“Mabool” by Orphaned Land

Artist: Orphaned Land
Title: “Mabool”
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 4/6/2004
Genre: Ethnic Power Metal
Rating: 8/10

With “Mabool” as their debut release on Century Media Records; Orphaned Land has returned with a very interesting take on the traditional power metal standard. Across the length of the CD, “Mabool” essentially defies that which is considered a requirement for those that travel the path of this genre. However, despite how weird this statement might seem, this CD works on all levels. Instead of just power chords and slamming musicianship you are treated to a unique blend of Power, Classical, Ethnic and even Jazz at some points. There is a number of different vocal styling delivered across the piece as well as some Narration, and truly this is just a very magical CD. I like the fact that this interesting mix even defies that of most Progressive bands that focus on Metal. The strong emphasis on the Ethnic aspect in this piece is due to the bands origins in Israel where Kobi Farhi, Yossi Sassi & friends give us the story of “Mabool” (or The Flood). It is a legend based on the Sons Of The Seven, and it takes us through their journeys as they try to prevent the Wrath Of God from striking upon the Land. It is truly a tale of Biblical proportions and while steeped in that area of life, it is not religious in the sense that Stryper is. This is more rooted in the mythology side or passed down tales.

The lineup of the band is Kobi Farhi (vocals), Yossi Sassi (guitar), Matte Svatitzki (guitar), Uri Zelcha (bass), Avi Diamand (drums), and Eden Rabin (keyboards) and truly the musicianship of the group shines brightly across the this epic. This is most notable in tracks like “Birth Of The Three”, “The Storm Still Rages On” and “Mabool”. The Ethnic flair comes out most notably in tracks like “A’Salk” and “Norra El Norra”. It was during this last track that if I closed my eyes I felt that I was at somewhere in the Middle East among people who were singing this sort of victory song. While I did not have lyrics I was not sure what exactly they were singing, and can only say they sounded good enough to have this track remain on my mind.

This CD is a highly recommended piece as it makes a difference in the Metal genre. It offers you different tastes of a potential new direction that the form can take over time and it’s quite a ride. I know you will find yourself repeating the CD a few times before finally turning it off. It’s exactly what I did. There are two CD’s in this piece and it contains live tracks but I did not have them for the purpose of review.

Track Listing:
1. Birth Of The Three
2. Ocean Land
3. The Kiss Of Babylon
4. A’salk
5. Halo Dies
6. A Call To Awake
7. Building The Ark
8. Norra El Norra
9. The Calm Before The Flood
10. Mabool
11. The Storm Still Rages Inside
12. Rainbow

CD2:
1. Evil Urge – live
2. Never Ending Way – live
3. Mercey – live
4. Beloved’s Cry – live
5. Orphaned’s Medley: My Requiem, Seasons Unite, Of Temptation, Orphaned.

Official Web site: www.Orphaned-Land.com

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