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EPHRAT

Heavy Prog • Israel


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Ephrat biography
EPHRAT are a fairly young band in the world of heavy progressive music. They formed in 2005 and their current lineup is comprised of vocalist Lior SEKER, Gili ROSENBERG on bass, drummer Tomer Z, all led by the band's mastermind Omar EPHRAT, a guitarist, keyboardist, flautist, and all around multi-instrumentalist. EPHRAT's history culminated in the August/September 2008 release of their first album, 'No One's Words'. In good old prog tradition, only one song was under five minutes long.

Omar EPHRAT is very much aware of his Israeli band's heritage and is not afraid to use it. He acknowledges that the country is a mixture of European and Middle Eastern, old and new traditions, and this works its way into the band's music. Heavy metal riffage mingles freely with Eastern synth passages, and medieval acoustics stand toe-to-toe with techno beats. This eclectic nature is molded into a sound that reflects some of EPHRAT's favorite bands: classic progressive outfits like KING CRIMSON, JETHRO TULL and ELP; and more modern, heavier influences like PORCUPINE TREE, SOUNDGARDEN and Alanis MORISSETTE. All in all, EPHRAT is a diverse band that should appeal to anyone who likes their prog with a heavier bent.


- The Whistler -

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  • Haze No One's Words, 2008

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3.63 | 74 ratings
No One's Words
2008

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EPHRAT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 No One's Words by EPHRAT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.63 | 74 ratings

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No One's Words
Ephrat Heavy Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Ephrat is a band from Israel taking the name from the leader Omer Ephrat, they got only one album untill now named No One's Words released in 2008. The band got quite a lot exposure in that period among prog listners, besides the great music offered there is as guest , Daniel Gildenglow from Pain of Salvation fame and aswell Steve Wilson did the mastering and mixing. Well, what we have here is a heavy prog album with some fantstic instrumental parts, mainly the guitar is top notch. Also from time to time the atmosphere goes in middle easter direction with nice flute breaks and quite great guitar passages, similar with Amaseffer in places. The opening track The show is killer. mid tempo with fantastic guita parts, aswell the sound is awesome, giving to the listner some very fine moments. If the instrumental sections are simply amazing, I'm not so atached by the vocals , both Lior Seeker and Daniel Gildenglow did a good job, but is not the vocal style I like to hear on such music, to many times going towards Porcupine Tree kind of stuff and Pain of Salvation. Anyway , Omer Epharat really know to handle the guitar and creating some crunchy riffs that goes even on prog metal territory in places, very fine moments. Besides opening track who is my fav from the album another highlight is the instrumental Blocked, some pritty dangerous guitar moments here, really awesome. All in all a fine album for sure, I like it, minus some vocal passages who drag back the rate for me, from 4 to 3.5. 3.5 it is for No one's words, fans of crunchy heavy guitars with some keybords here and there and some flute escapades, try it worth for sure.

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 No One's Words by EPHRAT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.63 | 74 ratings

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No One's Words
Ephrat Heavy Prog

Review by slashcard

4 stars Let me state first, that as a debut piece of work, I was extremely impressed by "No One's Words". Though there are moments where you may recognize particular influential nuances, I would state that this album has a very unique sound. Whether it be the mastering, or the use of untypical chord progressions, there is a small spark found in this work that you will not find in other Prog. pieces. With this aside, I'll go into a song by song review.

The Show: This is a very peculiar track, that seems to express both very hopeful, yet detrimental demeanor. The reason I bring up the peculiarity is that, while the transition back and forth is very noticeable, you don't necessarily feel it; as the overall emotion of the song is very consistent. The first minute or so of the song, may be slightly misleading due to the heavy nature of the song that is revealed by very steady drums, and thick chord and note progressions which hit you rather hard and in the chest. There are minor acoustic allusions, to a bridge about halfway through the track, which really leaves you with a "something needs to be done" sort of feeling about. The note progressions are recognizable, yet unfamiliar to the usual Prog. premises. All in all, this is probably the third best track on the album.

Haze: This track has, what I feel to be a very eclectic feel to it. It is very heavy, and participates in a very morose demeanor. If I had to translate this particular track into an analogy, I would say this would be very much like trying to wade through a river made of pudding. Even the somewhat bright acoustic measures feel heavy. Unfortunately, I find myself somewhat unfavorable to this track, till the guitar excerpt that comes in about a minute and a half till nearly the end.

Better Than Anything: This is a very confusing, yet intriguing track. It carries a lot of sustain, and maybe a bit of Tull influence (especially the flute to guitar transition). It carries a particularly heavy demeanor for a while, but seems to carry some amount of ethereal essence to it; particularly when the vocal notions kick in. Though kicks into the drudgery once more. All in all, this track is really, quite intense.

Blocked: I kind of feel that this track is perfectly placed on the album. It really sort of marks the transition from the weighted stance of previous tracks, into a somewhat bright, yet vividly intrepid guitar-athon. There are few tracks in albums that seem to adequately signal a tide of change, and I think this may be a prime example of such a notion. The thickness sort of dissolves, and turns into brightness, and determination. Easily, on a whole album scale, this is one of my favorite transitional tracks.

The Sum of Damage Done (Silhouettes I-V): This is where I feel the album starts to shine. Admittedly, I'm not a very big Pain of Salvation fan; however, I love Gildenlow's presence in this song! This is where you start to really feel some of the envisioning that "The Show" seemed to demonstrate. The shift from part to part, may not be as transitory as some more extremely lengthy pieces, but does flawlessly for it's particular time table. The brightness in this song is very evident, and kind of controlling in a "Hey, I'm bright and I'm here to take you town" sort of impression. There is a vocal excerpt about halfway through the song carries a very matter of fact-ly tone to it, but transits into an intensified guitar piece, and final verse. After these nearly final statements, it's immediately trumped by a little over a minute of guitar outro, which is pulled off very beautifully. There are numerous Prog. songs that leave you waiting for that "part in the middle" or "part near the end". This one carries you all the along, and gives you an astounding exit. Though somewhat of a toss up. I have to say, this is my favorite track from the album.

Real (Attempts 1-3): Perhaps the most influenced track on the album, yet still carries it's very own uniqueness in subtle chord shifts, and a very bright comportment. Lyrically, this piece may be a slight bizarre in it's story to story approach, but very interesting, and if nothing else, quite fun. This piece also carries various instrumental characteristics not found earlier on the album, yet just as rambunctious as it's lyrical counterpart. This song carries some what, in normal cases, may be seen as normal and typical prog. moments. However, I think there may be a slight individuality to this particular piece. I can't explain it very well, but Ephrat seems to carry a distinction to their sound which is all their own,and is particularly displayed in this piece.

If you're looking for a band that very much has their own sound, while borrowing from their influences, and can handle a little more heavy than you may be used to, I would say this album is a grand addition to any collection, and will certainly give you a solitary musical experience.

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 No One's Words by EPHRAT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.63 | 74 ratings

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No One's Words
Ephrat Heavy Prog

Review by usa prog music

3 stars The album postmarked with the odd moniker refers to an Israeli artist who mixes the sounds of Kino and OSI. From its abstract photography to its ultramodern pop, I was certain Kevin Moore or John Mitchell would be found fiddling under its roof. My first surprise was that they were not accomplices or clerks. The second revelation rendered me speechless and had to do with the temps they've employed. Daniel Gildenlow (Pain of Salvation), Petronella Nettermalm (Paatos), and Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) are covertly working these operations on a part-time basis.

While they're sometimes hard to identify, they're contributions are no small matter nonetheless. For instance, Nettermalm does her unusual Björk impression and Trip-rock on "Haze". She's easily the guest who sways the union most in her direction, because the song's trademark recipe suspiciously features her unforgettably saucy staccato. After that, "Blocked" is probably the best of the ancillaries due to its accessible beat. Fans of Dream Theater will want to claim squatter's rights on this track.

Now that I have the list of co-conspirators, Gildenlow is discovered in due course doing his poetic yodeling in "The Sum of Damage Done (Silhouettes I-V)". Don't let the title fool you: The five corners of this franchise are built in nine minutes and thirty-six seconds flat. And if there were a deal to use your coupon on, the last enterprising anthem branded "Real" doubles in length and it's twice as good. As if it were a happy meal, this fun prize is found beneath the fast food. Unlike bloated blurbs that came before, chewy acoustics and sinewy synths give this whopper of a patty its scrumptiousness.

All in all, this enigmatic album is a blend of something borrowed, something new. The stolen goods will demand the highest rate of return whereas its novel perks will only be seen as nice gestures. Sometimes less is more, and it would have been better to release the last song as an EP rather than deep-fry the climactic cut in a batter of trans-fat.

In this cutthroat business, it's hard to tell how well vanilla will sell. Still, some people prefer their soft serve plain without the toppings while others take their music in predictable waves and forgo the twist. Throwing the packaging and fluff contents aside, they have potential and can surely build their venture on what's left.

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 No One's Words by EPHRAT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.63 | 74 ratings

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No One's Words
Ephrat Heavy Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

2 stars Honestly, I don't know why I give this as much as two stars, because this is one of the ugliest listenings I've done in order to get to know a new prog band - in this case from an unusual country. OK, I'm not keen on nowadays' heavy music in general, but at least I can usually find SOMETHING interesting among that deirection as well (for example, PORCUPINE TREE has lately surprised me very positively!). The noisy music of this Israeli band has no qualities which would separate them from they gray mass of heavy "prog" acts. Even the slight use of flute gets so buried in the overall heaviness that I can't count it as such. The songs are all the same to me: depressing without being emotionally capturing or fascinating in any sense. On some track there was somewhat promising delicate intro, but it lasted just about for a minute before the same old heavy torture began.

So, personally I'm surprised by the good ratings this has gained here. But maybe I should leave reviewing plainly heavy albums to those enjoying the genre. I just hope this review will help listeners like me not to expect to enjoy this music. It's exactly as nasty as the cover and the inner photos of the same style.

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 No One's Words by EPHRAT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.63 | 74 ratings

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No One's Words
Ephrat Heavy Prog

Review by bluegecko

3 stars Good debut album from this band. I was hooked from the very beginning when I heard one song from them on the internet radio. It sounded very different and I had to look into it. The music has some heavy part, some softer part, a lot of flute and there is definitively that middle- east influence in the music.

The second song "Haze" has a very intriguing starts and I wondered if there was something wrong with my CD player. The vocals from Petronella Nettermalm (Paatos) kick in and the enchantment continues. I think this song is the best of the album.

"Blocked" is a short (almost 5 mins) instrumental. It is the weakest track of the album but not bad considering that I am not too fond of instrumental. Daniel Gildenglow sings on "The Sum Of Damage Done". It gives the song a strong Pain of Salvation flavour. The last song "Real" has some parts that reminded me of the late Beatles era/period.

Overall, this album has a good mix of different textures. I kind of wonder how much is influenced by the various contributions of the guests here. The whole package seems to lack of homogeneity and ventures in different directions. At first I found this very entertaining. But somehow the novelty wears off after repeated listen and nothing seems to stick.

Still, let's keep an eye on these guys, I see a lot of potential for the next album. 3 stars.

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 No One's Words by EPHRAT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.63 | 74 ratings

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No One's Words
Ephrat Heavy Prog

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Ephrat appears to be an Israeli guitar player with a good reputation in the homeland. He must have made some name abroad as well because his debut features an all stars cast of sorts. With Steven Wilson at the knobs and Petronella Nettermalm and Daniel Gildenglow behind the mics on two tracks, Omer Ephrat has got himself surrounded with some great talent.

The music is well crafted and professional but is not remarkable enough to win the heavy struggle for playing time in my audio devices here. The Porcupine Tree-styled alternative rock meets prog misses the required amount of ideas to make it fully satisfying. The Show is too repetitious and the melodies are too simple and mediocre for 10.32 minutes. On Haze and The Sum Of Damage Done, Ephrat gets more balls going, but again, the melodies are not significant enough to keep them in the air. Repeated listens don't do these songs much good neither.

With Better Than Anything, the album reaches a first hightpoint. It's a moody piece with moving melodies and a nice Eastern tinged intermezzo. Blocked is a deserving instrumental with pleasant guitarwork. Real is a respectable try at 19 minute song writing, but most of the music is too undemanding to make it stand out against the myriad of releases in the prog scene these days.

No One's Words is a mixed bag that ends somewhere around 3 stars. I'll sure be interested to see what becomes of this project in the future.

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 No One's Words by EPHRAT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.63 | 74 ratings

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No One's Words
Ephrat Heavy Prog

Review by Roland113
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

5 stars In My Not So Humble Opinion:

"No One's Words" by Israeli proggers, Ephrat, is a great debut CD and gives a hopeful glimpse of more to come.

Now, I will start off with this, when I imported the tracks from e-Music into iTunes, iTunes misordered the tracks such that I started the CD out with track two (Haze) and ended with track one (The Show). In retrospect, I kind of liked it that way, "The Show" runs directly into "Haze", when you break the two up over the course of an album; it gives an interesting bit of closure when the final notes of "The Show" echo what seemed like the beginning of the album. Nonetheless, after two weeks of listening to it, I've corrected the playlist and we're ready to rock.

For starters, I think Steven Wilson did a great job mixing this album. It sounds fantastic. Normally, I like the keyboards to play a more prominent role, but they are subtle and appropriate throughout the album. On the other hand, the guitar is anything but subtle, Ephrat's guitar work is rather melodic even when he's bouncing back and forth between clean and dirty, each chord sounds as if it's been carefully compiled. The rhythm section is tight and able to shift courses at the drop of a hat, and the rare synthesized techno beat only adds to the overall package.

The vocals are outstanding. There are obvious Beatles references and the addition of guest musicians Daniel Gildenlow and Petronella Nettermalm add additional layers of complexity to an already rich musical experience. Finally, the Middle Eastern flair throughout the CD puts this one over the edge. The flute work is hauntingly beautiful.

"The Show" starts out the CD with a subdued electronic beat that builds anticipation for about fifteen seconds before the rest of the band crashes in with a wall of sound that sets the tone for the album. From there, a round of almost Porcupine Tree sounding vocals takes you through the song proper. Finally at about the half way point, the sound drops to a low, but tension filled solo section with the guitar and flute echoing each other. This is beautifully done.

After a minute of ethnic rhythms and Nettermalm warbling, "Haze" continues with more of the complexities that started in "The Show", utilizing the mellow voice of Nettermalm alternating with the wall of sound created by the full band and Ephrat's guitar.

"Better Than Anything" is one of my favorites on this album, it starts out as a soft ballad highlighted again by the vocals and flute. This progresses through a series of styles; middle eastern, Beatles, and heavy prog. Finally, the big ending is magnificant; Ephrat's vocal harmonies are beautiful. In the last minutes of the song, there was either an un-credited appearance by Marco Gluhmann (Sylvan) or someone is doing a haunting impression of him. The last few minutes of this song are not to be missed.

"Blocked" is an ok song, it's an instrumental piece that sounds like it could have been worked somewhere into an epic. In my mind, it doesn't stand so well on its own. It's not a bad song, just more along the lines of filler than the rest of the album.

The first three minutes of 'The Sum of Damage Done" is the only weak part on the album. It's just a basic heavy rift without a lot of imagination. On the bright side, the last seven minutes are brilliant; Gildenlow's vocals combine with Ephrat's for some beautiful harmonies.

"Real" is the eighteen minute closer to the album and wow, this is a great song. I'm not going to give a blow by blow description of this song. Instead, I'll say this, the song is worthy of five stars and incorporates the following styles seamlessly: Heavy Metal, Techno, Beatles Pop, Middle Eastern World Music, Heavy Progressive . . . effectively, it acts as a beautiful sum of the entire album complete with the reoccurring theme tying the whole piece together.

To sum, this is an album not to be missed. When I started writing, I was going to give it four stars (4.4 actually), but I've convinced myself that it's worthy of a five star rating. This is a great album by a new artist that should appeal to fans of Porcupine Tree, The Beatles and World Music.

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 No One's Words by EPHRAT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.63 | 74 ratings

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No One's Words
Ephrat Heavy Prog

Review by Spellcraft

4 stars I simply cannot believe how many sites have constantly hacked this album to pieces with no remorse.It's such a grief to see that so many are underrating such a beautifully made and produced album for such foolish reasons, in my opinion.But It definitely hasn't been the first time since I've witnessed such injustice and I know that it certainly won't be the last.So here I am trying to defend this album from such senseless jerks out there.I am grateful to see though that people in this awesome site are giving this album a chance and very fair reviews.

Now for most people who had given this album poor reviews at other sites, one of their biggest excuses was of the sound quality (more specifically a distribution of equal volume to each band member).I can vaguely see where they're coming from when I hear of the woman's vocals on the second track Haze and on the last rack Real, but as far as the rest of the sound quality goes, I really can't point out any significant if noticeable uneven distribution of sound in this album.More or less,these merciless reviewers must be overrated audiophiles!

Not all songs seem to be equally effective and powerful though.I easily got hooked to Better than Anything,The Sum of Damage Done,and Real.The others did not leave as much of an impression on me but still their middle-eastern flare and harmony between the subtle keyboard works and distorted guitars as well as smooth vocals with no overuse of exhausting vibrato made them more then decent to listen to.

The Song Real, to me, is my definite favorite off this album.It includes almost all of the elements that were unique in the other songs (techno passages,a little bit of brass,gorgeous vocal harmonies that stand out as well as subtle distorted vocals,mellotron-esque samples,and well-balanced lead and backing guitars) combining them all into this really wonderful epic. I should also note that there are beautiful middle-eastern riffs all over this album which adds the honey to the profundity in this album.

The album as a whole obviously points out that these guys may have come from somewhere in the middle-east,and this style is one that is very welcome in my collection of music.Middle eastern music has always seemed uncannily mystical and wonderful to me, and Ephrat's use of it never tires in this album.It's what gives this album a true curve around the progressive spiral.

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 No One's Words by EPHRAT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.63 | 74 ratings

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No One's Words
Ephrat Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This might be EPHRAT's debut but they sure have some heavyweights helping them out. Omer Ephrat is the star here though, as well as the leader of this band playing guitar, organ and some flute. Steven Wilson who is no stranger when it comes to artists from Isreal mixed this album. Of course Steven is part of BLACKFIELD which features Aviv Geffin from Isreal, the drummer on this album is Tomer Z who played on the "Blackfield II" record. Other guests are Daniel Gildenlow who sings on one track, as well as Petronella from PAATOS who also lends her voice to one song. Interesting that this band has decided not to have that ethnic, middle Eastern vibe front and center like ORPHANED LAND or AMASEFFER.

"The Show" is a great song to open the album with. Once it gets going we get this nice guitar driven section, then vocals come in before 1 1/2 minutes as the sound gets heavier. After 2 1/2 minutes we get acoustic guitar and vocals only as it calms right down. It kicks back in as themes are repeated. Some good organ in this one as well. I really like this one. "Haze" certainly has a different feel to it with Petronella's beautiful vocals. She sings softly at first until the song kicks in and then she sings with passion. The contrast continues. I like the guitar before the heaviness returns with her processed vocals. Cello before 4 1/2 minutes. The tempo picks up after 6 minutes as they really "rock it". It ends gently with vocals to match. "Better Than Anything" opens with acoustic guitar as reserved vocals come in. Flute joins in with strummed guitar. The song kicks into gear 2 minutes in with guitar.This sounds awesome ! Love the heavy sound that follows. Check out the vocal melodies too. It sounds like mellotron before 5 1/2 minutes. Theatrical vocals before 6 1/2 minutes are cool. Organ with strummed guitar ends it. Next up is the instrumental "Blocked". It opens with a good heavy sound followed by ripping guitar and pounding drums. It settles around 3 minutes and then kicks back in before 4 minutes. Nice organ runs in this one.

"The Sum Of Damage Done" is fairly raw sounding once it gets going. Gildenlow's vocals match the soundscape here. He almost sounds like Doug from KING'S X, quite rough sounding. He's down to a whisper before 3 minutes as the organ floats in then acoustic guitar. The song kicks back in before 5 1/2 minutes. Killer section. I like the tasteful guitar late that goes on and on. "Real" is the 19 minute closer. It opens with strummed guitar as bass and organ join in. It turns heavy quickly though as drums pound away. A change after a minute as piano and vocals take over. Horns follow. This passage is really the only part of the album i'm not too thrilled about.The heaviness finally comes back though.Yay ! Sounds like mellotron after 5 minutes as it comes and goes. Some good riffs before 8 minutes. Vocals are back 13 minutes in. The tempo continues to change. Flute after 16 minutes.

A very solid 4 star album. I like this one a lot. Worth checking out if your into Heavy-Prog. Well done !

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 No One's Words by EPHRAT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.63 | 74 ratings

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No One's Words
Ephrat Heavy Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I followed the discussion about this band in the forum and one of the people who already heard the album said the opening track was the worst of them all. It shows how tastes can vary because the song that struck me most in a positive way was this same song, The Show. I really love it especially the first few and the last few minutes. Second track is with Petronella Nettermalm from Paatos. It's remarkable how her contribution immediately leads to similarity with the music of Paatos. Anyway, another fine track. Better than Anything is my second favourite and another cracking song. I hope this one will be the future general style and sound of the band and they will have another fan. Blocked is a pretty good instrumental track before it's Gildenlow time doing a song with the band making it all sound like his band Pain of Salvation. Looks like Ephrat is a sort of chameleon, they can change any time a guest musician joins them. I think this is the third great song making this already a successful debut. And then the longest (Real) is yet to come, in most cases I like the longest track best of them all but not this time really. Could also be I will have to get used to it more because it's a true epic, both in length as in complexity.

So not a bad debut at all by Ephrat, a very good one even and worthy of 4 stars to me (3,8). Recommended for those who like variety within an album (prog metal, heavy prog, cross over a.o.). Because none of the tracks is like any other of the 5 so that's another interesting thing about this impressive kick-off by Ephrat.

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