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AMASEFFER

Progressive Metal • Israel


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Amaseffer biography
Formed By Erez Yohanan in June of 2004 in Israel, Amaseffer is a band who's opening trio of albums is a concept piece focusing on the exodus biblical story. The name AMASEFFER in fact literally refers to the name of Israelites in the Bible which means, "People Of The Holy Book". After recruiting the rest of the members of the band including guitarist Yuval Kramker and another guitarist by the name of Hanan Avramovich, the band started a search for a lead singer which lead them to Vanden Plas frontman Andy Kuntz. However, after a long period unavoidable delays both parties decided to split and three piece AMASEFFER was forced to begin their search once more. During a long period of recording and uncompromised auditions the band was finally mentioned a singer which would be able to work on the album, and that was Mats Leven who had formally worked with acts such as Yngwie Malmsteen. Finally, four years after the project was started the band had a finished album which was soon picked up for release. To make comparisons to other bands the first and easiest band to compare them to is fellow Israelis ORPHANED LAND with their heavy metal sound mixed with Egyptian and world influences with a kind of 'film-score' sound according to founding man Erez Yohanan.

Their first cd "Slaves For Life" exhibits the years of work and effort put into it, a strong concept album with lengthy songs and a lot of variety making it a very good listen for those who like their music heavy. Although the concept may be religious it certainly does not take away from the music if you're not a religious person, having a strong story and a well done away of approaching the topic, this is far from a church hymn. With the core of the band being three members, one Drummer and two Guitar players the band has a long list of guest players on their first album, "Slaves For Life" which gives them a very large and full sound. The trio's modo, as they proudly proclaim, is "Anything goes!" and it works very well.

With two more cds to complete their opening trilogy, AMASEFFER is off to a strong start and are highly recommended to fans of prog metal.

Bio wriiten by King By-Tor, Canada



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Discography:
Slaves for Life, studio album (2008)
...

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Slaves For LifeSlaves For Life
Inside Out Music 2008
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3.91 | 101 ratings
Slaves For Life
2008

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AMASEFFER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Slaves For Life by AMASEFFER album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.91 | 101 ratings

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Slaves For Life
Amaseffer Progressive Metal

Review by Memo_anathemo

5 stars Amaseffer created an extraordinary album of progressive metal, I would consider it one of the best conceptual progressive metal albums I've heard. Pretty similar in the concept and a bit in the style to Mabool by Orphaned Land. This album focuses on the Exodus of the Jewish out of Egypt, described in the Old Testament of the Bible. The album has impressive orchestration passages combined with eastern folk music and of course, metal! I like the hints they give to death metal in some parts (if you are listening to the album and imagining the complete scenes in each song, you may imagine the growling voice as the intense moments where the pharaoh persecuted the jewish, or when the plagues fell down on Egypt, astonishing!). There are some tracks that are completely instrumental, focusing on the folklore of the region. All the album is incredible from beginning to end. I dare to say: 5 stars

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 Slaves For Life by AMASEFFER album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.91 | 101 ratings

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Slaves For Life
Amaseffer Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Amaseffer is an excellent prog metal band from Israel with so far one album rleased in 2008 at SPV named Slave for life. Man I was totaly blown away by this album, specialy by the vocal parts, I mean Mats Leven is a killer vocalist, I truly love his tone of voice, fits perfectly in this kind of music. The music as you might guess is prog metal with arabic elements, melted very well in the music, gives to the listner a solid release full of mesmerazing moments. The narrations, the vocal parts, the instrumental passages are top notch, I guess I never heared, in prog metal at least ,such tight combination between metam and arabic arrngemnts and in same tame so succesfully puted together like on this album. Some excellent and killer pieces are to me: title track, awesome , top notch track, Leven's voice is superb, deep and very powerfull, Birth Of Deliverance another super prog metal piece melodic and in same time complex and Burning Bush, the rhythmic section here has no equal realy, ther guitar is not of this earth here, the rest of the pieces are ok some of them great but not realy outstanding, only good. Even the album is great overall , something I trace as unenjoyble, at least from my side, the album is to much time, in fact all the time mid tempo, here are not faster instrumental moments or bursting keybords or guitars, everything is well made, paiced, but to little monotounous in same parts and only because the album is too slow but never the less good, that for sure. I will give 3.5 rounded to 4 only because those 3 pieces that are simply killer prog metal tunes. Nice album, well performed well played. Similar at some point with, if I make abstraction of the arabic influences with Pagan's Mind, Beyound Twilight. Looking forward for their next release probably will be out this year 2011 named When lions leave their den.

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 Slaves For Life by AMASEFFER album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.91 | 101 ratings

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Slaves For Life
Amaseffer Progressive Metal

Review by arcane-beautiful

4 stars For some odd reason, music, mainly metal, and a very strong presence of Progressive Metal from the East has become very popular.

Bands like Orphaned Land have now become quite big, even though they have been around for a few years, and new bands like Myrath have now become targets for music lovers. It really has become a talent hotspot. Who would have thought of looking in Israel?

This band is almost like an eastern equivalent to Ayreon, with concept albums, guest vocalists and long epic songs. Most of the vocals are done by Mats Leven, who has done some amazing work with Therion.

The concept of the album is based on Exodus, mainly the story of Moses trying to free Jewish slaves from the pharaoh of Egypt. Quite well crafted and very dramatic, to be honest.

At times, the odd melodies aren't as melodious, but you have to take into consideration the Eastern influence, with their music, being scales, chords modes being different to Western music.

1. Sorrow - Beautiful intro. Nice atmosphere. 9/10

2. Slaves For Life - Very dramatic and an amazing vocal performance from Mats. Great arrangement, with the Arabic influences adding a deep texture to the music. 9/10

3. Birth Of Deliverance - The orchestral intro is very beautiful. Quite a kick ass song. Love the eeriness of the song. Mats vocals at the end are astounding and incredibly beautiful. 10/10

4. Midian - Some odd dramatic changes. Angela Gossows (Arch Enemy) vocals are quite impressive. She really is the best female growler there is. 9/10

5. Zipporah - Beautiful arrangement. The female vocals are very beautiful. Best song on the album. 10/10

6. Burning Bush - The arrangement reminds me of Pain Of Salvation. Vocally, Mats sounds like he should be doing Geoff Tates job in Operation: Mindcrime. 8/10

7. Wooden Staff - Very atmospheric instrumentally based song. Nice instrumental work. 9/10

8. Return To Egypt - Cool eastern influence throughout. 8/10

9. 10 Plagues - Mats vocals are amazing. The lyrics are great and to the point. 10/10

10. Land Of The Dead - Quite a sad ending. Leading up to the next album I hope.

CONCLUSION: This is part 1 of a trilogy, and the next one "When The Lions Leave Their Den", should be just as interesting. If you like metal with an Eastern influence, I suggest buying this album, and Orphaned Lands new one.

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 Slaves For Life by AMASEFFER album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.91 | 101 ratings

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Slaves For Life
Amaseffer Progressive Metal

Review by FarBeyondProg

5 stars Although I would call them more of a project than a band as such Amaseffer are a progressive metal band from Isreal, this being there first album i gotta say its EPIC, i mean beyond compare, blending a fantastic mix of Symphonic, Progressive metal and what appears to be Middle Eastern Folk music they are a three piece band (with the addition of the awsome Mats Leven on vocals, they even have Angela Gossow doing some really cool vocals on the song MIDIAN)

Concept wise the album is the first in a series of albums about the story of Exodus, from the Hebrew slavery period in Egypt to the enterance of the 12 tribes of Isreal to the promised land of Canaan, and the album sound i hear you say? Well its nothing short of a masterpiece, the only small gripe i had with this album was SOME of the vocals, not all of them, just some, i dunno, sometimes i felt Mats wasnt really putting his all into them, i could feel the passion and intensity of a lot of the songs for example in the song BIRTH OF DELIVERANCE and MIDIAN the song i was talking about before, it was on songs like the title track SLAVES FOR LIFE and even in the folk tinged beauty of ZIPPORAH that i kinda got bored with his vocals, but thats really about it with the gripes, the rest of the album was very very strong with the concept really shining through and really enjoyable to get into, the way all histroy should be looked into i reckon;

Sorrow - (Just an intro really) 8/10 Slaves For Life - 8/10 Birth Of Deliverance - 10/10 Midian - 10/10 Zipporah - 9/10 Burning Bush - 8/10 The Wooden Staff - 8/10 Return To Egypt 8/10 Ten Plagues 10/10 Land Of The Dead 10/10

My conclusion is this...this is yet another incredible modern day prog masterpiece with real potential to be a classic for years to come, if your a fan of Orphaned Land or any of the bands Mats Leven was in (Therion, Krux, At Vance) then you really should love this.

9.5/10 = 5 stars

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 Slaves For Life by AMASEFFER album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.91 | 101 ratings

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Slaves For Life
Amaseffer Progressive Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Another excellent metal project from Israel!

It's clear that Amaseffer was born under the shadow of the marvellous band Orphaned Land... They are an obvious influence for Erez Yohanan and his fellows. Some parts of this album could have been taken from the masterpiece Orphaned Land album "Mabool", although they are obviously under the quality of the Kobi Fahri's band. Kobi himself make an essential contribution in "Slaves for Life", singing all the oriental voices... We can listen to him in almost every song of the album, singing really beautiful oriental melodies, maybe even better than he did in "Mabool".

But talking about influences, Amaseffer have also a lot from other seminal metal band... Therion! It's obvious in the orchestral arrangements, and some guitars riffs and sounds, wich are very similar to the Christofer Johansson's band. And the egyptian melodies of the album, seems also have been taken from Therion's "Theli". Of course, the presence of Mats Leven, who singed in three Therion albums, is also a proof of the influence of the great swedish band!

The story of the album, like "Mabool", follows a biblical theme... In the Orphaned Land album was the Flood, and here is about the first part of Moses's tale, from his birth to the ten plagues he helped to throw over Egipt. For helping the story, the band uses a lot of sound effects, readigns and a some cinematic orchestral arrangements. Specially the beginning of Birth of Deliverance could have been taken from an adventures film soundtrack. And a very good one!

Another great fact of the album, are the invited musicians... Aparts from the orchestra and the choir, the singers are also very well chosen. Mats Leven makes a very convincent role as the narrator of the story. His cratchy and high voice can be a bit difficult at first, but after a few listenings we can see that he is an important part of the success of the album. Arch Enemy's Angela Gossow makes also a good role in Midian, although it's very short... Maya Avraham is also excellent in Zipporah, being just great hearing her voice mixed with Kobi Fahri`s one in Zipporah. And of course, this album would not have been the same without the Orphaned Land's singer and frontman... Kobi give all his soul here, although it's just a contribution. You have only to hear Return to Egypt to realise how much this man has improved, and what a great singer he is!

Best tracks: Slaves for Life (here we can notice the Therion influences...), Birth of Deliverance (I love the orchestral intro, the lyrics are beautiful, and the final part makes me have goosebumps...), Zipporah (a track very similar to Ophaned Land's Building the Ark, but still beautiful...) and Ten Plagues (good closing track, with a marvellous chorus...)

Conclusion: although Amaseffer are heavily influenced by Orphaned Land and Therion, and they are not precisely surprising if you've heard these bands, they managed to make a very convincent album, with splendid cinematic arrangements, and some great prog metal songs... The contributions are brilliant, specially the singers, and the production is spectacular. So "Slaves for Life" is a very worthy first part of a supposed biblical trilogy, that I'd like Amaseffer could end.

My rating: ****

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 Slaves For Life by AMASEFFER album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.91 | 101 ratings

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Slaves For Life
Amaseffer Progressive Metal

Review by AstralliS

5 stars It has been a while since I wanted to write a review for this newcomers' album called "Slaves For Life" released by Inside Out. Thus, the fact they engrossed this quality label, tells you a lot. So let's start.

Amaseffer comes from Hebrew word which could be convincted as "People of the Holy Book". Imagined to be presented as the trilogy which concept is based under exodus biblical story. What we've got here is the story of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt. Amaseffer served ten, highly produced perfectly performed, songs which will keep your attention "on" all the time during listening this album. History of Amaseffer dates back in 2004, when Erez Yohanan decided to devote himself to researching historical facts of the above mentioned events. Shortly, after few weeks Yuval Kramer joined Erez, on guitars and a year latter they have got another member, second guitarist Hanan Avramovich. There were spoken that Andy Kuntz (Vanden Plas) should take participation as a singer, but unfortunately after many delays, both sides decided that's better to move forward and push luck with some other singer. After so many auditioning, they finally found spark in Mats Leven, who worked with Krux, Therion, Yngwie Malmsteen and Fatal Force. His joining represented really good stroke, what can be heard on the album. The album has recruited excellent line up, which, beside the standard one, contains: Kobi Farhi (Orphaned Land), who did perfect job with oriental vocals, Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy), Yotam Avni who performed growl vocals, Maya Avraham, Amir Gvirtzman, which flutes give indescribable atmosphere to the album, Yatziv Caspi, Yair Yona. The album has been recorded on several locations, in Germany, Israel, Sweden. Mastering is done by Markus Teske.

After this introduction parts, I want to surrender myself to music and try express the emotions it takes. It's very hard to place Amaseffer under some specific subgenre, but the sense which occupied me during listening album is that like you are watching the movie which plot could be described through the lyrical concept of the album. Soundtrack's atmospehere is maybe most approximative to determination of Amaseffer's sound. Atmospheric and ambient lines give some special grace in this musical journey, and it's easy to notice that every second, every moment while you are listening the album will be astonishing for you, listeners. Ethnic/oriental parts are something what push your adrenaline, and this album concerns of them. Someone will tell that it became a cliche, but for the people who comes from country which culture is based under that, it can be accepted with certainty it's perfectly done. Now, while I'm listening the album, I'm hearing the notes of Kamelot's bombastic symphonic sound, Evergrey's "darkness", classical guitar work taken from the best of heavy metal, Opeth's acoustics, Therion's harmonies, Symphony X's aggressiveness... If you notice something more, feel free to add. I don't know what are the members' influences, but they collected all the quality and mix it up. The art they created will find its place and stay engraved on the walls of historical legacy, exactly on the way as the concept of this story is remembered. This holiness has place in the shrine of the past and following times. I don't want to interrupt the story album carries, by separating the highlights, it's absolutely inconceivable to do. Every track reffers to previous and following ones. There's nothing more to say, check this achievement out, it will "buy" you completely. I already know what?s my choice for the best album in 2008.

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 Slaves For Life by AMASEFFER album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.91 | 101 ratings

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Slaves For Life
Amaseffer Progressive Metal

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Pretty good debut album by this Israeli outfit; which sounds like a band we'll be hearing more from in the coming years.

Their take on music has a unique appeal to it for starters; mixing slow, metal-dominated segments with symphonic orchestrated sounding parts and atmospheric moods where spoken words - in Yiddish - and synths often are the only elements.

The compositions and arrangements are all majestic and pompous - the synths are layered and massive, the guitars just the same when used, and even the vocals come across in this manner.

The main element separating this release from other pompous releases in a prog metal setting are the impulses from middle-eastern music; melodies, vocals and rhythms all have that distinct mood about them that these are indeed performances written and executed somewhere in this region.

Main weakness on this release are compositional structure. The band can't quite seem to decide whether this is a prog rock/metal album or if it is a slightly elaborated soundtrack. This results in tunes high on mood and atmosphere but often lacking drive and tension in certain key parts of the songs.

Still, this is a good release, and one to check out if you fancy something new and distinct in you music collection.

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 Slaves For Life by AMASEFFER album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.91 | 101 ratings

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Slaves For Life
Amaseffer Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars King By-Tor first introduced me to this band before they were even on this site. I listened to some of their songs on their MySpace site and was very impressed with the middle-Eastern sound combined with that heaviness, which made me think of ORPHANED LAND. Both bands are from Isreal of course. This particular record is a concept album about Isreal who were in slavery in Egypt, and Moses who would be used by God to eventually deliver them. We don't get that far on this album though as it ends with the 10 plagues. What I love about this recording is the singing done mostly by THERION vocalist Mats Levin. He's amazing ! The Hebrew vocals are done by ORPHANED LAND's Kobi Farhi, and we get some growls on one track by ARCH ENEMY's Angela Gossow. There is a lot of orchestration and samples as well. It's all done so well that i'm not even going to complain about the concept being more important than the music like I usually do. Hey after all this is based on God's word about the history of his people. In fact AMASEFFER means "People of the Book".

"Sorrow" opens with samples, spoken words, acoustic guitar and flute. Samples end it. "Slaves For Life" opens with vocal melodies with a heavy atmosphere. Drums arrive a minute in as it gets heavy. Vocals follow with marching-like drums. The guitar lets loose before 4 1/2 minutes. Drums and vocal melodies end it. "Birth Of Deliverance" opens with orchestration. Vocals come in and are spoken. A melody 3 minutes in. I like it. It ends a minute later. Vocals get passionate 4 1/2 minutes in. Powerful soundscape 6 1/2 minutes in as guitar grinds away. Another good melody 9 1/2 minutes in (like at 3 minutes). "Midian" opens with orchestration before a haunting atmosphere arrives after a minute with flute. Vocal melodies join in. A nice heavy sound 2 1/2 minutes in followed by vocals. I like when Pharoah comes in with the growling vocals 5 1/2 minutes in. Just the best part on the whole album because it's so dramatic and powerful. A sudden change 6 1/2 minutes in as acoustic guitar and reserved vocals arrive as Moses contemplates things. Moses is on the run after killing an Egyptian. "Zipporah" is the name of the Midian woman that Moses would marry. Female vocal melodies and samples. This is a fairly mellow track with male and female vocals.

"The Burning Bush" opens with the sound of the bush burning as you can hear Moses working away, then suddenly he gasps at what he sees. A bush on fire that isn't being consumed. Cool guitar melody as vocals come in. Piano joins in and then a heavier sound takes over. I like the lyrics here as Moses says there is no way he can lead Isreal out Egypt. "Who am I at all". God would later call him the most humble man on the whole earth. "Wooden Staff" has a powerful intro. Whispered vocals come in as the guitar cries out. Heavy drums 3 1/2 minutes in as guitar starts to solo. Great sound. Multi vocals come in as the instruments start to each disappear. "Return To Egypt" features orchestration, percussion and mournful vocal melodies. "Ten Plagues" features spoken words that come and go as well as thunder and explosive sounds, heavy riffs etc. all depicting God's judgement against the Egyptians. "Land Of The Dead" refers to the final plague where God's angel came into each Egyptian household and killed the firstborn. A death march solemnly beats as vocals come in around 1 1/2 minutes. The sound gets fuller. Some tasteful guitar 4 1/2 minutes in. Lyrics like "The eye of RA will see no more, the sun that lights his kingdom's shores, a kingdom that became a grave, is now the liberty of every Hebrew slave". It ends with "There is no single soul left in Egypt that can be called "alive"."

A solid 4 stars and I can't wait for their next record as they continue the story.

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 Slaves For Life by AMASEFFER album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.91 | 101 ratings

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Slaves For Life
Amaseffer Progressive Metal

Review by The T
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars AMASEFFER is a relatively new band here in ProgArchives. They just released their debut, "Slaves for Life" less than one month ago. They have been heralded ever since as one of the most promising bands in the progressive-metal genre. Though I agree with the "promising" part, I think they still have a long way to go.

The music that this Israeli band has created is epic, Hollywood-esque in proportions, written for a story that is one of the biggest ever invented: the exodus of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt. For such a huge concept, the band had to deliver a score of similar proportions: gigantic, larger-than-life, heroic. AMASEFFER has partly managed to do all of that, but sadly, they've also emulated one of the most evident aspects of the original tale of the Old Testament: a weak structure, and a lack of character.

The tale in the Old Testament never decides what it truly is. At one point we think it's a marvelous story of courage, at other we may think of it as a warning, but also it can be taken as a pointless depiction of cruelty and a weird narration of madness coming from an intolerant god. The same can be said about the score that AMASEFFER has created for this tale. It never is clear what this music really is. Is it a film score? Is it a metal album? Is it a power-metal record? Is it a religious offering? The problem really lies in the music here. The metal/progressive parts are scattered throughout the album, lost among endless orchestral-only parts that sound like coming straight from Hollywood, and oriental-music pieces, with Hebrew rhythms and melodies, which take the album closest to folk territory.

Now, let me explain why I think this is not a really good thing. Of course music that fuses elements is to be highly regarded, and so I would do if this was an example of that, of an album where all genres coexist and, most importantly, are mixed together to create something different. But in "Slaves for Life", the Hebrew parts sound just like that, Hebrew-oriental music; the progressive- metal parts sound like progressive-metal parts, traditional and rather derivative; the orchestral sections don't have a perfect relation with the other two, neither do the other relate perfectly with each other. The album, thus, suffers from a constant change of styles that seem to happen for no other reason but just because it can be done. For a better example of how to properly create a progressive-metal album a la Hebrew, listen to ORPHANED LAND's "Mabool - The Story of the Three Sons of Seven".

The problem is that the music never flows as smoothly as it could with a better musical direction here. Real metal songs there aren't any (I can hardly recall any chorus, just for a minor example), memorable riffs are not what this album seems to be about, neither is it displays of technical proficiency. With this elements out, the album has problems as a metal record, and it's also never really believable as a folk/orchestral album, as the metal parts actually sound quite odd when one tries to listen to the disc with that perspective in mind.

Now, don't get me wrong. The idea is brilliant, is just weakly executed. The musicianship of the band (what shines through at least) is quite good, and the vocalist (which is never given a real chance to display his power) is one of the best metal singers I've heard in the last years. Sadly, his voice appears only for a few minutes every now and then, as we have to endure the obligatory gimmicky Hebrew section just when things start to look bright.

As a metal album, it's weak. As a progressive album, is just OK. As a piece of awkward music with no real defined character, is quite enjoyable. For its enormous potential and the excellent idea behind the record, I give it 3 stars. With less playing around and more song-writing (with emphasis on the "song" part) it would have deserved a 4th star. And with the promise I hear in AMASEFFER, I hope their next album goes even higher, and reaches the levels I know they're capable of reaching.

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 Slaves For Life by AMASEFFER album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.91 | 101 ratings

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Slaves For Life
Amaseffer Progressive Metal

Review by Absurdity

4 stars This is easily the best new release I've come across in 2008. Sweeping orchestrations along with heavy middle eastern instrumentation and ambiance contribute to a very epic sounding metal release.

The lyrics recall the story of exodus up until moses frees the Jews from Egypt. However, this is not a religious release. It's just a concept album based on an old story. You don't have to be religious to enjoy this album at all. Trans-Siberian Orchestra sounds more religious than Amaseffer.

Listen to a sample of the album and you can get a pretty good idea if you will like it or not. If they can keep up this level of quality, I can see Amaseffer as the next big thing from Israel.

If you like the sound of Orphaned Land, check this record out.

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Thanks to King By-Tor for the artist addition. and to TheProgtologist for the last updates

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