Movies Reviews

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jose carlos wrote:
more than 2 years ago
No reviews??? Began with a perfect mixture of death and oriental touch, introducing more progressive elements in the last albums... awesome¡


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