Orphaned Land - Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs

Orphaned Land Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs cover
Orphaned Land
Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs
Century Media Records
Orphaned Land has been around for quite a long time but their output has largely been more geared towards quality rather than quantity. The fact that Yossi, who was a very capable composer and accomplished multi-instrumentalist left them, has caused a bit of issue and obviously being the first album to feature new people in his place (in fact two) has created a slightly different chemistry and thus given a new slant on the band’s material and sound. From the death metal beginning and through ever shifting styles that always incorporated, rich and interesting arrangements, the band has seemingly gotten attuned to a more folklore oriented style that quite more direct. The rock/metal element has quite waned, but not to the point that the band is unrecognizable and while some might frown upon this, the more melodic side of the band is what made them interesting, here it’s even more pronounced, but there’s still the harsh vocals slithering here and there and the interesting arrangements and thought provoking lyrics.
Steve Hackett (the former guitarist of Genesis), and Hansi Kürsch of Blind Guardian and even Thomas Lindberg of At The Gates, all make guest appearances on the album, the former with a solo and the latter two obviously singing – but it’s Kobi Farhi that is shouldering the most part of the vocals and as always his performance is multi-dimensional and full of pathos, truly a great asset for the band.
From the highly infectious and melodious opener “The Cave”, to the more ponderous “In Propaganda” or the more power metal oriented “Like Orpheus” that features the aforementioned Kürsch and being reminiscent of what Myrath seem to have popularized these days. Where it seems that the oriental elements work perfectly, are songs like “Left Behind”, where they are completely interwoven in the composition and not acting as embellishments. Still if you liked the band before, chances are you’ll still like them now. Combining folk, death, power and slight prog tendencies, these middle eastern merchants do mean serious business. Enjoy their spiced up metal…