Known as pioneers of Oriental metal Orphaned Land have recently celebrated their 25th anniversary and the latest epic endeavor “Unsung Prophets And Dead Messiahs”, conceptually based on Plato’s allegory of the cave and the noticeable pattern of revolutionary figures being assassinated through history, is another proof of the band’s unique music pathway and charismatic songwriting style.
The grandiose album opener “The Cave” starts with softly contemplative atmospheres swiftly followed by rich Middle Eastern flavors that constantly influence the opulent melodic textures and the majestic orchestrations. Sharp guitar riffs provide groovy rhythmic patterns that support vicious primordial growls but the intricate blend of stylish melodies and sumptuous orchestral arrangements definitely hold a more dominant role accompanied by solemn choirs and Kobi Farhi’s heartfelt clean vocal delivery.
On “We Do Not Resist” the anger towards the global sociopolitical situation and human ignorance becomes extremely palpable as relentless growls and thick inflamed guitar driven grooves dominate the song’s structure yet there are more peaceful moments provided by enticing Oriental harmonies & atmospheric accents.
“In Propaganda” stands out for the stylish luminous acoustic guitar work heightened by triumphant choirs and magnificent orchestrations evoking particularly enchanting Oriental harmonies and effortlessly flowing through softer rhythmic passages or the occasional crunchy riffage.
Featuring a remarkable guitar solo performed by guest guitarist Steve Hackett “Chains Fall To Gravity” acquires softer pensive tonalities offering a memorable blend of poignant atmospheric layers and eclectic prog rock moments following flamboyant tempo variations while the whole instrumentation is always surrounded by charming Oriental melodic passages.
The intriguing vocal duet featuring guest vocalist Hansi Kürsch of Blind Guardian and the sophisticated melodic guitar progressions amplify the theatrical & symphonic vibes of “Like Orpheus” which was released as first single and certainly represents some primary elements of the band’s signature style flawlessly blending Middle Eastern cultural heritage and modern prog oriented guitar work.
“My Brother’s Keeper” holds a purely melancholic essence enhanced by subtle atmospheric layers and lavish orchestrations but also showcases an enticing series of guitar prog style dynamics shifting from tight riffing to shimmering melodies and Kobi’s spoken verses acquire a dramatic delivery adding emotional depth while unrestrained growls carry a profound fury.
Featuring guest vocalist Tomas Lindberg of At The Gates “Only The Dead Have Seen The End of War” is characterized by mystical atmospheres continuously embellished by Middle Eastern harmonies as well as dazzling orchestrations but also a deeper darkened essence evokes inexorable madness and pervades the more aggressive rhythmic patterns built by a noticeably heavier ensemble of guitar riffs & drumming.
“Unsung Prophets And Dead Messiahs” is definitely a protest album where music becomes a way to spread an important message uniting people all over the world and with extraordinary craftsmanship, attention for details and authentic passion Orphaned Land deliver a truly enthralling opus that will certainly become a must have for their faithful fans.