Album: All Is One
Label: Century Media
Review: Jason Spencer
Thoughts: I confess that I've had quite the time trying to rate this album. On the one hand, this is Orphaned Land, a rather well-known group that love to bring different peoples and religions together. That is a worth cause. However, on the other hand, this is a music review. So, I need to be honest and true to my gut.
Orphaned Land is a progressive metal group from Israel that utilizes heavy guitars contrasted with beautiful Middle Eastern strings. It's a great sound, for sure. But, that's literally ALL they do! This might be one of the flattest albums I've heard in 2013, as every song is basically the same. So, while the results are beautiful, addictive, and sweeping (think a sword and sandal epic); the whole is less than its parts. What we get in the end is an album that starts out with a set of tricks, and then doesn't change a thing until the end. Yes, you will be glancing at your watch quite a bit.
Now, don't get me wrong. This album has some high points. Unfortunately, those high points are at the very beginning and at the very end. The problem is that you have to wallow through the monotony in between those two points. For example, I find 'All Is One' and 'The Simple Man' to be awesome. The former is different than the rest of the album, and the latter is perhaps the greatest use of the bag of tricks here.
There is very little in the way of variety or variation here. 'Fail' is sung entirely with harsh vox, but that is definitely not something I like (though the music in that track is great). There are also two tracks sung in a different language, but they lose my interest. So, with what little variety there is, the band just misses the mark again and again. Sure, the metal portions sound okay, and the strings sound wonderful, but I find myself just wanting to hear a Myrath album instead.
Overall, beauty and monotony clash here. The album is admittedly profound lyrically, but lacking musically and creatively. All in all, a good album, but not something I will listen to much more.
The band was included in our Podcast #23 and you can listen 'Ya Benaye' HERE.