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Orphaned Land

Experimental/Post Metal

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Orphaned Land Sahara album cover
3.41 | 67 ratings | 5 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Part I - Sahara:
1. The Sahara's Storm (8:00)
2. Blessed Be Thy Hate (9:23)
3. Ornaments Of Gold (7:09)
4. Aldiar Al Mukadisa - The Holy Land Of Israel (3:14)
- Part II - The Beloved's Cry:
5. Seasons Unite (8:32)
6. The Beloveds Cry (4:34)
7. My Requiem (8:28)
8. Orphaned Land - The Storm Still Rages Inside... (9:12)

Total Time: 57:47

Bonus tracks on 2002 remaster:
9. Above You All (4:57)
10. Pits Of Despair (4:20)
11. The Beloved's Cry (remix) (10:05)

Total Time: 77:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Kobi Farhi / vocals
- Yossi "Sassi" Saharon / guitars, oud
- Matti Svatitzki / rhythm guitar
- Itzik Levi / keyboards, sampler, piano
- Uri Zelcha / bass
- Sami Bachar / drums

- Hadas Sasi / vocals
- Amira Salah / Arab vocals
- synagogue "Heve Israel" / background vocals
- Albert Dadon / darbuka
- Abraham Salman / kanun
- Hangis Han / remix (11)

Releases information

Artwork: Gil Pasternak (photo of The Blue Mosque, Istanbul) with Uri Zelcha & Kobi Farhi (logo)

CD Holy Records ‎- HOLY 07 CD (1994, France)
CD Holy Records ‎- HOLY 07 CD (2002, France) Remastered by Itzick Filiba with 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy ORPHANED LAND Sahara Music

ORPHANED LAND Sahara ratings distribution

(67 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ORPHANED LAND Sahara reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sagichim
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars What?? as of this time this album doesn't even reach the 3 stars mark?? I'm wondering if I have the same cd?? I have a lot of underrated albums to write about but this has to be the most underrated of them all , I truely don't know why??

I have never heard such a great fuse of styles before, done so well and with such a natural quality to it, mixing death metal with a middle eastern/arabic falvor and jewish folk... well it's not really folk but more of traditional jewish prayers. 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!). Like many of their hardcore fans I too consider Sahara to be Orphaned Land's best album, putting aside their creativity and excellent song writing that is amazing for a debut, it has a very unique atmosphere to it that I can't really express with words. It always seemed to me like the band didn't really try to make a progressive metal album because of inspiration they got from other western bands, it looks like a more natural approach, to mix metal with their family origin music which lies on prayers.

The arrangements are far more clever than just play some death metal riffing and then stop and have an arabic interlude, this isn't really mixing. The metal riffing and phrases are 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 keyboards here play a small roll but is extremely vital and add so much to the atmosphere. what I love most about this album is that the riffs are changing so quickly, Yossi Sassi is simply brilliant, putting together amazing riff after the other, everything is constructed so well. 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 albums which they consider perfect, meaning every drum roll is in the right place every note is essential and if you could you wouldn't change anything, well this one is no different.

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 so 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. Man 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 fantastic, his growling have a lot of power and energy like they should, they are mixed with clear vocals as he goes along and see fit. And of course the master of all yossi sassy on 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, 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, he doesn't have that death metal look at all. 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. 5 stars for this exceptional debut, totally essential prog music.

Review by The Crow
3 stars Debut full length album from Orphaned Land, one of the most original and disruptive death metal bands of the 90!

The production sounds old school and dusty these days, being the guitars the most damaged part of the album, among the noisy drums. But the extensive of oriental instruments like oud, darbuka and kanun, together with the powerful Kobi Fahri's vocals make this album more attractive than tons of other death metal records from the 90's.

Sadly, the songwriting is a bit irregular and sometimes even boring in the Sahara part of the record, being the compositions which come from The Beloved's Cry demo the best ones. However, the mystic and attractive mixture of their music among the prog approach to extreme metal will surely appeal both death metal hounds and prog archeologists.

Best Tracks: The Sahara's Storm, Season Unite, The Beloved's Cry.

Conclusion: dusty, poorly produced (despite the recent remaster) and too old school, Sahara is otherwise an enjoyable prog- metal album which still is one of the wildest death metal adventures of the 90's and a true example of how to mix very different musical (and not only musical) cultures.

To be tasted with the right perspective.

My rating: ***

Latest members reviews

3 stars Sahara is a great debut album by then Israeli youngsters. There weren't many other bands back in 1994 that would be willing and also accomplish mixing so many different music styles together. First and foremost, this is an oriental mixture of death/doom metal with occassional blast beast (1994 wa ... (read more)

Report this review (#2120701) | Posted by sgtpepper | Wednesday, January 23, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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 g ... (read more)

Report this review (#223070) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, June 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 Met ... (read more)

Report this review (#119668) | Posted by kazansky | Wednesday, April 25, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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