Orphaned Land - All Is One
Label: Century Media Records
Reviewer: Azmo Lozmodial - 2013-06-12
Highlights: Fail, Brother
Orphaned Land is becoming one of the most important oriental metal bands in the world today, because their spectacular music that sums up the elements of progressive and death metal with the Middle-Eastern folk music are getting more professional with every full-length album. After the successful materials that the band released in the albums Mabool and The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR, the new album "All Is One" became one of the most anticipating albums in the global metal scene nowadays, the high quality mixture of the tasty oriental charming music cant let the listeners down anyway, especially when a professional band like "Orphaned Land" is creating it. If you're ready for some melodious musical structure and some catchy growling moments, then you have to start this oriental experience now with this album.
First of all, before even listening to the album I've noticed something strange about the artwork, it has the same symbolic concept of the artwork that has been designed for the album "Believe" for the American band "Disturbed" (released in 2002). The new sound that has been created in this album doesn't sound totally different from the previous work of Orphaned Land, the Middle Eastern flavor of the clean vocals in this album has the same smell of the album El Norra Alila, and the guitar progressions remind me of the album Mabool, but the choirs and the oriental fabric of the keyboards are more mature and grown than the previous albums, so this album defiantly is not copying the previous sound of Orphaned Land.
"The night had fell on no man's land
This flute was heard from out there in the dark
I knew the words and joined in the song
This nightly truce a miracle of hope"
-Let the Truce Be Known-
Though this is the first full-length album with the new guitarist "Chen Balbus" in Orphaned Land's discography, the result was really successful (though we sure will miss the guitar touches of Matti Svatizky). The tracks "Our Own Messiah" and "Let the Truce Be Known" were the first singles from All Is One, the influences of the previous albums are clearly obvious in the structure of these singles but the progress that the band created here made the riffing and the singing memorable and catchy, especially the lead guitar sections and the keyboard efforts. There are many fascinating-slow paced tracks in this album, such as "Children" and "Brother", both tracks present excellent bass performance and both tracks used many folk Middle Eastern instruments like Bouzouki, Oud and Chumbush. The creative drumming of "Matan Shmuely" blew every track in this release, and the oriental styled precession has made the fabric of the tracks bended toward the folkish Middle Eastern sound and showed some professionalism (hear the tracks "Freedom" and "Through Fire And Water"). There are some harsh vocals in the tracks "Fail", but that's wasn't what I've expected from this album, I didn't want Orphaned Land to get more softer with every release, SOME HARSH VOCALS ARE REQUIRED FOR THE FANS OF DEATH METAL HERE!
"Forgive me, brother
You did nothing wrong and took all the shame
I suffered myself, yet I am to blame
The lord blessed us both, but we still fight and claim"
This is not a simple release, only those who're interested in the Middle Eastern culture and music will enjoy listening to the tracks of this album, but if you're searching for an aggressive metal release then you're in the wrong place. I liked the elements of this record a lot, but I can't hide my anger against the softness that the band has reached in this record, I wish the band will satisfy the extreme metal fans in the next releases without giving them smooth musical structures only. Mabool is still my favorite record for Orphaned Land, even though I was expecting this fact to be changed with this record, but anyway, "All Is One" is a good album and its recommended for all the worshipers of Oriental and Middle Eastern metal music.