Orphaned Land - Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs

Orphaned Land - Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs

(CD/LP, Century Media, 2018)

Metal music was born out of the need to foster the pariahs and be the soap box for those who cannot freely speak their minds. It is a safe place regardless of the color of the skin, religion or wherever your passport says you’re coming from. Metal brings people in the same space (literally and figuratively) to celebrate their common love for this aggressive sound. By aggressive I mean, touching upon subjects that others fear even thinking about, and ORPHANED LAND is one of those loud voices in the Metal scene, with “Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs” being the latest offering. Before attempting to scratch the surface of this rich in content album, I will say that this LP has already secured a spot on my end of the year list for 2018...

I love Metal music but I also love mind-challenging lyrics. You know, the kind that will make you stop a bit and think about what the artist is trying to get through, having the fast tempos and hard guitars as the means of delivery. In the case of ORPHANED LAND, the vehicle they have created to carry this food-for-thought lyrics is a huge palette filled with all sorts of sounds, strange to Metal melodies and even rare (for this genre) music instruments. The concept in this amazing album revolves around Plato’s Cave, and in case this sounds strange to you, then I’d advise you to search a bit and let your mind explode learning how this Greek thinker prophesized the state of the world we are living,some thousands years ago. The album opens with “The Cave” and with the mesmerizing vocal melodies that carry the Eastern aesthetics which are deeply rooted in ORPHANED LAND’s musical DNA, getting the listener in the right mood. Then, the music blooms with all those sounds and fantastic vocal melodies which are not afraid to underline the Eastern ancestry. Despite the complexity of the song, with the layers upon layers of melodies, the sound is not overwhelming. In fact, you will get carried away by the beauty of the sound of those non-traditional Metal music instruments. Notice how the guitars partner with the symphonic orchestrations and how Kobi navigates the lyrics around Plato’s allegory. Don’t think that this song lacks of heaviness, and I will let the lead guitars prove this during the climax, close to the song’s end. By the way, this one clocks eight and a half minutes but flows like cool water down a thirsty throat. Speaking of heaviness, you should rejoice to hear the growlings’ return with the “We Do Not Resist” being the perfect occasion. Again, ORPHANED LAND’s unique ability to bring all these elements in the same melting pot is something that cannot go unnoticed. Yeah, the bouzouki leads on the groovy “In Propaganda” is bound to make you move your body (and hopefully your mind), even though it sneaks up on you with the soft melodies opening this one.

I knew that “Like Orpheus” was an amazing song after watching the music video, but my attention was split between the music and the absolutely moving concept. Can you imagine facing the harsh face of society just because you like a specific type of music? Every metalhead should be aware of such situations, especially when going to a concert or wearing your favorite Metal t-shirt seem like everyday activities. Remember that the Metal society was built to welcome everyone, so let’s put our words into actions. Musically, the song is as aggressive as its subject; fast tempo, killer riffs and, on top of everything, there is the guest appearance of the Metal bard Hansi Kürsch singing one of the best melodies I have heard for a really long time. Another powerful song is “Take My Hand” starting off with another killer guitar groove that support an excerpt from the 1958 Mike Wallace interview with Aldous Huxley. You should check this interview online and see how many of the things he mentions apply to the world you are living.

It is impossible to analyze this album and keeping this text short enough to be called an album review. ORPHANED LAND have created a powerful album that is able to intrigue the listening and (hopefully) the thinking part of your brain. Even if you disagree with the things this band stands for, you can enjoy the music and you may engage yourself in some fruitful discussions. In fact, this is the band’s intention; get everyone thinking and challenging all those things everyone considers as norm(al). All the advances in technology and thinking are happening when one is thinking outside the box. The question is: are you ready to break the chains and leave the cave?





01. The Cave
02. We Do Not Resist
03. In Propaganda
04. All Knowing Eye
05. Yedidi
06. Chains Fall To Gravity
07. Like Orpheus
08. Poets Of Prophetic Messianism
09. Left Behind
10. My Brother's Keeper
11. Take My Hand
12. Only The Dead Have Seen The End Of The War
13. The Manifest - Epilogue


Uri Zelcha - Bass
Kobi Farhi - Vocals
Matan Shmuely - Drums, Percussion
Chen Balbus - Guitar
Idan Amsalem - Guitar, Bouzouki