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Orphaned Land

Experimental/Post Metal

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Orphaned Land El Norra Alila album cover
3.49 | 80 ratings | 8 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Find Yourself, Discover God (6:15)
2. Like Fire To Water (4:46)
3. The Truth Within (4:33)
4. The Path Ahead (4:16)
5. A Neverending Way (2:05)
6. Takasim (1:13)
7. Thee By The Father I Pray (3:11)
8. Flawless Believe (6:46)
9. Joy (0:42)
10. Whisper My Name When You Dream (4:35)
11. Shir Ha-ma'alot (5:02)
12. El Meod Na'ala (2:22)
13. Of Temptation Born (4:42)
14. The Evil Urge (6:08)
15. Shir Ha-shirim (1:59)

Total Time: 53:49

Bonustracks on 2006 remaster:
16. Disciples Of The Sacred Oath (5:16)
Video 1. Ornaments Of Gold
Video 2. The Evil Urge

Line-up / Musicians

- Kobi Farhi / lead & backing vocals, tapes (1,9,14,15), co-producer
- Yossi "Sassi" Saharon / lead & acoustic (9,10,14) guitars, backing vocals, co-producer
- Matti Svatitzki / rhythm & acoustic (1) guitars
- Uri Zelcha / bass
- Sami Bachar / drums, flute (1)

- Amira Salah / Arab chant (2)
- Hadas Sasi / vocals (10)
- David Sasi / vocals (11), backing vocals (7,12)
- Itzik Levi / keyboards
- Sivan Zelikoff / violin
- Felix Mizrahi / violin (6,11)
- Abraham Salman / kanun (1,7,12)
- Avi Sharon / oud (7,9,11,12), backing vocals (7,12)
- Avi Agababa / tar, duff, dumbek, darbuka, tambourine, bells
- Yariv Malka / tapes & Fx (1,9,10,14,15), shofar (15)

Releases information

Artwork: Ehud Graff

CD Holy Records ‎- HOLY 18 CD (1996, France)
CD Holy Records ‎- HOLY 18 CDx (2006, France) Remastered with a bonus track plus 2 videos

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy ORPHANED LAND El Norra Alila Music

ORPHANED LAND El Norra Alila ratings distribution

(80 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ORPHANED LAND El Norra Alila reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I love the fact that these guys are from Isreal, and that they do not hide their love for God. I guess the fact I grew up in a home where the Bible was read a lot, and believed to be God's word, has something to do with my being so intrigued with these guys. I mean I have read so much about the Isrealites and about the land where they are from. Even the name of the band has such significance. They dedicate this record to "Our Father in Heaven." Apparently "El Norra Alila" refers to the name of a song sung by the Isrealites on the Day of Atonement. This is a record that promotes peace between the Jews and the Muslims, they even bring in a guest vocalist who sings a song in Arabic.

The first song "Find Yourself, Discover God" opens with flute as the vocalist speaks the words "Find Yourself".This is followed with a heavy sound of guitars grinding away as the keys come in.There are some blistering guitar solos and riffing after 4 minutes. Yes, there is also some growling too. "Like Fire To Water" opens with some tribal-like drumming as a grinding solo comes in with growls. Catchy riffs follow as well as a scorching guitar solo. I should mention that there is a lead guitarist and a rhythm guitarist. I refer to the rhythm guitar melodies as grinding because that is what it sounds like. "The Truth Within" is an amazing song. There is a beautiful guitar solo over the vocal melody. Nice.Nice ? It's freaking awesome ! Riffs and some pretty cool drumming follows.This song blends into the next song "The Path Ahead". There are lots of growls, ripping guitar solos, and pounding drums. "A Neverending Way" opens with violin and reserved vocals as synths come in. This is such a beautiful melody. The guitar comes in grinding followed by riffs.Hell ya !

"Takasim" is really a shofah solo. There is a first time for everything I guess. "Thee By The Father I Pray" features grinding guitar as drums pound. Scorching guitar follows as the song ends with a vocal melody. "Flawless Belief" is probably my favourite song on the album. Opening with scalding guitar and great bass as heavy drums come in.The guitar is so good in this song. "Joy" is all about the percussion. "Whisper My Name When You Dream" has more incredible guitar with more not so incredible growling. "Shir Hama'alot" features more shofah and ethnic instruments and the Arabic vocals. "El Meod Na'ala" is a wall of sound with a vocal melody. "Of Temptation Born" has this grinding guitar melody as the lead guitar plays over top. Oh my ! Growls continue. "The Evil Urge" sounds like a Middle Eastern folk song with strumming acoustic guitar and vocals.There is a haunting soundscape with a monologue. "Shir Hasrihim" has no instrumentation just haunting voices.The final song "Disciples Of The Sacred Oath" opens with grinding guitar and vocals as drums pound. It's cool how they can slow down or speed up the melody so quickly.The drumming is amazing. Check out the sound at 4:40. Incredible !

This is easily a 4 star record and compared with "Mabool..." it is heavier and more metal sounding. I love them both.Their next album is being produced by Steven Wilson, I can't wait !

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars They might very well have found God, but they had not quite found themselves yet at this point

El Norra Alila was Orphaned Land's second full length album, released in 1996. After this there would be an eight year gap before their next album Mabool. While the latter can be seen as the band's breakthrough and self-realization, El Norra Alila already had most of the ingredients that make Orphaned Land into a unique band. Their interesting blend of extreme Metal and oriental or Middle-Eastern traditional music was in full flight already at this point and the musical talents of the band are hard to deny. The end result was certainly very promising, but while very eclectic and experimental, I don't find as much Prog in this album as on the following two albums (or maybe I should say that this is highly progressive but not Prog, insofar as that makes sense). Having discovered the two more recent albums first, I cannot help thinking that the long period between the present album and Mabool did the band good and helped them to evolve.

There is, like on later albums, an impressive plethora of exotic instruments, some of which I had never heard or even heard of before. Also like on later albums, there is a nice mixture of clean and growling male vocals as well as female vocals. All this creates a totally unique sound. But while I find the present album highly enjoyable and intriguing, it is not quite as memorable and effective overall as what came after. Standout tracks include A Never Ending Way and The Evil Urge, both featured on the acoustic live bonus disc of the Mabool album.

A promising album showing the way to future developments. Recommended!

Review by The Crow
3 stars El Norra Alila is another Orphaned Land's journey in search of their true sound!

And on this attempt, they added even more elements to their mix. Dozens of oriental instruments which are more prominent than in Sahara, female vocals, choirs, Arabic chants, percussion, violins... But the result is nevertheless not so far from their debut album, sounding this record too immature compared to their later works, when they truly developed their authentic sound and personality.

But the album has its moments and is rather enjoyable despite being too long and lacking more catchy melodies. They increased the epicity of the songs, with great guitar solos from the very gifted Yoshi Sassi, and they added more clean vocals and tons of keyboards, being this album more accessible and easier to hear than previous records.

The production and musicianship are also good enough, and I can imagine that this album was not easy to make!

Best Tracks: Find Yourself, Discover God (powerful opener), The Truth Within (great guitar solos), A Never-ending Way (good slow track), Of Temptation Born (the best riffs of the album), The Evil Urge (in this precious acoustic track can we hear what a great singer Kobi Fahri is)

Conclusion: it's easy to hear that the band invested great effort and that they tried really hard with El Norra Alila to surpass the quality of their debut Sahara, crafting a pair of good songs in the process (sometimes even very good)

Nevertheless, is a record that you can easily avoid if you are not a die-hard fan of the band.

My rating: ***

Latest members reviews

4 stars On their second album, Orphaned Land show that they have developed the skills to accomplish their vision of eastern death metal. They display a clever mix of death metal and middle-eastern folk, growls and clean vocals, which at the time both were a rare addition to the music world. In a world wh ... (read more)

Report this review (#308973) | Posted by MeThos_valdroa | Tuesday, November 9, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I really like this band. I like their combo of Jiddish/Arabic sound in a region of the world hellbent on confrontations between these two cultures. This is why I am so disappointed every time I am listening to their albums. The sound is very good here. The use of downtuned guitars and death g ... (read more)

Report this review (#249262) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Monday, November 9, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This second album proofed that the band have quite improved since ‘Sahara’. Production is no longer a problem here. This album obviously has better sound quality than their previous album. ‘El Norra Alila’ has more Arabic folk elements than their debut. You’ll hea ... (read more)

Report this review (#119669) | Posted by kazansky | Wednesday, April 25, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This was the first album I had ever heard by Orphaned Land, and it easily rivals Mabool. The mix is much more metal based, but the melodies are VERY creative. This album tends to put thelistener in a trance, with its doomy hypnotic sections reminiscent of middle eastern folk. At other times, i ... (read more)

Report this review (#103207) | Posted by Quietus | Friday, December 15, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The first album I heard from Orphaned Land was "Mabool" and I was stunned by how good they were at mixing israeli and oriental music with metal. Then I listened to "El Norra Alila" and I was again surprised to see that even in their early years they were distinguishing themselves so well from any ... (read more)

Report this review (#80387) | Posted by Dr4Wazo | Monday, June 5, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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