Rating:
10
Orphaned Land - El Norra Alila
1996


01. Find Yourself, Discover God
02. Like Fire To Water
03. The Truth Within
04. The Path Ahead
05. A Neverending Way
06. Takasim
07. Thee By The Father I Pray
08. Flawless Belief
09. Joy
10. Whisper My Name When You Dream
11. Shir Hama'Alot
12. El Meod Na'Ala
13. Of Temptation Born
14. The Evil Urge
15. Shir Hashirim


Let's play a game, ok? Close your eyes, [but first read this!] now, imagine yourself in the desert, Sahara Desert to be exactly, it's very hot, big drops of sweat dropping down your neck, you're starving, you're thirsty, you're trapped in an ocean of sand, sand to the right , sand to the left, everywhere you only see sand, and one or two desert newts hanging around. And when all hope is lost, in the distance you see an oasis... you run, run , run faster until you reach it. There you find a lagoon, a basket of fruit and a bed. You lie down, and began to listen the desert sounds, and you just let the ancestral sounds carry you to a magical trip.

That's the way I feel everytime I pop Orphaned Land's sophomore debut El Norra Alila in the record player [or in my discman], I just enter a marvelous musical trip to faraway lands.

In case you didn't know or you can understand a damn word of what I'm saying, Orphaned Land are from Israel, and they play a highly complex death metal with Israeli/Arabic Folklore and some progressive touches here and there.

The Music I very hard to describe, the middle eastern influences are a fundamental part of every song, and the songs are sung both in English And Hebrew; The lyrics mainly deal with Jewish, Christian and Islamic themes, which I find very original, after hearing so many bands singing about Satanism and Nordic mythology this is a very refreshing change. Well, of course it's weird to hear song titles like 'Find Yourself, Discover God' and 'Thee by the Father I Pray' but is part of the greatness of this band.

About the songwriting, we are dealing with talented musicians here, Kobi Farhi is an excellent singer, you can feel the passion in his singing, his growls and his clear voice contributes so much to the atmosphere and enhances the whole experience, the lead guitarist Yosi Sassi is a really talented, every riff is fantastic, and the oriental scales that he uses are fantastic. The drumming, courtesy of Sami Bachar, is just awesome, his knowledge of regional middle eastern percussion is stunning.

I could write a book on this album, but this is a review, so I just want to say that this is one of the most innovative albums that I?ve ever heard in my life. The fact that this band embraces his country's musical roots is one of the reasons why you should pick this one up, but if we add that they are skilled musicians, this one is a must-have.

To mention killer songs on this album, like I always do, could ruin the experience, because to enjoy this album, you've got to listen it as one experience. Besides, all the songs are killer ones, from the riff driven 'Flawless Belief' to the folk metal 'El Meod Na'Ala', a version of a traditional Eastern tune.

You don't come across this kind of flawless work everyday, that, and many reasons more gives this album a perfect score. I just can't wait anymore to hear more of these guys. Do yourself a favor and get this album right now.


Band profile: Orphaned Land
Album: El Norra Alila


 


written by Undercraft | 18.09.2003



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Rupert - 13.01.2007 at 07:20  
This is a very good album, but the quality of the recording was a little on the poor side, and there seemed to be some hesitation with the performance, only sometimes though. I didn't give this album a perfect score for these reasons, but with some touching up I'm sure it would have been excellent in my books.
Hugoj33 - 08.01.2010 at 23:03  
Excellent album

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