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YOSSI SASSI

Crossover Prog • Israel


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Yossi Sassi biography
Israeli artist Yossi SASSI is a veteran producer, composer and musician in Israel, perhaps best known for being a founding member of progressive metal band Orphaned Land. Come 2012 and Sassi expanded his career further by recording and releasing his first ever solo album "Melting Clocks". A production where he continues his habit of exploring music crossing cultural and stylistic borders.

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Melting ClocksMelting Clocks
End Of The Light 2012
Audio CD$7.99
$7.19 (used)
Melting Clocks by Yossi SassiMelting Clocks by Yossi Sassi
Koch Entertainment
Audio CD$85.78
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YOSSI SASSI discography


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YOSSI SASSI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.15 | 8 ratings
Melting Clocks
2012
3.85 | 21 ratings
Desert Butterflies
2014
3.51 | 14 ratings
Roots and Roads
2016

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0.00 | 0 ratings
My Root-In
2012

YOSSI SASSI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Roots and Roads by SASSI, YOSSI album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.51 | 14 ratings

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Roots and Roads
Yossi Sassi Crossover Prog

Review by The Jester

3 stars Yossi Sassi was the lead guitarist and founding member of the Israelian Progressive Metal band Orphaned Land, and that was something that I knew of. What I didn't know is that for some years now he has been following a solo career, and he released 3 studio albums so far, with 'Roots and Roads' being his new one. For those who are familiar with the sound of Orphaned land, the sound of his solo albums will not come as a surprise. But to those who don't know him, I should mention that his music style is something between Progressive Rock and Ethnic, heavily influenced by the traditional music styles of Israel and other Middle East and Mediterranean countries, such as Turkey and Greece for example. In my opinion, especially this album can be easily characterized mostly as Ethnic influenced by Progressive Rock, and not the other way round. (The truth is that I couldn't possibly categorize the album under only one music genre). The musicianship is superb, but this shouldn't come as a surprise, since Yossi is an excellent musician and a multi-instrumentalist; but further than that he has some very good musicians participating in the album. So, further than the 5 members of his band, there are 14 more musicians present, (including the excellent Greek keyboard player Bob Katsionis), singing and playing a big variety of instruments, which are responsible for the very beautiful and rather unique sound of the album. The album includes 12 songs, plus 3 more in the limited edition, and each one of them has something to offer to the listener. The album includes some beautiful melodic tracks, like 'Bird without a Tree' for example, there are also some more 'Prog ? influenced' so to say songs, some Oriental-influenced ones, and there is even one totally influenced by the Greek music, named Rizes kai Dromoi, which means Roots and Roads in Greek. (Great song by the way). Another interesting fact about the album, is the sound of 'Bouzoukitara' which is an "invention" of Yossi, which is a double instrument, combining a guitar and a bouzouki. Really interesting and unique sound I must say! I don't think there is any reason to write more, because I believe you got the main idea of the album and its style. The truth is that, it is so different and unique, that you have to listen to it in order to be able to understand what I am talking about. But have in mind that you might need a more thorough listening in order to fully appreciate it. My rating would be: 3.5 out of 5.0 stars
 Roots and Roads by SASSI, YOSSI album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.51 | 14 ratings

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Roots and Roads
Yossi Sassi Crossover Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars Rizes kai Dromoi...

The title track (direct translation of "Roots and Roads" to Greek) shows that Yossi is on a slightly different trajectory. First, the name is now Yossi Sassi Band, potentially showing a more inclusive approach to songwriting (?). Essentially, the core of the band has remained the same since 2012 and solo debut ''Melting Clocks'' but the fusion of influences has slightly changed.

In his third album, Yossi seems to balance out Greek, Asia Minor and Near-eastern tradition with heavier sounds closer to progressive metal (and not surprisingly, at times resembling to Orphaned Land), abandoning the more virtuoso playing and jazzy passages for the sake of something more ''traditional'' and it works. Although not boasting of numerous time signatures and chopping riffs, ''Roots and Roads'' appears as Yossi's most experimental and varied work, even if rooted in what many call "oriental" rock. Here we find traditional Greek zeimpekiko ('Rizes kai Dromoi'), mediterranean folk (Wings, Mr. NoSoul, Bird Without a Tree), middle-eastern experimental progressive metal ('Palm Dance', 'The Religion of Music') and even references to Opeth in the suprise closing 'Stronger than Ever'.

Tracks such as the instrumental 8-minute monster 'Winter' sum up the quality of this album, proving the turn to more progressive song structures. 'The Religion of Music' reminded me of Jorn Lande and the years of Ark, and 'Road Less Traveled' features beautiful female vocals on galopping riffs and a travelling mood.

Warmly recommended - 3.5 stars which might become 4 after a few more listens.

 Roots and Roads by SASSI, YOSSI album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.51 | 14 ratings

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Roots and Roads
Yossi Sassi Crossover Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars YOSSI SASSI may be better known as the founder of Israel's premier metal fusion band Orphaned Land which has been active since the early 90s, but since 2011 he has also launched his own solo career and in the process has incorporated a whole army of musicians that he wrested out of their respective genres to create a larger than life sound that blends progressive rock and metal with traditional Israeli folk music. In addition to his musical contributions to the world and his never ending goal of promoting peace in the Middle East, he is also the inventor of the "Bouzoukitara" which is basically a combination of the Greek Bouzouki and electric guitar that allows him to mix and meld the two sounds in a more efficient manner. ROOTS AND ROADS is his third solo offering with this one going under the YOSSI SASSI BAND moniker.

The band consists of six members that contribute a huge wealth of musical instruments which not only include the usual rock guitars, bass, keys and drums but the newly formed Bouzouikitara, traditional Bouzouki, charango, oud, sax and chumbush as well. In addition we have no less than 14 guest musicians contributing piano, Hammond keys, kanun, violins, ney (Arabic, Turkish and Persian varieties), flute, fretless bass, lap steel guitar, Diddley bow, clarinet and something called a Choiron "Wing." If that wasn't enough we also get a sizzling guitar solo contribution from Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal on "Palm Dance." All of these characters in this musical script all add up to one big fat rich sounding album that is exquisitely played and extraordinarily produced as to allow all the competing sounds to exist in harmony instead of a barbaric cacophonous manner.

My first impression of this is that it is very much in the vein of other Middle Eastern progressive metal fusionists such as Myrath as the rhythms, harmonies and musical scales are heavily steeped in desert lore and conjure up images of camels traversing mirage ridden sand dunes on silken road journeys but this goes far beyond Myrath in the ethnic department. As with almost all Middle Eastern music, YOSSI SASSI focuses the energetic drive first and foremost on the percussive rhythms with the melodies carrying a near equal secondary weight. Unlike bands like Orphaned Land and Myrath, the YOSSI SASSI BAND use metal as only one color on their painter's palette and it is by no means ubiquitous in the album's sound or feel although it's included on most tracks when the energetic drive needs to be lifted to a new level for contrast's sake. There is a lot more detail paid to the ethnic instruments while the metal often chugga chugs as a rhythmic intensifier.

While described as progressive rock / metal, there aren't a lot of bizarre proggy freak outs with time sig changes run amok nor heavy reliance on dissonance. This music has a very accessible sound being instantly addictive and as seductive as the tales of Scheherezade. This is simply a must for lover's of Middle Eastern ethnic music mixed with Western elements. With this many musical members on board there always exists the risk of too many chefs in the kitchen stumbling over one another thus ruining the perfect smorgasbord of ideas, but in the case of ROOTS AND ROADS, a competent band leader puts on his conductor's hat and ekes out all the possibilities at the right times when needed and creates a beautiful parade of alternating softer and heavier passages. While i can't say this is the absolute most original music by mixing these styles as its been done a few times before, i can say that this is a very pleasant display of East meets West fusion where both worlds have plenty of time to play together to create an exhilarating new take on it. Personally i like SASSI's solo stuff over Orphaned Land. Unlike, say, bands like Secret Chiefs 3 that successfully fused Middle Eastern music with Western, YOSSI SASSI is actually from that region having been born and raised in Israel. This is the real deal. Very cool album.

 Desert Butterflies by SASSI, YOSSI album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.85 | 21 ratings

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Desert Butterflies
Yossi Sassi Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Israeli composer and musician Yossi SASSI is probably best known for being a founding member of the Israeli progressive metal band Orphaned Land, but he's also a veteran contributor in the Israeli music circuit as a musician, composer and producer in his own right. In 2012 he started a solo career with the launch of the album "Melting Clocks". "Desert Butterflies" is his second solo production, and was released in 2014.

With "Desert Butterflies" Yossi Sassi has created an intriguing album of music, where the focus appears to be to incorporate Israeli and Middle East folk music details with contemporary instrumental rock, with a few select excursions into more purebred folk-oriented compositions as a nice additional treat. Those who tend to get intrigued by what many people from a western cultural background would describe as exotic world music sounds paired off with contemporary instrumental rock are well advised to give this CD a spin.

 Desert Butterflies by SASSI, YOSSI album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.85 | 21 ratings

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Desert Butterflies
Yossi Sassi Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

4 stars Listening to this a couple of times on progstreaming.com I am so impressed with the musicianship, quality of sound recording (layers of guitars rarely sound this good!), and quirky eclecticism of musical themes and influences. I like this even better than all Orphaned Land albums except Mabool. Why this doesn't earn five stars is for the fact that most riffs, themes and song structures feel "old"--i.e. like rehashings of music that's already been done. Don't get me wrong, this is a great listen, a great exhibition of a gifted guitarist's talents; it's just that some of the music feels like stuff I've already heard from older guitar heroes like Jeff Beck, Al DiMeola, or Corrado Rustici.

Favorite songs: "CoCoon," "Fata Morgana," "Neo Quest" and the title song.

 Melting Clocks by SASSI, YOSSI album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.15 | 8 ratings

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Melting Clocks
Yossi Sassi Crossover Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

3 stars Guitar-oriented oriental rock with prog leanings: this might be the best way to describe Yossi Sassi's first solo album ''Melting Clocks'' that spins around the most important parameter of our lives - time.

Founding member of the well-known progressive oriental metallers ORPHANED LAND, Sassi could not but bring a touch of Middle-East to his far-from-metal solo album, evident from the start and the dynamic 'Drive', possibly the best moment in the entire record. The highlights are packed in the first part of the album and continue with 'Fields of Sunrise' where bouzouki passages mix with jazz/rock(!). Enjoyable is the use of multiple instruments throughout and the fusion with eastern-Med musical tradition that reminds me of home... The heavier guitar passages are also there, never reaching a metallic sound, but balancing on the edge of guitar rock (Satriani) and (less on) heavy prog (Porcupine Tree).

The investment here is mainly on melody and memorable riffs, while the rhythm section simply provides a "safe" substrate for Sassi to deliver his key phrases. The (limited) vocal sections don't provide anything spectacular, rather it is those unusual (for the western standards) instruments that keep the listener engaged (see 'Numbers World'). Sadly, pass the first few promising tracks, the album turns into more standard rock patterns ('Another Day at the Office'/'Not Good Enough') and appears to have lost its direction; well executed but not innovative in any sense. With the exception of the catchy melody of 'Simple Things' the second half does not boast the excitement of the opening tracks and consequently falls into the realm of uninspiring, even though Sassi tries blues ('Sahara Afternoon') and acoustic folk ('Sunset') amidst an overly relaxed mood.

Although not an innovative package as a whole and far from being a "new" proposal, ''Melting Clocks'', wrapped up with a veil of (rather than boasting of) progressive rock, has its moments of brilliance, condensed in the opening 3-4 tracks, and lends itself to an enjoyable listen.

Originally compiled for www.justincaseradio.com

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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