Rating:
9.6
Orphaned Land - Mabool
9 March 2004


Disc I
01. Birth Of The Three (The Unification)
02. Ocean Land (The Revelation)
03. The Kiss Of Babylon (The Sins)
04. A'salk
05. Halo Dies (The Wrath Of God)
06. A Call To Awake (The Quest)
07. Building The Ark
08. Norra El Norra (Entering The Ark)
09. The Calm Before The Flood
10. Mabool (The Flood)
11. The Storm Still Rages Inside
12. Rainbow (The Resurrection)

Disc II [The Calm Before The Flood] [Limited Edition Live Acoustic CD]
01. The Evil Urge
02. A Never Ending Way
03. Mercy [Paradise Lost cover]
04. The Beloved's Cry
05. The Orphaned's Medley


Forget everything you know about genres. I'm used of talking about the sound of a band at the beginning of a review. But this album can't be described just by mere genre definitions. They are said to play a mixture of Progressive Death Metal with Arabic folk. But, what exactly is Progressive Death? It sounds like Death? Opeth? Orphaned Land sounds, at it's core, like Progressive Metal, with unusual song structures, technical use of instruments, and no choruses at all. Add to that a constant use of Arabic folk music, with male and female chanting, use of local instruments and riffing that resembles their music. Then add that minimal death mixture, used as some growling, which doesn't stop the beauty of the album, and the sound of some riffs, making them extremely thick and heavy.

With that description alone anyone that loves diverse music should order this album. But what about the songwriting? This is a concept album about three sons, each one representing each monotheistic religion trying to warm humanity of a flood that will punish the world. So their music manages to match the lyrics. A proof may be the song "Halo Dies (The Wrath Of God)," where they use growls to represent the fury of God.

Also notice how the album begins strong, with songs like "Birth of the Three (The Unification)," "The Kiss of Babylon (The Sins)," and "Halo Dies (The Wrath Of God),", which are able to make you headband 'till death, even with Arabic chanting at the same time. I don't know what people say, but the chanting on "The Kiss of Babylon (The Sins)" it's amazing, and one of the best moments of the album.

But the direction of the album changes completely at "Building The Ark." That it's an acoustic song, featuring an amazing vocal delivery, ending with an outstanding acoustic guitar outro. "Norra El Norra (Entering the Ark)" it's the most Arabic song, and believe me: I hate Arabic music, yet I really like this song. Even though it has the last heavy riff, it doesn't have any growling. It ends with an amazing piano solo. So the album begins heavy to get your attention, and ends softer. "Mabool (The Flood)" still has some growls, but in my opinion it's the most melodic song. That guitar riffing, along with those amazing vocals are really haunting. They really saved the best song for the end. After that, it comes "The Storm Still Rages," which flows perfectly with the previous song. To me, it's like a big outro, along with the last song.

Really, this it's a musical journey you can't avoid. Musically and lyrically, it's almost perfect. If you aren't very open minded, songs like "A'salk," "Norra El Norra (Entering the Ark)" and "The Calm Before the Flood," which may feel a bit overlong, may annoy you. This album is far beyond ordinary metal. Death metal fans, avoid this: it's not for you. Folk metal fans: this it's very different than typical folk metal, probably because there is almost no Arabic folk metal, so you may like this, or maybe not. Progressive metal fans: Take this. Now.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Production: 10


Band profile: Orphaned Land
Album: Mabool


 


written by Talvi | 04.01.2007


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Jeff

Rating:
10
After a too long waiting of eight years, the oriental sun is finally shining again on your heads. My friends one of the most innovative and fantastic band from Israel is back with a new album that we can already call legend. "Mabool, the Story of the Three Sons of Seven" is the fourth album of the band, and even if their others album are damn great, I must just say that this time the band knew how to do something that everyone can like and fore sure will not be able to forget.

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published 31.03.2004 | Comments (11)



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Bas - 05.01.2007 at 11:55  
great review
maybe i'd give it a little less, but i understand the rating very well, its an awesome album
Katatronik - 05.01.2007 at 15:53  
TOTAL MASTERPIECE!
I stand amazing every time I listen to this great album! Impressive, emotional, technical, lyrically wonderful...
good review
Leper Messiah - 27.06.2007 at 20:13  
Nice review, GREAT album.
It has such a well develloped story that goes along perfectly with the music. They also put together the clean vocals and the doom metal vocals so well! Buy this album! its one of the best prog metal albums i've ever listened to.:metal:
BloodTears - 27.06.2007 at 21:56  
This album and this band are so underrated. They are not given the credit they deserve as musicians. I dont know what impresses me the most, the music or the lyrics. I know that in the end I want more...
Belphegore - 24.11.2007 at 06:27  
unbelievable album...one of the best openers I've ever heard...
Can't wait for the next album!
fanapathy - 14.12.2007 at 10:39  
Just also gonna say that I love this album. I saw this band live randomly as they were warmup for Paradise Lost. Let's just say I'll never forget it.
Ellrohir - 30.09.2009 at 11:05  
I remember it sounded a little weird to me...this definitely doesnt mean i am saying "it is bad", just i think i havent find a way to this band somehow...
Uirapuru - 02.06.2010 at 07:19  
I read this review in MetalArchives, did'nt know it was Jeff's..

Still, there is other review in their MA page who fits better among my feelings towards Orphaned Land. The guy was rather rigorous to Mabool when it comes to rating, but I also find this album boring and unmemorable (even for a prog work). Five spins and still nothing, no riff memorized, no moment of climax, just good and perfectly polished notes of Progressive Metal, sure, with vocal variations and oriental instrumental, but boring nonetheless. IMO

''Building the ark'' and ''Norra el Norra'' (which lacks the horrible death metal vocals) are the most interesting song by far.

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