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Orphaned Land - All Is One CD (album) cover

ALL IS ONE

Orphaned Land

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.85 | 191 ratings

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Sagichim
3 stars Not living up to the standards...

"All Is One" is Orphaned Land's fifth album, an album which is trying to keep a positive momentum and justify the good reviews the band's were getting for the past few years, placing them justifiably in the top of the most promising prog metal acts today. I'm sure the band is very proud of themselves for releasing this album, they are exactly where they want to be. As far as they are concerned they found the perfect fusion between pure ethnic material and metal music. If you were following closely their first four albums you could certainly see how the band's music and approach are slightly changing. In their two previous albums the band included a few tracks which weren't trying to be complex or to have an 8 minute of ever changing music kind of song (Sapari, norra el norra), but on the other hand trying to follow a good and strong melody. The outcome was strong songs that blended perfectly with the rest of the material giving you a break from the more challenging material. Here this approach seems to be more apparent, the songs tend to be a little more humbled, only this time they are not strong anymore. So what went wrong here? The main problem with this album, and it has a few, is simply the lack of strong material. Until recently I thought this is one band that could do no wrong, I must admit that I was terribly wrong.

When I first heard about the album and read what singer Mr. Farhi had to say about it, I thought I was in for a special treat. This album is suppose to be bigger than before, the band incorporated more than 40 musicians to help them achieve a fuller and reacher sound, the acoustic oriental parts are playing even a bigger roll than before. So how big is the change? For my taste it is very big. The songs are much more simpler, no more 8 minute songs of complex riff after riff like in their debut, and no more dark haunting atmospheres. This is evident the most in the guitar department, Yossi Sassy (who have released his first solo album last year) is playing much more power chords instead of those amazing and inventive leads he used to play. Most of the songs are trying to focus on a melody or a certain theme including an orchestral instrumentation which sometimes reminds me of what Led Zeppelin have done in their oriental 1994 No Quarter project. The acoustic parts are overall good but I'm missing the gentle beauty those same parts had in their previous album. Don't get me wrong it's not a bad album in any way, I was just expecting something much much better.

"All Is One" is the least progressive album the band have recorded and it is also the least metalic. The growling vocals have been reduced to minumum and they are almost completely gone, Farhi is often using his clean voice along with some very emotional and soulful singing, something he really developed and got very good at over the years. In spite of the album being less progressive it Still can satisfy the progressive listener due to its rich instrumentation and a few songs that can certainly be considered as prog. I won't go into each song because it will take forever, I'll just describe them in general.

Most of the songs have something in common. They are short songs (4 to 5 minutes) which follow one beautiful melody, are they among the best melodies the band have to offer? No they are certainly not. The fusion of oriental themes played by exciting and original instruments and powerful riffs is very strong, it seems the band have found the way to blend them perfectly until they are locked as one, I believe this is the reason why Kobi Farhi stated that this is Orphand Land's best album. While they did manage to do so, the songs fail to really catch and excite me. There are two songs that can evoke the older and progier songs the band have done, "Fail" and "Our Own Messiah". Not even does the album sound more oriental it also sound much more symphonic than before

In conclusion I am sad to say that this album doesn't live to its potential, it doesn't have any killer tracks or doesn't break any new ground, of course there are some really good moments every now and then, but generally I don't even remotely have the excitement I get while listening to any of their previous albums. I hope I am not witnessing one of my favorite band's decline. I would advise for newcomers to start with any of their previous albums before going into this. Even though the band have shifted gears I would be very pleased to see the rest of their fans embracing them as always, I know I do. 3.5 stars.

Sagichim | 3/5 |

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