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Amaseffer
Slaves For Life
July 2008
Released: 2008, Inside Out Music
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Chaosankh

Israel’s Amaseffer is a unique band. Melding elements of film score, Middle Eastern rhythms and tones, and a dash progressive metal instrumentation, they arrive at a sound that transports the listener to a place and time in the world over two thousand years old. EXODUS SLAVES FOR LIFE is part one of a trilogy of albums that aims to put the biblical story of the Jewish exodus to music. A long time in the making, Andy Kuntz (Vanden Plas/Abydos) was originally intended to be the vocalist for the effort, but time constraints and scheduling made that impossible, paving the way for former Yngwie Malmsteen vocalist, Mats Levin, to step in and deliver a stunning vocal performance replete with a stunning range of character and emotion.



SLAVES FOR LIFE starts out in the slavery period of the Israelites in Egypt and moves from the birth of Moses on through the ten plagues and their immediate aftermath. As the album begins, you will notice that this is not your typical progressive metal album. In fact, it will quickly be learned that this music can only be tangentially considered to be amongst that genre, appealing just as easily to fans of world music or film score. The title track of this first part, “Slaves for Life,” with its grand, epic feel, is a perfect sigul for the album as a whole. It does not have the driving beats usually found in metal music, but instead uses heavy guitar as a character in the drama. The songs are often long, and they take their time going places. For example, “Birth of Deliverance” starts with three minutes of subtle orchestral music with vocals delivered more like dialogue in a play than with a recognizable melody. After this part, though, things pick up and feel much more rhythmic for a while before breaking into another segment of the song that features more voice acting. The musicianship on the album is of the highest order, exemplifying a band who knows how to use their instruments to speak, rather than just wailing about. The guitar solo in “Burning Bush” is a perfect example of the album’s theatrical playing as it goes on for a long time, focusing on choosing the right notes and letting them linger with the listener. “Ten Plagues” near the end of the album is probably the heaviest and darkest song on the album, possessing an angry vibe throughout much of it, and this song feels the most like a recognizable prog metal offering.



SLAVES FOR LIFE is truly more of an epic journey than just a simple metal record. Because of this, it is not an album that will be enjoyed as background music while doing other things. To truly appreciate it, you will have to give it your full attention so that you will be allowed to get carried away with the story. The reward for those who listen to it in this open-minded way is a complex and unique listening experience rarely heard before.



If this album sounds intriguing to you, be sure to check out our recent interview with Erez Yohanan to learn a lot more about it.
Track Listing

01. Sorrow
02. Slaves For Life
03. Birth Of Deliverance
04. Midian
05. Zipporah
06. Burning Bush
07. The Wooden Staff
08. Return To Egypt
09. Ten Plagues
10. Land Of The Dead

Lineup

Erez Yohanan - Drums & Percussion
Yuval Kramer - Guitars
Hana Avramovich - Guitars
Mats Leven - Lead Vocals


Next review: » Amaseffer - Slaves For Life
Previous review: » Amaran's Plight - Voice In The Light

Amaseffer
Slaves For Life
November 2008
Released: 2008, InsideOut Music/Border Music
Rating: 1.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Amaseffer is a band that comes from Israel, which is unusual for a metal and rock band. Swedish vocalist Mats Levén was the bands choice for a lead singer. The trio also has three different Israeli guest vocalists as well as another woman who sings on the track “Midian”. SLAVES FOR LIFE is the band’s debut album. It is hard to describe the music on SLAVES FOR LIFE but think of symphonic progressive rock with some oriental beats and sections. Add to that a few heavier metal passages and you have the picture. The band varies frequently between western and oriental music styles with many emotions and different beats.



The band mixes so many different styles that the music feels unbearable. The only thing that saves the album from falling flat is Mats Levéns awesome voice. SLAVES FOR LIFE features 10 tracks and it is hard to tell if it is a theme/concept album. The leader says that the songs are about “the old testament story about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt” so I guess the songs are linked together.



I have a hard time liking this album; it is too freaky and oriental for my taste. The only positive thing is Levéns vocals and that is about it. Sure, it’s grand, epic and all that but it’s hard to grasp it. I can’t find any favorite song and that sure shows this is a bad album.



http://www.myspace.com/amseffer

http://www.border.se
Track Listing

Sorrow
Slaves For Life
Birth Of Deliverance
Midian
Zipporah
Burning Bush
The Wooden Staff
Return To Egypt
Ten Plagues
Land Of The Dead

Lineup

Hanan Arramovich – guitar
Yuval Kramer – guitar
Erez Yohanan – drums, percussion, narrator
Also appearing are:
Mats Levén – lead vocals
Kohi Farhi – all oriental vocals
Special Guest
Angela Gossow – lead vocals track 4


Next review: » Amberian Dawn - Magic Forest
Previous review: » Amaran's Plight - Voice In The Light





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