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Amaseffer: Exodus - Slaves For Life

Think big, cinematic soundscapes with an eastern-tinged mix of world music and ethnic folk elements delivered on a platform of progressive metal. Think choirs, philharmonic orchestras, flutes, tablas, mixed male and female vocals, spoken-voice actors, and found sounds depicting a historic storyline.

Think "rock opera".

Exodus - Slaves For Life is Israeli metal with mid-eastern ethnic themes and traditional Israeli folk music inserts some stylized in the metal music, others pure. It is heavy, brooding, very "filmic", somber, and emotional. It's an interesting blend of hard rock, metal, and symphonic progressive rock, all laid over a dark storyline based in biblical history. So it's no surprise that the band has been invited to score movies.

Amaseffer is an Israeli threesome who recruited guest artists to help build the huge sounds that tell the story of Exodus - Slaves For Life. Most notable is Mats Leven (Therion, Malmsteen) who sings powerful, lead vocals delivered with passion and a great range of moods. Another important guest is Kobi Farhi (Orphaned Land) who performs all of the traditionally-styled Israeli vocals. And that's significant, because one of the first listening impressions is the similarity with compatriots Orphaned Land. Just for fun. play it and Orphaned Land's Mabool back to back to appreciate the different applications of a similar idea. The style of the two bands' music is different, but they share the format of epic old-testament storytelling, and the blend of metal with Israeli folk music. The variety in Amaseffer's record is (believe it or not) more pronounced, and it's cleaner with almost none of Orphaned Land's death growls.

This is to be the first part of a trilogy depicting stories from the old testament. and as the title indicates, part-1 is about Moses and the exodus from Egypt. Production is good, there's more than an hour and a quarter of music with three tracks running past 11 minutes and two around 9 minutes, and it comes in a slim digipack. The only death growls come courtesy of Arch Enemy's Angela Gossow (one song). "Burning Bush" by contrast is a power ballad, and the foreign (Hebrew?) language female vocals in songs like "Zipporah" are particularly pleasing. "The Wooden Staff" is a 9-minute (basically) instrumental piece featuring a deep driving rhythm, and extended, stirring guitar solos. Those spoken voice-overs add a lot of impact to the storyline, but you might find they get old after a while, and mitigate against enjoying multiple replays.

The album ends the way it started, with deep foreign language spoken voice. Exodus - Slaves For Life is pompous, presumptuous, and bombastic, and an absolute listening pleasure. So submerge yourself in the music and let Amaseffer take you on an emotional roller coaster ride through biblical history.

Track Listing:
1. Sorrow
2. Slaves For Life
3. Birth Of Deliverance
4. Midian
5. Zipporah
6. Burning Bush
7. The Wooden Staff
8. Return To Egypt
9. Ten Plagues
10.Land Of The Dead

Added: August 5th 2008
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: The Band's Website
Hits: 4730
Language: english

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