Be yourself and people will like you. At least that’s what our mothers used to tell us, didn’t they? Honestly, it’s bullshit, but in case of Orphaned Land
it’s the best thing they could ever do. There are many bands that profit of their origin but not even a shard of them could do it with such stylishness as this Israeli band does with every single album it releases.
It is true that folk-based melodic metal bands are anything but unusual today, as well as combination of growl, clean vocals and female singing, but this time I have to admit that however kitschy it could sound, The Never Ending Way of Orwarrior
is a one of the best creations using all these elements I’ve ever listened to.
The album starts with Sapari, a song which you may have noticed thanks to a very good video which was made for it. By a very natural way it takes you right in the middle of the Middle East. The atmosphere which it creates is a perfect entrance to the album which isn’t thrifty with the catchy riffs, subtle melodies and pure folk parts. The following song From Broken Vessels is more progressive and despite the amount of growls it doesn’t sound too aggressive. The key passages and higher position of male vocals as well as slightly synthesized parts make the atmosphere more mysterious, almost magical.
in the Abyss
is an acoustic, mellow and very tender composition with a nicely light mood. The chorals and flutes, all of these are brought to perfection by their own simplicity. In the same spirit is the beginning of The Path
Part 1 – Treading through Darkness
, which fluently gradates with the great guitar solos and growls into a very energetic song which still doesn’t have any lack of eeriness. And
since with The Path
Part 2 – the Pilgrimage
To Or Shalem, the song creates a fifteen minutes long composition, no surprise that the rhythm and melodies change, but the songs still keep their entirety. The second part is enriched with female vocals, narrative parts and is slightly faster and random (in a good sense of the word).
Olat Ha’tamid is just as folk and exotic as it sounds. The main vocal role play the chorals with some folk song which I really wish I understood. The melody is unbelievably catchy and a sublimation of metal and traditional song is splendid! The Warrior
a little changes the tune and sounds like a piece of soundtrack or a musical. Again
, very well managed solos aren’t missing as well as very true emotions.
The next acoustic song is a very progressive sounding His Leaf Shall Not Wither
. It has all the balade qualities and an airy combination of male and female vocals is enchanting. Disciples of the Sacred Oath
II realigns to a different, more striking tune but it doesn’t leave the purely oriental folk parts behind. You can still find the oriental drum solos and sounds of sword fight here.
is a song full of nostalgia, hope and deep emotions. The melodies etch in the beautiful lyrics which surpass the frames of sweetness and kitsch and put the meaning of word ‘ballad’ to the whole new level. And
why to hold it back – the level is damn edifying!
As the contrast comes Vayehi Or, much darker and harder song fluently followed by M I?, which is very similar to New Jerusalem
, but with much stronger male element and a little more sad tunes. Barakah is meanwhile more bouncy and storming, with all kinds of vocals you could remember. In a very similar, maybe more aggressive mood continues Codeword: Uprising.
as great as the album began it ends with a beautiful Epilogue – in Thy Never
Ending Way. The song contains everything good from the rest of the album and creates a well made farewell, especially with the key part at the end.
In my view, this album is a testimony that this year already began with a parade of great releases and this one walks at the head of all of them. It isn’t perfect nor interesting for everyone, but there’s nothing better than to open your mind and give this album a chance. Because anyway, while listening to it you find out that it will happen whether you want it or no.