Sea Of Tranquility

The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu

Orphaned Land: Mabool

Hmmm. God, I wanted to like this. The idea is so freakin' cool: Buncha guys deliver a concept record that's all biblical and stuff and blends elements of Eastern and Western culture and music in there. Awesome, right? Uh, not quite. It's good. There are some above-par moments on this third outing from Orphaned Land but calling it a blockbuster classic that makes you sell the house, the kids and car really doesn't hit the mark. The main problem seems to be a lack of meaningful dynamics. There are acoustic interludes here that follow thick, earth-crust layers of guitars but it just doesn't seem to hit as deep as it should. There is promise and if you're watching this band build, then Mabool is probably for you. This is just wandering in the wilderness.

Track Listing:
1. Birth Of The Three (6:57)
2. Ocean Land (4:43)
3. The Kiss Of Babylon (7:23)
4. A'salk(2:05)
5. Halo Dies (7:29)
6. A Call To Awake (6:10)
7. Building The Ark (5:02)
8. Norra El Norra (4:24)
9. The Calm Before The Flood (4:25)
10. Mabool (6:59)
11. The Storm Still Rages Inside (9:20)
12. Rainbow (3:01)
Total Time: 60:00

Added: July 27th 2005
Reviewer: Jedd Beaudoin
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 4470
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]


[ Back to the Reviews Index | Post Comment ]

» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Orphaned Land: Mabool
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-07-27 18:59:01
My Score:

With Mabool as their debut release on Century Media Records, Orphaned Land has returned with a very interesting take on the traditional power metal standard. Across the length of the CD, Mabool essentially defies that which is considered a requirement for those that travel the path of this genre. However, despite how weird this statement might seem, this CD works on all levels. Instead of just power chords and slamming musicianship you are treated to a unique blend of Power, Classical, Ethnic and even Jazz at some points. There is a number of different vocal styling delivered across the piece as well as some Narration, and truly this is just a very magical CD. I like the fact that this interesting mix even defies that of most Progressive bands that focus on Metal. The strong emphasis on the Ethnic aspect in this piece is due to the bands origins in Israel where Kobi Farhi, Yossi Sassi & friends give us the story of Mabool (or The Flood). It is a legend based on the Sons Of The Seven, and it takes us through their journeys as they try to prevent the Wrath Of God from striking upon the Land. It is truly a tale of Biblical proportions and while steeped in that area of life, it is not religious in the sense that Stryper is. This is more rooted in the mythology side or passed down tales.

The lineup of the band is Kobi Farhi (vocals), Yossi Sassi (guitar), Matte Svatitzki (guitar), Uri Zelcha (bass), Avi Diamand (drums), and Eden Rabin (keyboards) and truly the musicianship of the group shines brightly across the this epic. This is most notable in tracks like "Birth Of The Three", "The Storm Still Rages On" and "Mabool". The Ethnic flair comes out most notably in tracks like "A'Salk" and "Norra El Norra". It was during this last track that if I closed my eyes I felt that I was at somewhere in the Middle East among people who were singing this sort of victory song. While I did not have lyrics I was not sure what exactly they were singing, and can only say they sounded good enough to have this track remain on my mind.

This CD is a highly recommended piece as it makes a difference in the Metal genre. It offers you different tastes of a potential new direction that the form can take over time and it's quite a ride. I know you will find yourself repeating the CD a few times before finally turning it off. It's exactly what I did. There are two CD's in this piece and it contains live tracks but I did not have them for the purpose of review.

Orphaned Land: Mabool
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-05-14 19:34:15
My Score:

Lots of bands have incorportated Middle Eastern melodies in their music over the last three decades, but it is certainly a lot more intriguing when a band from that specific region (Israel) uses motifs from its own culture and envelopes a broader musical spectrum. Enter Orphaned Land who released two other albums in the mid-90's neither of which was as progressive and interesting as their new one Mabool.

After an 8-year long break, Orphaned Land is back with their finest disc to date. I was sceptical about buying this album but when quite a few friends of mine whose recommendation I always care for praised it to no end and since Orphaned Land is going to play on a festival here in Istanbul next week opening for Pain of Salvation I decided to give them a chance... I'm glad I did. It's one of the better albums of year so far and the best thing Century Media has released in 2004.

While listening to Mabool, I am reminded of three bands in particular. The first one is Opeth circa Morningrise. The way they're using the twin guitars and somewhat blackish death growls is quite reminiscent of the Swedish prog-death act. Then there is Nile for their technical side and Middle Eastern elements in their music. Last but not least there is Mezarkabul, a great band from Turkey with accented Middle Eastern melodies. Although Orphaned Land is no where near as progressive as Opeth; as heavy as Nile or as traditional sounding as Mezarkabul, they certainly share some common characteristics with these bands. On the other hand they also have their own unique edge to them and they're almost addictive in this sense. I've also heard people comparing them to Pain of Salvation but I don't necessarily hear it myself. Then it's all subjective opinion; you may as well think that my comparisons are off quite a bit.

Mabool is a concept album and memans "The Flood". It is inspired by the biblical flood story of Noah and the Ark but represents the band's views on what's going on in the Middle East. The story is about three heroes who share the same soul on a spiritual level. The soul is divided into three human beings: one Jew, one Christian and one Muslim. When they unite, they realise that a flood is going to come and cover the Orphaned Land with a big ocean because of the sins of mankind. The name Orphaned Land symbolises Israel itself which is a holy place for most people. This holy place is corrupt because of the endless wars and bloodshed that took place because of religion and beliefs. So now it's time for nature to clean the sins and purify the land with the waters of the flood. This is basically what the concept is about: there are three individuals all from different religions coming together in order to stop the wars and save this sacred place. All three of them try in vain to warn their own people against killing each other in the name of God. As a matter of fact, this is exactly what is happening in the Middle East nowadays. People are getting killed day by day for no real cause so Orphaned Land's lyrical statements are quite solid and reflect reality. This album by no means is a 'religious' album where the band members are trying to impose their own beliefs onto the listener; on the contrary Mabool just draws attention on the senselessness and atrocities of war where thousands of innocent people of ALL religions lose their lives in this bloodshed.

Musically there is a dichotomy present as well. All kinds of heavy metal instruments are side by side with traditional Arabic instruments such as the 'oud', 'saz' and 'buzuki'. Moreover the mixed ethnic identity of the 'Orphaned Land' is successfully characterized with the inclusion of Hebrew, Arabic, Indian and Latin texts as well as the language of "gibberish" which is a made-up language created by the Orphaned Land members themselves. Kobi Farhi's meticulous attention in the production shows and the vocal harmonies are some of the most original harmonies to have been recorded. Farhi not only does the clean vocals, but he handles the death growls, spoken passages, chants and back vocals as well. The lead guitar work is stunning; you can tell that Yossi Saharon spent a great deal of his time, energy and creativity to write those killer melodies, riffs and solos. I'll leave the rest of my comments about the music for myself since each listener should intrepet it himself best.

» Reader Comments:

Orphaned Land: Mabool
Posted by Tobulogic on 2005-01-23 15:58:41
My Score:

Just my favorite album of 2004.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by