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Orphaned Land: All Is One

Orphaned land's amalgamation of metal and ethnic music referred to as "Oriental Metal" is such a true pleasure to listen to. And it's a combination that continues to become more widespread with newer groups making their mark such as Myrath a progressive metal act that I also hold in high regard. Mabool is the release which really gave the band widespread praise and attention, and their last album The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR was another fantastic album by this band from the Middle East. This is a group that certainly doesn't restrain themselves to one style and has proven that they possess the talent to adapt and incorporate that music. Orphaned land now have a new collection of wonderful material with a strong message called All Is One as they continue to unite those whose beliefs have kept them apart.

The influence this band has had is truly inspiring, and in the words of front man Kobi Farhi who says "Discovering the fact that our music is the instrument to remind people that we are all one is shocking to me. I never imagined that blood enemies would open their eyes because of it. That's why the title of the album is All Is One." And that's what also forms the basis for the concept of this album in that we continue to fail to see that all is one. Also the cover art is a combination of the symbols that represent three Abrahamic religions presenting them as one.

All Is One was a major undertaking by the band having been recorded not only in Israel but also Turkey and Sweden, and featuring over 40 musicians including 25 choir singers (who sound so good on the riveting title track) and eight classical violin, viola, and cello players. What you will soon notice on All Is One is that for the most part vocalist Kobi Farhi's growls have been given the flick this time with the song "Fail" a darker track being the exception, and no don't worry they haven't gone soft Orphaned Land obviously still like their metal. You also wont hear as many long and complex tracks on All Is One and the quality of those songs hasn't diminished the band still packs plenty in. I do look forward to getting a hard copy of this album so I can read the lyrics along with the songs.

Chen Balbus is the new guitarist/keyboardist he joined the band after the departure of guitar player and original member Matty Svatizky, and fellow guitarist Yossi Sassi gives another great performance following on from his very good solo release. Though and not to diminish it's significance but the guitar is of course not the only component of this bands music as many other instruments come into play creating that spellbinding music. And speaking of instruments track seven "Freedom" a spirit lifting vibrant instrumental is a great inclusion, the vocals are also so very well done such as on "Ya Benaye" where they are like an instrument of their own. The eastern metal groover "The Simple Man" is another of the many great songs on All Is One. "Our Own Messiah" flows with more of Orphaned Land's all engrossing creative skills, the passionate chorus is topped off with an instrumental passage that is just so good. The production is once again right on the money so to speak and I have no doubts that All Is One will be referred to as one of Orphaned Land's best works. They did set the standard so high previously and haven't faltered with this album.


Track Listing
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) Ya Benaye
10) Our Own Messiah
11) Children

Added: June 29th 2013
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2856
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Orphaned Land: All Is One
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-06-30 09:31:04
My Score:

I don't have much more to add from what Scott & Steven have already stated above, but in short, Orphaned Land just seem to be on another playing field when it comes to delivering stunning ethnic flavored progressive metal. All Is One is another in a strong line of releases from the Israeli band that just can do no wrong. Strong contender for album of 2013!

Orphaned Land: All Is One
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-06-28 20:03:04
My Score:

Every genre has its leaders and for the burgeoning Oriental Metal scene it is undoubtedly Israeli veterans Orphaned Land, who have over a near two decade career combined styles, genres, musical cultures and religious beliefs to quite stunning effect. Released in 2012 the band's previous album The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR was a triumph, finally seeing Orphaned Land begin to receive true recognition for their trail blazing style and outlook. However if that new found, world wide interest phased the band at all, it certainly doesn't show on their new album All Is One, with this being a release of great maturity, with a sense of class and authority few outfits can hope to achieve.

Firstly the key aspects of musical skill and a sparkling, yet explosive production are executed superbly, leaving the only stumbling block to negotiate being whether or not All Is One has the songs to stand up to its predecessor. Something it does more than admirably, suggesting that given time to really get to grips with all the little nooks and crannies where this release's intricacies sit, All Is One may even surpass ORwarriOR. Interestingly, fewer long songs emerge this time, with only two venturing over six minutes, but that doesn't stop AIO from skilfully packing a huge level of variety and a huge amount of messages into both the music and the words of this album - the latter aspect always being as key to the success of Orphaned Land as the music itself. Again the themes are acceptance, understanding and tolerance, however added to this mix is an even greater sense of inner examination and a questioning of society at large and the part it plays in oppressing us all, as we happily go along with it. The deep and gruffly vocal delivered "Fail" is a perfect example of why what OL do works so well, with hard hitting, bleak themes being offered up through a captivating mix of scything riffs, clear melodies, shape shifting rhythms and growled vocals, the line "What choices do I have in a society that educates me to be stupid" in essence encapsulating what this song is about.

However what sets this band apart from most others is the effortless way they blend Eastern and Western music together, with "The Simple Man" building from a traditional Middle Eastern chant and sway into a progressive metal juggernaut - and back again, while "Shama'im" stays more true to the style and language of the region from which this band originate. It makes for a captivating journey and one that only gets stronger the more you travel its paths, "Our Own Messiah" being uplifting and bright, before offering a far more oppressive percussion and guitar breakdown, while "Through Fire And Water" adds shimmering strings and colossal choral voices to an already surging guitar, drum, bass and vocal foundation.

From the strength and cohesion of what is offered up on All Is One, you'd never suspect that the band have integrated a new member into the OL ranks, with Chen Balbus (guitars and keys) replacing the departed Matt Svatizsky. The remaining band members Yossi Sassi (guitars), Uri Zelha (bass) and Matan Shmuely (drums) combining with him superbly. However the mighty Kobi Fahri whose voice once again ranges from threatening and aggressive growls and barks, to clear, clean calls and powerful vocals, via spoken word sections and whispers, once again proves he really is key to what makes this band so special.

All Is One is another fantastic addition to the Orphaned Land catalogue and another release to be admired, marvelled at and completely convinced by. What else do you need to know? Go get this album now.



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