A very thought provoking album

Orphaned Land are probably one of the most unique metal bands in the world today.

Hailing from Israel, they offer a very different musical landscape, along with some really thought provoking and sometimes heartbreaking lyrics.

With this album, the band’s ‘Israel death metal’ tag is all but gone. But that term was pretty much an unfair label, with many more influences and elements that combine to make up that unique Orphaned Land soundscape. Much to my dismay, only one song here, ‘Fail’, features vocalist Kobi Farhi’s distinctive growls. Even then the song is quite strange, with half spoken lyrics, that break into ferocious fury on.
That said, the clean vocals are of such a standard as are the songs that the growls are rarely missed, but if you are already a fan of the band, they are kind of expected in some places and probably left wanting. The music has a strong Middle Eastern flavour to it, whether it be the distinct folk melodies, or the strong guitar riffs and structures. Many of the songs feature Hebrew heavily.

Orphaned land will always be measured against the classic Mabool album (2004), and the last album (The Never Ending Way Of Or Warrior) never really came close for me, both in expectation and content. This one probably sits somewhere in between, definitely more accessable, slightly more immediate but still showing the world that a band from Israel can offer a very thought provoking album.

1. All is One
2. The Simple Man
3. Brother
4. Let the Truce be Known
5. Through Fire and Water
6. Fail
7. Freedom
8. Shama’im
9. Ye Benaye
10. Our Own Messiah
11. Children