With its ethnic intro, the first song, All Is One begins. A majestic choir joins in with the rest of the band just after the ten second mark. Kobi Farhi’s clean vocals come in, telling the story for which this disc will tell.
The story of the thousands of years of battle, between the Jews and Muslims. Lyrics like “Evil falls on each of us, There's nothing new, Who cares if you're a Muslim or a Jew, The awakened ones are nothing but a few, And the one to make the difference now is you,” shows the true power of what Orphaned Land is creating. With Farhi’s vocals those emotions are given a deeper meaning.
The Simple Man is next, carrying the tradition of ethnic instruments, with a beautiful string arrangement behind them. With its stop and go guitar riff, with Farhi singing in his lower baritone range, it gives this song a haunting yet hopeful feeling. The identity of the simple man in the song is left for your own interpretation. This is one of Orphaned Land’s best progressive metal songs, in my opinion.
The haunting and beautiful Brother is next, and to me it tells about the battle between Moses and his Egyptian step-brother(Years of Hebrew and Sunday School are coming back to me). All I can say about this song, is listen to the words, the music, and get lost in one of the most powerful songs I have heard in years. Let The Truce Be Known begins, with its layer of guitars and synths. It tells the story of two friends, one Muslim and one Jew, and how their friendship and good intentions turns to blood being shed. This is a very dynamic song, from Farhi’s vocals to the changing tempos and dynamics.
Through the Fire and Water is mostly instrumental that has female operatic vocals later in the song. It has all the progressive and ethnic melodies you have heard before. Fail, will bring long time listeners back to 2004’s Mabool - The Story of the Three Sons of Seven. A long spoken-word section opens up the song, with the band playing behind it. This song features harsh death metal vocals. I wondered if these vocals would find their way on to the disc. This is the only song with death/growling vocals. The death vocals, do add a layer of dynamics, and a change of pace that works for the disc as a whole. As an individual song, the music is progressive metal at its finest, from the lead guitar playing, to the majestic clean sung chorus. This song contains some of my favorite instrumentations from the band, especially the lead guitar work of Yossi Sassi.
Freedom is a true instrumental, with again all the progressive and ethnic tendencies the songs before it have. The next two songs, are not in English. Shama’im from a rough translation (years of Hebrew school and Google) tells the story of the land of Israel, the Dead Sea to its east, and when the people decide to finally destroy themselves, where do they have to run too? The next song Ya Benaye, from what I can read and understand is performed in Arabic and not Hebrew, but I could be wrong. It is the ultimate fusion of progressive rock and ethnic music.
Our Own Messiah is next, check out Farhi’s vocals at the one minute and twenty second mark, they are some of his best. The song Children ends the disc, on a beautiful somber note. The song asks why must we all continue to live our lives in fear and war. It asks why can’t this be changed, or can it even be changed? Orphaned Land have crafted a powerful message of hope and unity, one that I believe that music like this, will unite us on what we are passionate about, not about our differences or beliefs.
Israel's Orphaned Land have crafted a powerful message of hope, that we may all be different, but we all can live as one.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]