Orphaned Land release a new song from their upcoming album
Orphaned Land are a progressive metal band hailing from Israel, which is a pretty unique venture in itself. They first formed in 1991 under the moniker of Resurrection, before changing their name a year later. Musically and lyrically they combine both Jewish and Arabic influences, which in a country rife with such unrest is an amicable feat. While the band have been in an almost constant state of flux with replacing members, they’ve still managed to retain three of their founding members, which for 22 years as a band is very impressive. I suppose its likely to be a little tougher to find as many other opportunities in that part of the world, which may prompt musicians to stay with, and guard the quality of their personal projects more closely, rather than other countries that are spoilt for choice, thus creating fickle musicians who switch bands on an almost monthly basis.
Orphaned Land fuse a number of genres together under the guise of being progressive, but what is most prominent about their style is their doom metal and Middle Eastern folk music influences, which when melded together creates a unique sound that separates them from the pack. While they are definitely not the only band to implement elements of Arabic music into their metal, they are one of the definitive bands that employ this style.
The band’s last release was three years ago now, with their fourth album The Never Ending Way Of ORWarriOR. It was an epic 78 minute concept album mixed by progressive mastermind Steven Wilson (Have you checked out his latest solo album yet?) and told the story of a “warrior of light” who quested to destroy the darkness that inhabits the world in the figurative battle of good and evil/light and darkness.
ORWarriOR received rapturous appraisal from the metal media, but was sadly under-represented in the grand scheme of things. Orphaned Land are now returning with their fifth album, All Is One, which, if you’re observant, you’ll see has a very clear message. The album art depicts rather elegantly that the major religions of the realm all come from the same roots, which to most people is already pretty evident. It’s a positive message though, and while it’s been already utilized by none other than Disturbed on the cover of their Believe album, it’s a very different and more ambitious thing for a band from Israel to brazenly suggest. Not to mention that Orphaned Land are likely to tackle the issue with more finesse and nuance than Disturbed could ever muster.
Now, the first track from All Is One has been released, along with a lyric video to help convey their message more effectively. The song itself wastes no time getting started, instead of a slow build up we’re granted with a sudden explosion of melody created by beautiful, twisting and swirling guitar passages, accompanied with an overpoweringly emotional Arabic choir and the soaring voice of vocalist Kobi Farhi. This song is incredible and has really grown on me since I first listened. The melodies are majestic, grandiose and most importantly make a huge lasting impact.
The lyrics in particular are special, delicately tackling a very serious topic and perfectly illustrating Farhi’s views in an inoffensive and intelligent manner. I would strongly recommend giving this song a chance to sink in and absorbing its lyrical content as it’s a beautiful aural solution to a very real problem that exists in the world. Musically, all of the guitar work is astonishing, the solos and bass work being of particularly note.
The lyric video is deceptively simple, at first seeming overly simplified and lacklustre, but it moves with an elegant grace that perfectly corresponds with the music. Not only that but around the borders you also get a translation of the Arabic choirs, emphasizing their important background role, which I thought was a very clever and nice touch.
All Is One will be released on June 24th in Europe and June 25th in North America via Century Media Records.