From a land divided by cultural, ethnic and religious differences and strife comes Orphaned Land. These Israelis caused quite a stir within the progressive rock and metal community with their impressive Mabool album back in 2004. Six years and six hundred hours spent on studio time later the band are back with their latest album, entitled The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR.
The time spent on recording this album was well worth the effort, because it’s a rather unique and original affair. The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR is a concept album with transcending religious and cultural differences as its main theme. This translates musically into a very interesting and often enthralling journey through progressive (death) metal lanes skilfully enhanced by Arabic and Middle-Eastern flourishes.
The extensive use of traditional instruments and percussion and the use of different languages such as Hebrew, Arabic and Yemeni Arabic give this album a unique kind of vibe and atmosphere. The metal parts and the aforementioned traditional/folk parts complement and enhance each other. The best examples of that are From Broken Vessels, The Path Part 1 – Treading Through Darkness and The Warrior.
Another striking feature are the diverse vocals, ranging from grunts to soothing male and female vocals. There’s even some ritualistic chanting here and even the Arabic Orchestra Of Nazareth makes its appearance here and there.
The one element keeping all the diverse elements of this album together is the accomplished and intelligent song writing highlighted in compositions such as New Jerusalem, The Disciples Of The Sacred Oath, Barakah and In Thy Never Ending Way.
The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR flourishes in a warm and organic production, courtesy of Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree, Opeth).
I’ll keep it brief this time. The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR by Orphaned Land is progressive metal at its very best.
written by Raymond Westland