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Orphaned Land
El Norra Alila (Classic)
May 2005
Released: 1996, Holy
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: El Cid

Wow! It’s been a while since I’ve actually sat down and listened to some good metal while writing a few reviews out of the blue, but I was pretty surprised when I checked out the archive and realized that nobody had delivered a review of the album I am listening to. Before we get into this too deep, let me just point out a simple fact: A band of Orphaned Land’s quality comes once in a blue moon.

The band had put out their debut SAHARA a couple of years prior to this, their second offering, and I must say that when I heard SAHARA I was pleased with what I heard but not really all that impressed. Sure, it had some interesting elements and the musicianship was remarkably tight, but it was nothing to knock me out of my chair. EL NORRA ALILA on the other hand is really a masterpiece.

Being based in Israel, Orphaned Land have found, or rather constructed a very particular sound and because of that I am hard pressed to describe it accurately to someone who hasn’t heard it yet. I suppose he mixture of doom and death metal in the core of everything is more than evident but what really gives this band its personality is the Israeli folk elements intermingled in the melodies.

The technical aspect of the music is incredibly tight, alternating at times between the stop and go riff and the crunching doom interludes, extremely interesting drumming, a soloing that is simply brilliant and the bass lines that for lack of a better word seem binding and appealing at the same time. The other element that makes Orphaned land stand alone in the genre of metal is their lyrical concept. The mixture of Christian, Islamic and Hebrew religious (and mystical) concepts simply is unheard of before this band

In all I think EL NORRA ALILA is a must in every metalhead’s collection. Once you sit down and let this album completely sink in, I think you will fall in love with it irremediably, and being that after so long a wait MABOOL came out just recently, we should all just be thankful.

Choice cuts: Everything-
Track Listing

Find Your Self, Discover God
Like Fire To Water
The Truth Within
The Path Ahead
A Neverending Way
Thee By The Father I Pray
Flawless Belief
Whisper My Name When You Dream
Shir Hama'Alot
El Meod Na'Ala
Of Temptation Born
The Evil Urge
Shir Hashirim





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