Maybe the strong religious influences of this band will not please everyone, but the way of writing the lyrics and expressing their believing is very original and they have a kind of "universal" feeling that make these lyrics and story very interesting and pleasant Is different, for example, to the Neal Morse's lyrics, which I find a little disgusting and annoying. Conclusion: a must for every prog lover If you want to discover a band which really sounds to anything you've heard before, then listen "Mabool".
You will find an incredible world of adventures, vast deserts, beautiful oasis, intricate oriental cities, devastation and desolation Orphaned Land are capable to provide you so much feelings. One of the best prog metal album of the new millenium! I can't wait to hear the next album of the band, "ORwarriOR" Steve Wilson will produce it!!!! Is difficult to imagine something better than "Mabool", but with Wilson as producer, everything can happen The best example is Opeth!
All three of the descriptions seem fairly complimentary, and I have to wonder, was the lyricist thinking of the Narnia Chronicles a bit when he describes the Christian character as "lion wisdom"?
Easily one of my favorite tracks is "Halo Dies," which is the heaviest track as it introduces God's rage at the sins of mankind Somebody obviously paid attention in Music Appreciation, as European music from the Middle Ages was sometimes closer in the chords used, to Middle Eastern music than it was in later times. This song is followed by "Norra El Norra," which according to the liner notes is a traditional song that has been given a metal arrangement.
The third moment that stands out the most is also the longest song on the album: "The Storm Still Rages Inside. The album closes with "Rainbow," which musically seems like a bit of an anticlimax after "The Storm Still Rages Inside.
Overall, this is a fantastic album that I highly recommend. Anyone who is a fan of prog-metal, or who is a fan of any prog with a Middle Eastern twist, should buy this immediately. Anyway, onto the music. There's a lot of substance here and a lot of crossing of genre boundaries, a big plus in my book.
The album focuses on many different religious concepts, without favoring or "preaching" any specific religion. Its more about discussing the history in religious texts than it is telling you to be anything, with the title track, the Flood, having the most obvious religious base.
I find most of the songs hit or miss. Some I find boring and dull, pretty uninspiring, while others I find remarkable. And when they are of the remarkable kind, they are really amazing. My favorites are Ocean Land, with its middle eastern flavor mixed with death metal, and the title track, which is a great "journeymen" type of song with all sorts of intricacies.
If you are just a little bit open to the metal genre, you will find this album much to your liking. Definitely worth your time. The drumming seems to roll as the guitars grind it out in the background. Some ripping guitar melodies to follow. I love this opening song. Deep throaty vocals are contrasted with the normal vocals. We then hear a scorching solo as the song ends with percussion and ethnic vocals. This is a heavy tune with angry death vocals and background synths.
Normal vocals come in followed by a female vocal melody that is cool. A male takes over the same melody. This is a short song with her still singing with ethnic instruments including percussion.
This is an uptempo tune with tasteful guitar melodies. Vocals and heavy riffs follow with background synths. There is some intricate, acoustic guitar and synths.
A female vocal melody, synths, piano and drums follow. Mankind are living their lives, unaware that their lives are about to end.
Guitars and drums build in sound. We then hear spoken words, then vocals as guitars churn out the melody. There is such an uplifting guitar solo that goes on and on. Vocal melodies with drums and splashing water close out the song. Beautiful ending. This is close to being a masterpiece in my opinion, but falls just short.
Nevertheless lacking sometimes some substance or being too pompous, even naive, at moments, it's still a solid and creative release, with some great moments.
Between 3 and 4 rating. The number of instruments used is mind-boggling, from standard rock fare to violins and a host of Middle Eastern instruments that set OL apart from any other prog band you'll hear. Vocally, there's chanting, clean vocals, death growls, and spoken word. It's nice to hear an album that blends heaviness with atmosphere the way Orphaned Land does.
They are like Opeth, only with Eastern influences. Fans of prog metal can't go wrong with this allbum, especially if you love Opeth. It takes a few listens to fully understand the story and all of the nuances, but it is very rewarding when everything clicks.
Parts of it are a little boring, which detracts from the power of the album, but, for the most part, it is a remarkably original record. And yet it doesn't work for me. Though they are talented, it's just all too contrived and cheesy I'm afraid. Harsh and clean vocal styles will trade off, as will electric guitar with folksy acoustics, introducing the mixture of styles that will continue throughout the album.
The general sound of the rock here is less extreme than some metal bands, more in line with accessible bands like Riverside and Green Carnation. Even the growl portions are not going to scare anyone off as they are more than offset by pleasant singing.
The synths remain present behind the distorted guitar. Or perhaps the choral vocals will remind you of Therion-lite. A pleasant acoustic track. The first half features a lone nylon-stringed acoustic, the second half adds strings, wind, female voice, and quiet reverb-laden electric.
It's an absolute highlight. The wind and the strings lead right into "Mabool" and now we hear rain and thunder as well. Soon the strings fade and full band comes galloping back with harsher male vocals.
The synths rise a bit heavier in the mix as "Storm Still Rages" begins. Nice guitar solo around that just tears it up for several minutes. Clean vocals alternate with spoken word storytelling about the great flood. This longest track will drift towards the end adding in some pleasant acoustic and choir vocals over the heavy riffs and drums.
This song is basically the big finale as "Rainbow" is more of an acoustic "outro" albeit a very pleasant one, with birds chirping over the guitar. The CD my version at least comes with a second bonus disc featuring a live acoustic performance recorded in This nice document makes this package especially attractive to fans. The material is older stuff, not the music on "Mabool. The use of traditional instruments and many languages still could not make it compelling to me.
It's an interesting album but for me it's not quite a keeper. The songs feature a good mix of dynamics and tones, from straightforwardish heavy rockers to purely acoustic Eastern folk music. Lead vocalist Kobi Farhi sings with a pure, heavily accented voice mixed with passable growling be warned , which fits the music nicely. The overall effect is more than enough to make me ignore the very Biblical lyrics, since I am usually jamming along to the heavy rhythm and guitar work.
A shift in sound occurs as the album progresses, with the heavy riffing transitioning into thoughtfully composed symphonics. The change is very ogranic, and adds a nice variety to what might otherwise be an overwhelming listen.
While not quite on par with some of the more well known metal giants, "Mabool" holds its own well despite a few lulls in the pacing and similar sound to the band's songs. Recommended for those seeking a fresh sound within the genre.
The absolute highlights are the guitar parts, with some very fine, melodic and passionate solos. No weak tracks or fillers of any kind. It is one of those CDs you can hear from beginning to end with pleasure and awe.
I really enjoyed the creative arrangements. Special note must be given to the vocals too; the use of female backing vocals, eastern chants, spoken words and choirs is fantastic.
Acoustic guitars, ethnic instruments and varied percussion give extra colours to the overall sound. Keyboards are also very wel done. In fact, nothing is out of place here! Everything falls into place smoothly. Production is not spectacular, but more than adequate for this complex piece of work. My sample has an extra CD with 5 extra tracks recorded live with acoustic instruments only.
Here their folk roots are even more proeminent. Not really your traditional prog metal record, but a very important and unique CD that will please anyone who is interested in sometihing new. Highly recommended! With Orphaned Land it's not even possible to find out what they are all saying in their songs because it's partly sung in Hebrew and I'm not a jew or studied Hebrew so I haven't got a clue. And there we have the problem I have with this album, it's a bit too folky for me, not just the lyrics but also the instrumental aspect.
Of course that can be interesting and it's highly original to say the least but it's not my thing. On the other hand there are some very positive aspects too, for instance the guitar playing Storm still rages inside!!! This album is an enjoyable listen for more than an hour but like I said I'm being poised between positive and negative elements with this album.
The logical conclusion would be 3 stars and that's what it will be. By the way: the title track is also very interesting with the classical start. Really nice. It marries progressive metal - not quite death metal, as some think - with Middle-Eastern sounds.
Further, the inclusive, conciliatory lyrics will appeal to all who wish that troubled region well. This said, it takes more than interesting sounds and laudable sentiments to make a masterpiece.
The lyrics can be a little shallow and twee on occasion, and the music is often unconvincing, sounding more like a pastiche than a true western-eastern hybrid. The result is a rather uneven album. This album is well worth tracking down and listening to if you are a fan of progressive metal.
I can't see it as a masterpiece, and it's not quite a four-star album, but a very solid three star effort. I very much hope the band continues on to make the magnum opus they're undoubtedly capable of. But enough about this sub-genre gibberish. Lets talk about music here. As i said before, Orphaned Land have the heaviness of metal, presented in their crushing guitars and growling - like vocals, but still have that folk feeling, presented in their melodies, that are noticeably influenced by traditional arab and jewish music , use of traditional instruments of the middle - east, lyrics in hebraic and the whole progression of the album, which the album have a incredible feeling of having beginning, middle and end.
To top all that, the lyrical theme of the album is about some kind of mythological birth of the three main monotheist religions and about the story of the world flood that made Noe build the arc. Very unique approach of such touchy and dangerous theme, specially on the middle east, where religious understanding and tolerance are things with such a short supply. That approach caused the album to be a concept album. Overall Rating: Joining the terrific music, great lyrics, great theme for an album, great approach of the lyrics and with a very balanced amount of heavy and soft songs, this album is for sure a masterpiece of its own and completely deserves the 5 star rating.
I can hardly stand growling except in very small amounts and in the right places. Turns out, Orphaned Land might not fulfill that qualification of only growling in small amounts not that it is excessive or even a majority on the album , but they certainly do know when to put that out on the table. Mabool is a massive concept album with years of work put into it--and those years do show up in the level of quality throughout this bit.
I've looked and looked, but no other band seems to be able to combine so many elements and so many layers and still have the music be completely listenable. Well, no surprise based on how I started this review, but this album toys with genius and tosses it aside to go higher up the ladder. There is a very involved, very deep sort of story and message going throughout this album, one to do with the divisions of religions, especially the three that are tearing Orphaned Land's home area of Israel apart.
Blessed Be Thy Hate 3. Ornaments Of Gold 4. Seasons Unite 6. The Beloveds Cry 7. My Requiem 8. Open my eyes See only sand It shatters all life And kills the land I drown in myself Of the heat In the desert storm War of gods, you cannot deny Into damnation we shall fly I am becoming all and all becoming me When all has been said and all has been done Now it ends Can rise no sun Let thy will lead us on "But to those who believe not in the signs of God Blessed Be Thy Hate Enriched with crimson shades of pain the river runs dry Full of painful memories of happiness - together we fly And I curse you death - cold flesh of ice I see your beauty through a halo of flies Oh God prevent my fall Oh God inside my soul, Allah!
The night falls upon my wretched self And he who hath forsaken the giver of my purity And so I never cry, the night falls upon my dying eyes There's no power source left to me, and so like this I lie In this barren castle I can't find any tears My fear takes hold, I flow onto the mold Sinful souls, dark with fire Burn freeze cold with desire Heavens start to cry Crawl for me, beg for me To hear your cries Why it seems like a life that dies? The most striking thing about this, is how refined this album is for just being a demo.
You have some downright skillful guitar chops being displayed by Yossi Sassi with his riff-craft on full display with "Seasons Unite" bringing a winding gloomy crunch to the table, and "The Orphaned Land" having some of the most melodic, agile, and active guitar work on the entire album.
These stand out as clear choice picks considering just how strong both of these are. Kobi Farhi also displays a lot of range with his vocals, switching smoothly and easily between death growls and low, moody clean singing. There's a lot of talent on show here for a band who's only a bunch of teenagers at this point. They work to blend these components into maelstroms of mystic gloom and warm, infectious melodies.
Some of the best parts on this album are where Farhi sings with female vocalist Hadas Sasi to sound very rich and soothing with their harmonies. The songs can get very long, but nothing really sounds boring and they do a good job at filling the time with music that feels great and stands as very original for the time.
The variety on this album does extend to some different songwriting styles they decided to experiment with. It's a unique piece that somehow feels welcome on this album despite being so different. It's a gorgeous and elegant piece that dwells in sorrow and fits in well with the aggressive, but slow and stoic music next to it. The way they mix this in without it feeling out of place is pretty impressive.
You tend to forget that you're listening to a demo while this thing is on with how intricate the songs can get, and how clean and rich they sound. Other songs display similar complexity when they get up in length.
They do well with what they have and play their style up to the best of their abilities. The big songs are a sign of where these guys would go in the future with massive progressive epics, making for a demo that's ambitious and engaging with its variety.
Raw talent and ambition is on show with The Beloved's Cry as we see these teenage Israelis pulling out songs that are long in length and thick in texture. This also shows the beginnings of middle eastern folk metal, as these kinds of rhythms and melodies have rarely been used in metal songs before.
Even if a lot of this does smell of bands like Paradise Lost and Tiamat, Orphaned Land put an interesting spin on the sound made famous by them. If you want something similar to that with a twist, this is a fine album to check out.
It's also great for those who want to explore the origin of the snaking style of middle eastern folk metal. This is also great if you happen to already know Orphaned Land and enjoy Sahara or El Norra Alila and want to hear more.
Wrong Pictures (Original Mix), High Class - Alessandroni* - Spontaneous (Vinyl, LP), Note Swarm Hive Builders - Zach Hill And Mick Barr - Shred Earthship (CD, Album), New Horizons (Phil Dinner Remix), The Waters Burden - Richard Skelton - *Skura (DVDr), Down On Ami Ami Oni Oni Island - Betty Grable - The Pin-Up Girl (CD), Sorry, Not Sorry - Amen (2) - Death Before Musick (CD, Album), Sweet Chardonnay - Celeste Howard - Place With A View (CD, Album), Memento Z Banalnym Tryptykiem - Skrzek* • SBB • Preisner* - Skrzek • SBB • Preisner (CD), MEn Torno A Sau, Whatcha Gonna Do (Radio Edit) - Jayo Felony - Whatcha Gonna Do (CD), Ham Ne Jafa Na Seekhi (Zindagi) - Mohd. Rafi* - Down Memory Lane (Vinyl, LP), Поздравление К. Новиковой - Иосиф Кобзон - Прощальный Концерт (CD, Album)