ORPHANED LAND — The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR (review)

ORPHANED LAND — The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR album cover Album · 2010 · Folk Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
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
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