ORPHANED LAND — Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs (review)

ORPHANED LAND — Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs album cover Album · 2018 · Folk Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
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
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UMUR wrote:
9 months ago
I remember listening to their debut when it came out, but I was never hooked, and haven´t listened to anything since. I´ll have to revisit that debut album at some point, and work my way through their discography. They are after all one of the most prolific acts out of Israel, and I want to know why.

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