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Orphaned Land - Sahara CD (album) cover


Orphaned Land

Experimental/Post Metal

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2 stars Orphaned Land’s music is a mix between death metal and Arabic folklore. The idea itself is quite unique and original too. There’re probably lots of Folk Metal bands already out there, but you won’t find this kind of mixture quite often. Basically, Orphaned Land is a death Metal band, but they’re influenced with Arabic folk and Jewish tradition that make them unique, as well as progressive. This debut album is probably not their best, but it’s already showed a good start.

Into the tracks:

The opening track ‘The Sahara’s Storm’ start with guitar solo with some folk atmosphere in the background provided by some percussions. Then the drum beat kicks off and the vocal enter the song and followed by some nice keyboard works. You can feel a quite good combination of metal and folk by the band here. ‘Blessed be Thy Hate’ started with some guitar riffs and medium tempo. This track has some tempo shifting and quite nice melody and solos in some parts.

‘Ornaments of Gold’ is a heavy track. This track sounds more like just a death metal song, there’s only a little of folk influences here. There’s a nice keyboard works near the end. ‘Aldiar Al Mukadisa - The Holy Land of Israel’ gives you quite strong traditional feelings. Starts with some singing and then followed by some sort of speaking and nice acoustic Arabic folk melody. The next track, ‘Seasons Unite’ starts with some heavy riffs and some bass lines. This track also has stronger metal elements here.

‘The Beloved’s Cry’ is a quite nice acoustic track. It starts with some guitar tunes, followed by a male vocal and then some female vocal too. ‘My Requiem’ is a rather slow track with heavy riffs and some quite good guitar solos. The tempo becomes faster in the middle for a while, and then slowed down a bit. The album closed with ‘Orphaned Land - The Storm Still Rages Inside...’ This track has some good and quite cool guitar solos, and some nice acoustic part with traditional feelings in the middle towards the end.

Overall, I think this album isn’t a bad effort. There isn’t a really great track though. Most of them are mediocre tracks, with some good parts in it. Personally I don’t really like this album. I consider that’s because I’m never really into death metal myself. Apart from the sound quality, my biggest problem here is the vocals though. I don’t really mind the growling, except in some parts. The clean vocals however, sound just plain and a bit irritating lots of the times. The album was not well produced too, IMO. The sound quality isn’t really good. Nevertheless, I’ll give this album 5 out of 10, two and a half stars.

This album has stronger metal elements than folklores, so maybe this album would appeal better to death metal fans.

Report this review (#119668)
Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars I remember the release of this album well. It really stood out in the scene. Their record label Holy Records was very highly rated at that time and I have only fond memories from that time. I have just googled them and found out that they still exsist. That honestly made my day !

I have a great deal of both respect and admiration for Orphaned Land. They mixed Arabic and Jewish folk music in a time where the Palestinians and the Jews was bitterly fighting over some land. Orphaned Land mixed this with death/doom metal and the result was their demo and this album.

The music here is not particular great. The merging of death and folk music is not satisfactory. It like oil floating on the top of water. Some female vocals are nice, but fragments this album and the result is a game in two halves. Death/doom metal with some folk music inbetween. The music is not particular exciting too. It is too generic doom metal. Doom with death growls. But I have heard worse albums than this one. It is an OK album, but nothing more.

The excellent artwork also deserve mentioning. Holy Records always created visual artworks and this album is no exception. The artwork on this album is excellent and one of their best.

2.5 stars

Report this review (#223070)
Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars what?? this album doesn't even reach the 3 stars mark?? do we even have the same cd?? i have a lot of underated albums to write about but this one is the most underated of them all , i truely don't know why??

never have i ever heard such great fuse of styles before , fusing death metal with arabic falvour and jewish folk... well it's not folk it is jewish sinagog singing. i got this album the year it came out and have been a real fan of the band ever since ( i also love the fact that they are from my home town ), i must say that all the hardcore fans consider this album as the best one in their catalogue and of course i do too , in their concerts people always shouting "old songs , old songs" , that doesn't mean the new stuff isn't worth 5 stars too , but this one is special.

i really don't think orphaned land tried to make progressive metal music because they knew some bands from the west and said that's cool let's do that too , i think they just loved metal but felt they want to fuse it with some of their family origins music and the music they grew up on going to the sinagog hearing everybody singing those prayers that time, the sinagog music has such beauty but i think maybe it speaks to israelis more than others of course. that's why the music on the album has such a great falvour to it.

the band doesn't play some death metal riffing and then stop and have an arabic interlude , this is fusing from the lower degree. the metal riffing is based on arabic jewish scales which creates riffing from another planet top that with some more folky instruments like tablas , oude , kanoon and you have a real 100% progressive metal music from the highest degree . the keyboard is set perfectly to the music and adds so much to the atmosphere even if it is a small part, it's not keys a la spock's beard the sound is more folky totally interesting. what i love most about this album is that the main riff is played few times and never returns ( most of the time ) it evolves to something else and this transition is no less than perfect , sometimes i can't believe it, they are masters!!! all instruments come in the right time doing exactly what they need. drums are not just backing the band they are part of the music . everybody have those cd's that the music is a whole every drum roll is in the right place every note is essential and if you could you wouldn't change anything , for example ( and not comparing of course ) wish you were here, king crimson - red and in the court..., solar fire and more, well this one is no different IMO of course

sound....well this is one is the strangest mixed albums i heard , the old version has an overall muddy sound like was noted before but still you can hear every instrument , guitar distortion is also different which gives the music it's touch. the new version got out the mud a little bit and the album sounds better.

the first half of the album is slightly better, the second half are songs from the demo tape came out one year earlier only had been recorded again and are better played then on the demo, here they are complete!! the second half fuses the arabic element a little bit less but music is still changing and progressive. oh i like how the album ends ,when the last bang switches to clean guitar and then canoon joins in , beautiful emotional stuff , amazing!! i also have to comment on two things kobi farhi singing is amazing , growling have power and energy like they should he fuses it with clear vocals as he goes along and see fit. and of course the master of all yossi sasy ( sounds funny! ) - guitars , he just seems to have it all , the great metal riffing and the lead guitar which is played through out the entire album on top of the rhythm guitar . always phenomenal!! and of course the solos this guy is all about the feeling , check out " ornaments of gold " guitar solo at the end of the song, i feel like crying - so sad and emotional and it's only 30 seconds long , and of course " the beloveds cry" guitar solo! you should see this guy in concert he just can't get his smile off his face is so happy playing this music , he doesn't have that death metal look at all and that explains a lot. bonus tracks include 2 songs from the demo tape that wasn't rerecorded they are shorter tracks still interesting but not up par with the rest of the album , the sound is rawer , not a problem for a fan to like but doesn't show the band's potential. don't go for this album if you are a non metal fan.

i hope i managed to get through the essence of the album which is also the essnce of this band. i can't speak highly enough about this album or band, the music is engaging , brilliant, beautiful kicking ass inovative and essential!! like i said before most of the fans that knew the band before they got more famous , thinks that this album is their best and strongest , the third and forth albums that marks the band's comeback and rated here as higher are still great but doesn't have that first album vibe and magic!! for you that already know and love the band please don't let the low rating put you off at least give it a few spins you will not regret!! i think i speak for all hardcore fans here! i hope i got you curious enough, if one of you readers discover this jewel my job is done.

my rating of course is 5 stars for this exceptional debut totally essential prog music. orphaned land rules!!

Report this review (#634657)
Posted Thursday, February 16, 2012 | Review Permalink

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