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Orphaned Land - El Norra Alila CD (album) cover


Orphaned Land


Experimental/Post Metal

3.48 | 74 ratings

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Symphonic Team
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!

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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