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Orphaned Land - "All Is One" (CD)

Orphaned Land - "All Is One" CD cover image

"All Is One" track listing:

1. All Is One
2. The Simple Man
3. Brother
4. Let The Truce Be Known
5. Through Fire And Water
6. Fail
7. Freedom
8. Shama'im
9. Ya Benaye
10. Our Own Messiah
11. Children

Reviewed by on July 22, 2013

"I don't know if it is the searing heat calling me to a desert with a symphonic wall of sand or the mesmerizing level of perfection tucked into each and every nuance, but Orphaned Land is NO mirage."

“All is One” is simply another shining moment in the ascending pyramid of jaw dropping artistry from Orphaned Land, one that has no end to its perfection. Symphonic, progressive, Asiatic/Middle Eastern flare…whatever you wish to call this Israeli act – is stunning. It seems that each album since 1994’s “Sahara” debut, I can write the same review about defining moments. However, witnessing a defining moment of a band’s career - whether it be one shot out of many or with each successive release - can be a pretty exciting thing for a fan. “All For One” is a waft of incalescence straight off the Dead Sea reaching mind-boggling allure…an auditory hallucination like no drug on earth.

It takes a split second for the Hora inducing clap of the title track to grab your attention before the angelic chorus takes you on a magic carpet ride thorough expertly woven sounds of the Chumbash, Bouzouki, and Oud . Given world events, we are all too easily dismayed by the term “middle eastern,” with preconceived notions of extreme religious beliefs and terrorism, however right or wrong. There is such beauty captured in the music of the region that it begs to be gilded into the one genre of music that mashes with all genres of music: metal. Bands like Myrath and Orphaned Land go above and beyond to draw in homeland influences to perfectly enhance this exquisite form of progressive metal.

Aside from a very slight drag on the second half of the album (it rains in the desert every once in a while), it is a chore to pick the best song when faced with the title track, the shore lapping wave rhythm of the riffs of “A Simple Man,” the “cymbalic” temple smashing of “Let the Truce Be Known,” “Shama’im,” which nearly does invoke the Hebrew Ahavat Shamayim dance, or the intriguing and human unifying lyrics of “Our Own Messiah” (“Can’t we see that all we are is one? We are the messiah, we need my son” – which captures the idea of the cover art and melding of the major religious symbols). There too many awe inspiring moments to choose just one. The sound is pristine.

Enough cannot be said about the level of musicianship and execution by the multi-talented quintet. Between Chen Balbus and Yossi Sassi alone, there is more musical wizardry on display than most full orchestras. Kobi Farhi’s smooth and fluent delivery connects it all and breathes life. There are so many concurrent parts all moving “as one” with a perfect flow, a harmonious union of personal styles in every crevice of the album.

I don't know if it is the searing heat calling me to a desert with a symphonic wall of sand or the mesmerizing level of perfection tucked into each and every nuance, but Orphaned Land is NO mirage. I’m thankful just to have been around to hear this masterpiece. There is a new standard for progressive bands…you’ve all been served.

Highs: Stunning perfection drawing regional influences to make one of the most stunning releases ever.

Lows: Outside of a slight drag on the second half...absolutely nothing.

Bottom line: Jesus who? Orphaned Land has walked on water and raised the dead!

Rated 5 out of 5 skulls
5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)