Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Initial Impressions: Orphaned Land: The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR

My fiancee gave me this album for Valentine's Day. Orphaned Land is a majestic and epic progressive metal band from Irael. They incorporate various Middle Eastern instruments and musical styles into their extremely beautiful metal sound. This is metal that is at once melodic and powerful, yet aggressive. Despite forming nearly twenty years ago, this is only the band's fourth full length album. It takes a lot of time and effort to create this music and it shows.

This is the band's second concept album. It tells the story of a warrior of light in the battle against darkness. The album is made up of three parts. It begins with the life of an orphan who eventually becomes a warrior. As with the previous album, the singer utilizes different vocal styles to represent the perspective of different characters. Using clean singing for the protagonist and a rough style for the evil forces.

The music is sweeping and powerful. There are frequent moments with string sections and others with a female vocalist to add to the beauty of the arrangements. This is still a metal band and there are metal riffs played with varying degrees of aggressiveness throughout the album. Just do not expect a death metal or black metal band here.

I was extremely impressed with the band's prior album and so when I heard that this album was coming out, I was very excited. After all, it had been five years since they released their last album (two since I first heard it). It was worth it. This is an early contender for Album of the Year for me. It's definitely my favorite of 2010 so far.

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