Orphaned Land - The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR review


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Band: Orphaned Land
Album: The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR
Release date: January 2010

Disc I
[Part I: Godfrey's Cordial - An ORphan's Life]
01. Sapari
02. From Broken Vessels
03. Bereft In The Abyss
04. The Path Part 1 - Treading Through Darkness
05. The Path Part 2 - The Pilgrimage To Or Shalem
06. Olat Ha'tamid

[Part II: Lips Acquire Stains - The WarriOR Awakens]
07. The Warrior
08. His Leaf Shall Not Wither
09. Disciples Of The Sacred Oath II
10. New Jerusalem
11. Vayehi Or
12. M I ?

[Part III: Barakah - Enlightening The Cimmerian]
13. Barakah
14. Codeword: Uprising
15. In Thy Never Ending Way (Epilogue)

Disc II[Tour Edition bonus]
01. Estarabim [feat. Erkin Koray]
02. Above You All [Demo from 1992]
03. Pits Of Despair [Demo from 1992]
04. Sapari [Instrumental]
05. Bereft In The Abyss [Instrumental]

"This is a resistance dispatch. Codeword: Illumination."

After a six-years-long wait, Orphaned Land are finally back. Don't be fooled by the quite classical (well, for Orphaned Land) opener "Sapari", the rest of the album is clearly not as straightforward!
And, just like their previous album Mabool, TNEWOORW (shorter this way, eh?) is a concept album. This one is quite a biblical metaphor, telling us about the spiritual journey of one man that becomes a warrior of Light. Oh, and 'Or' in Hebrew means light, hence the 'ORWarrior' in the album's title.

"Sing in praise
Thy endless rage"

What is there to find on this album? Magic, as always with Orphaned Land. That is, oriental folk and prog metal intertwined like never before - oh, wait, they already did it but differently, on Mabool. They did cover some new ground, like Kobhi doing some falsetto singing ("From Broken Vessel"), and on the whole this album sees the band going at the same time more mellow (the beautiful "New Jerusalem") or more extreme ("Codeword: Uprising", with all its aggression, grunts and percussions). On the whole, TNEWOORW is heavier than Mabool, don't be misled by the cleaner sound.
Speaking of it, let's just say that Steven Wilson did the mixing. Quite a quality stamp, indeed. It was feared, when the news first came out, that he would make Orphaned Land sound like Opeth… Well, it's not really the case, except maybe on the two "The Path" songs…

"Why do they smile when I fall apart?"

It all seems so neat and perfect, right? Well, it almost is. But I do think that this album loses a bit of its momentum at the beginning of the second part of the story. "The Warrior" features way too long solos, beautiful but boring in the long run , and "His Leaf Shall Not Wither" that directly follows does nothing to shake off the drowsiness.
Thankfully, as soon as "Disciples Of The Sacred Oath" starts, you're in for a fantastic ride, with its Arab violins, sheer aggressiveness, and a beautifully sung quote out of the Qur'an.

"We are the Terrorists of Light"

Yes, Orphaned Land are exactly that: they use terror tactics (read that 'Metal') to convey a message of Light and Peace, of unification (as they say, All is One).
Music-wise, I still honestly can't say if this album is genuinely better than Mabool or not. It's a matter of tastes, really.
But it is HOPE, in a world nearly devoid of it, and that is just priceless.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 10


Written on 20.08.2010 by Once your regular Hellfest reporter, now retired. I (strangely enough) listen to a lot of metal. And enjoy good beers, comics, novels and role-playing games.


Comments: 21   Visited by: 448 users
20.08.2010 - 15:49
Wow, epic review! Great job! I was worried that the new album isn't good, but after I read this I'm eager to give it a spin. Very nice job.
Li'ed - Prog-Metal from Jerusalem
20.08.2010 - 19:26
Nice review, and though I liked a lot this album, I still think Sapari shouldn't be on this album, maybe only on a single or EP, anyways, the rest of the album is awesome.
If this grand panorama before me is what you call God
Then God is not dead.
20.08.2010 - 20:06
Very good review in my opinion, I agree with most of the things you wrote, even when you say the album loses momentum in part II, that's exactly what it does for me too, regardless of being excellent overall.

It took me a lot of listens to really appreciate this album, like usual with all Orphaned Land albums, and albums in general, it takes me a while. But it was worth it because the more I listened to it the more I began uncovering the little subtleties that make this album so good, its so well constructed and the songwriting is very inspired.

But again, as with most albums, some people won't understand it or like it, but it really suits my tastes and even if it is different than the things I usually listen to, maybe that's why I like it so much.

It still has the elements that captivate me, the perfect mix of controlled/ and also uncontrolled aggression and introspective moments.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
20.08.2010 - 20:40
Darkside Momo
Thanks for the comments!

@ Panterica : if you liked Mabool, you can listen to it without doubts. Different, for sure, but of the same outstanding quality.

@ ZuzuzOr: as for Sapari not on the album... I don't know. It is so different from the rest of the album, sure... but the lyrical theme fits with the rest, so...

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
20.08.2010 - 21:53
Doc G.
Full Grown Hoser
Maybe it's my natural aversion to prog, but I just couldn't get into this one.
"I got a lot of really good ideas, problem is, most of them suck."
- George Carlin
20.08.2010 - 22:07
From a musical perspective I didn't find this album very appealing, compared to Mabool it's a major step down. However, I agree completely with the message they're trying to convey being from Lebanon and all.

To put it in a nutshell, this release has its moments but unfortunately they don't last long enough for my taste. Well written review, but I'm not convinced.
Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone.
20.08.2010 - 22:49
Fils du Lys
This album has incredible moments but I agree it has boring ones too, right in the middle. I don't get why they concentrated the most brutal songs at the end, instead of cuting the boredom in two with a track like Codeword. Maybe part of the concept? Anyway, most tracks taken separately are awesome. And I do love Sapari, it's similar to Ocean Land, which is a gem of a song.
Notre destinée n'est pas encore tracée....
21.08.2010 - 08:50
Hermann Langke
Brahmastra Corps
Great Review, Monsieur! It's like the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls!
21.08.2010 - 12:29
Excellent review, will definitely pick this album up.
By the way, Uri (the bassist) is working in the shop I always go to for my metal doses (Google "Metalshop").
21.08.2010 - 12:36
Awesome review, and I agree on most of it, this album is really good, and imo, better than Mabool in many ways...
21.08.2010 - 13:00
Darkside Momo
Once again, thanks all for the comments!

@ Metalomorphis: I pesonally compare Sapari to Norra El Norra. The two are different, but both are the only 'folk tune turned metal' of their respective albums. Oh, and both are a blast live.

@ Nibir: thanks again! I wasn't aiming at such a lofty goal...

@ RocknRaven: ah, I didn't know that Uri worked in a metal shop! If I ever go to Tel-Aviv, I know where to go shopping now

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
21.08.2010 - 16:16
Account deleted
Very good review! I love Mabool and I also love this one, but Mabool is quite better. I'm not sure though, I think I'll give this album a few more spins. I also agree that the album loses its momentum in part 2. Imo, Orphaned Land is more of a progressive metal band than a folk metal band.
21.08.2010 - 22:37
It's been a while since I saw an album with that rating, maybe I'll check it...
22.08.2010 - 12:02
Merchant of Doom
Despite the fact that I hate the oriental bits, it's a good album, but the slow acoustic parts with clean vocals are so Opeth it's embarrassing...
22.08.2010 - 15:09
Raziel X
Just cos steven wilson produced it, it doesnt have to sound like Opeth... I heard this from other ppl too, but I bet that if you didnt know he produced the album, you would probably compare it to some other band... oh and btw Kobi has a Matt Bellamy like moment in From Broken Vessels, I think lol

Anyway awesome album... I dont agree with the momentum issue... I think it has a very nice flow, after a lot of listens it gets more apparent... it resembles waves on the ocean ))

I was listening to the album today while reading unitarian universalist bulletins and guess what, it fit together so well
22.08.2010 - 16:03
Steven Wilson did NOT produce the album, he only mixed the album, i don't get why people have to make this kind of assumptions. they don´t sound like Opeth, they have their unique sound. okay i agree that some moments you can find some Opeth references. this is a very beautiful album, and well constructed.

start enjoying music for what it is and STOP comparing it all the time...
"..Damned in any Language..."
23.08.2010 - 03:33
Raziel X
I was just reacting at some ppl... yea, beautiful music, I agree
23.08.2010 - 10:51
Merchant of Doom
If you don't hear Opeth in the slow acoustic moments, you are deaf! I think Opeth are actually playing them in disguise... lol

I'm not saying the whole thing sounds like Opeth, but some passages definitely do... having said that, the album is indeed great...
23.08.2010 - 21:16
I like this album a lot, so far the best release I've listened to in 2010.

Those of you who got bored should try bands like Nile -a little bit of folk and tons of unjustified violence -just kidding.

Anyway, I really liked all the weird mid-eastern instruments and melodies they feature in this album. I think that's one of the things that has been improved, compared to Mabool.
28.08.2010 - 03:50
Nice review I agree with it
totally love the song "Disciples Of The Sacred Oath"
05.10.2010 - 09:25
Written by Merchant of Doom on 23.08.2010 at 10:51

If you don't hear Opeth in the slow acoustic moments, you are deaf! I think Opeth are actually playing them in disguise... lol

Simply greatly explained.

I really like this album, I've been listening it on the summer in the mountains. Beautiful.
But still, Mabool it's a bit higher for me.
<..celass abdala rahin asnufar..kahib infehila a mort di kain..>

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