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Orphaned Land: The Beloved's Cry

Like most followers of Israeli musical and religious innovators Orphaned Land, my first experience of the band who fuse musical, religious and linguistic cultures together to make a unique noise (which has now been sub-categorised as Oriental Metal), was through the 2004 album Mabool. Although it was the phenomenal 2010 release The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR that catapulted Orphaned Land into mainstream acceptance as they offered up a mixture of Eastern flavours through lyrical content and instrumentation. All infused with death metal, prog (both metal and rock) and English, Jewish and Hebrew lyrics to make for something that was genuinely different to anything else out there.

However prior to these two albums gaining worldwide acclaim, Orphaned Land had already released two albums in the shape of El Norra Alila (1996) and Sahara from two years earlier. Delve even further back in time and in 1993 a set of demos called The Beloved's Cry heralded the change of name from Resurrection to Orphaned Land and set in motion one of the most original bands around. Not that you could quite tell at the time. Instead of the innovative cultural hybrid we've come to know and admire, The Beloved's Cry keeps things slightly more conformed, with a sound that does still contain both Eastern and Western elements, but not in the same fused manner. Instead "My Requiem" is a slow doom laden monster of a song, mixing clean and growled vocals, while "Season Unite" comes across as pretty straight death metal, albeit with an Oriental Metal intro. Add to that the growling and rifferama of "Above You All", or the again more doom-like "The Storm Still Rages Inside", which this time outro's in Oriental fashion and it is easy to see why Orphaned Land shocked in their homeland, while not quite managing to make the cultural waves they have since. For a band from their part of the world, The Beloved's Cry still represents, dangerous, ideal challenging music, with riffs, vocals and beats that must have proved too much for many of their fellow countrymen to take, while not quite being remarkable enough for Westerners to sit up and take notice. Instead this is the sound - and a very interesting sound it is - of a band finding their feet and shaping their future.

Interestingly enough, two bonus tracks, which have been added to the 1999 reissue of this album - a shorter, instrumental version of "Season's Unite", which is carried on hand percussion and keyboards and "Mercy", a Paradise Lost cover full of ethnic instruments - offer up a much stronger flavour of the genre breaking and boundary blurring band Orphaned Land would go on to become.

Not essential in the same way as Mabool, ..ORwarriOR..., or indeed the band's phenomenal in concert DVD The Road To Or-Shalem, The Beloved's Cry is still an interesting and worthy release that deserves its place in the history of Orphaned Land and Oriental Metal.

Track Listing
1. Seasons Unite
2. Above You All
3. Pits Of Despair
4. The Beloved's Cry
5. My Requiem
6. The Storm Still Rages Inside
7. Seasons Unite
8. Mercy

Added: November 2nd 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Orphaned Land Online
Hits: 3026
Language: english

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Orphaned Land: The Beloved's Cry
Posted by Scott Jessup, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-11-02 06:15:14
My Score:

The Beloved's Cry was the earliest recording from the much admired Orphaned Land, a band whose popularity has continued to soar and with good reason. Now in a move sure to delight many fans End of the Light Records are releasing Orphaned Land's 1993 debut demo album as a remastered/digipak edition, with two pleasing bonus tracks, the enchanting instrumental "Joy" and "Mercy", another appealing tune.

Orphaned Land showed the way, providing inspiration to those band that followed with this release as to what is possible when it comes to combining progressive metal with dark/clean vocals and the merging of different flavours of ethnic music and traditional instruments. Listening to The Beloved's Cry you really wouldn't think this was a first recording as Orphaned Land were so very impressive back then sounding like seasoned professionals.

Vocals on this early releases vary from haunting growls to clean vocals and spoken words with some female vocals also in the mix. Songs like "Seasons Unite" convey a heavy feel to The Beloved's Cry this tune has a very cool intro, Orphaned Land's captivating blend of eastern metal music is just so alluring and those dual kicks don't sound out of place. While next track "Above You All" features more animated drumming, dark vocals and some very cool guitar work. Then you have a song like "My Requiem" where Orphaned show their doom influences though this one does pick up the pace and we are once again treated to some wicked guitar riffs.

If you discovered Orphaned Land later on and don't have this very good first outing, or maybe just fancy a remastered version then definitely do yourself a favour and check out this 20th anniversary edition of The Beloved's Cry.

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