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Orphaned Land: Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs

Ready for 2018's most anticipated Oriental metal album? Well, it's finally here, the latest Century Media release from Israel's Orphaned Land, titled Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs. Those who have followed the band throughout their 26 year history are no doubt used to the meticulous way in which they craft each and every album, so the fact that it has been nearly five years since All Is One will be a surprise to no one. The concept for this latest opus was inspired by the writings of Plato and the thwarted aspirations of peaceful revolutionaries throughout the history of the world, so as you can expect, this is one complex recording that will take multiple listens to fully sink in, much like their 2010 masterpiece The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR. The 2018 line-up of Orphaned Land consists of:

Kobi Farhi lead vocals
Uri Zelcha bass
Matan Shmuely drums, percussion
Chen Balbus guitars, piano, Bouzouki, Saz, Oud, xylophone, backing vocals
Idan Amsalem guitars, bouzouki

Right from the first initial listen, one is struck, as always, by how unique this band sounds...there is no band on the planet like Orphaned Land. They have a style and sound all their own, and though a few guest stars appear here, such as Steve Hackett (ex-Genesis), Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian), and Tomas Lindberg (At The Gates/The Lurking Fear), it's all Orphaned Land at their very best. From the sweeping keyboard orchestrations, to the mind boggling array of clean melodic vocals, growls, and screams, the Middle Eastern ethnic instrumentation, and of course the delightful progressive metal guitar work, it's majestic and grandeur around every corner. "The Cave" kicks things off in epic fashion, and it's full speed ahead from there. One moment, the band are at their most gorgeous with the lovely pop/prog of "All Knowing Eye", the next they take you to downtown Jerusalem for the quirky romp that is "Yedidi". "Chains Fall to Gravity" is lovely, melodic progressive rock, the keyboards and strings intoxicating, with Balbus & Amsaem laying down some fabulous electric & acoustic guitar solos, while more aggressive tracks like "Left Behind", My Brother's Keeper", "We Do Not Resist", and "Only The Dead Have Seen The End Of War" add in some heavier riffs and menacing vocals to do battle with Farhi's soaring clean pipes. The textures created by strings, keyboards, and bouzouki throughout the album add a magical touch, some of the key ingredients to any Orphaned Land album that also play a key part here.

Certainly not an album for those that look for music that is more straightforward and less demanding, Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs is tailor made for the patient, adventurous listener who is ready to take a long journey littered with twists & turns, varying colors, and lots of textures. Though the band label themselves 'Oriental metal', for the common man, this is progressive metal of the highest level. Once again, well done guys.

Track Listing

  1. The Cave 8:11
  2. We Do Not Resist 3:24
  3. In Propaganda 3:34
  4. All Knowing Eye 4:29
  5. Yedidi 2:34
  6. Chains Fall To Gravity 9:29
  7. Like Orpheus 4:35
  8. Poets Of Prophetic Messianism 2:56
  9. Left Behind 3:11
  10. My Brother's Keeper 4:42
  11. Take My Hand 6:03
  12. Only The Dead Have Seen The End Of War 5:44
  13. The Manifest - Epilogue 4:45

Added: February 3rd 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1702
Language: english

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