Label: Century Media release: 26.1.2018
Orphaned Land from Israel should be a household name in the scene already. Their new album presents their strongest feature right from the start – “The Cave” mixes traditional music and instruments from the Middle East with (Power) Metal, incredibly catchy, appealing and simply great.
A promising introduction to a – in summary – sensationally well done album. “Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs”, mixed (again) by Jens Bogren, is a concept album dedicated to the philosopher Plato. Featured guest musicians are guitar virtuoso Steve Hacket, Blind Guardian front man Hansi Kürsch and At The Gates singer Tomas Lindberg.
But it’s not the guests that are responsible for this variety – there’s clean heroic vocals as well as evil growling, stuff reminding of Rammstein as well as church choir (We Do Not Resist), the overall style of songs ranges from Pop, Prog-Alternative and moderate Hardrock (All Knowing Eye, Chains fall to Gravity) to spoken parts, to hymns (My Brother’s Keeper) and even to Melodic Death (Only The Dead). Especially the latter appeals to me, as it features radio play parts mirroring sad reality, it represents a manifest, an essential poignant message the band wants to convey.
Not just styles and moods are mixed but also the languages (English, Hebrew). Needless to mention the meaningful lyrics – occasionally enhanced by a self-inflicted censorship, pointing out an even stronger statement than without it (e.g. Left Behind). Yet sometimes I rather find it a bit annoying…
However, this is the only thing to complain about, as this album is a masterpiece with a nice flow to it despite all those different elements and styles. No idea which track would be a “standing out hit song”, I can mention a few that represent the album as such, The Cave, In Propaganda, Like Orpheus plus the abovementioned Left Behind. Although I do not know the back catalogue of this band that well I simply claim that this might be their best release so far, a record you can have on endless-repeat all day and still love it (like the old Therion albums). Buy it.
PS: Orphaned Land are touring in Europe in February and March, check out the details here: facebook.com/OrphanedLandOfficial