Release Date: 26 January 2018
Label: Century Media Records
Genre: Oriental metal
The self-proclaimed ‘Oriental metal’ band from Israel are back with another banging album. At release six, these experienced rockers are back with the uplifting message of promoting Middle-Eastern peace which resonates throughout the entire album, proving them worthy winners of Metal Hammer’s ‘Global Metal’ award in 2014.
The opening track ‘The Cave’ welcomes us to the world of Orphaned Land with its powerful guitar riffs, clean and choral vocals before descending into the pounding drums of ‘We Do Not Resist’. Despite holding much heavier vocals, this proves even more striking than the preceding track as this melds seamlessly with the choral backing vocals to create a stand-out, formidable song.
Amongst the slower songs on the album lies ‘All Knowing Eye’, which truly highlights the cultural influences on Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs due to its more stripped-back ballad-esque sound. However, this cultural power should be seconded only to ‘Yedidi’, sung entirely in Hebrew. Irrespective of the lyrics are lost to non-Hebrew speakers, the spirituality of this song is all-encompassing nevertheless.
Moving forward, there is a wonderful juxtaposition between the hopeful and the melancholy in the tone of ‘Like Orpheus’ which feeds into the monumental elaborate anthem. Contrasting to this despairingly dark tone are ‘Left Behind’ and ‘Take My Hand’ which hold a similar lyrical feel, but the much more upbeat tempo makes this a much more emotive song with its more emphasised political punch.
Closing the album, we have ‘The Manifest – Epilogue’ to see us out and this track most certainly does not disappoint. The overt melancholy returns for this metal masterpiece with a moving track which is set to challenge the likes of Guns N’ Roses’ ‘November Rain’.
Regardless of some songs (like ‘Chains Fall To Gravity’) sounding as if they’d score well on the Eurovision Song Contest, Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs is an incredible album which all music fans universally should invest some time in to listen to. The genuinely unique sound Orphaned Land have finessed is truly inspirational and projects the visions of peace and hope surfacing amongst uncertainty, which is much welcomed in the world of music. All in all, this is a stunning, memorable album which you’d be insane not to give a chance.
Make sure to catch them playing in the UK at:
The Underworld Camden – London – 26th February
Catton Park – Saint Helens – 11th August