Orphaned Land - The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR (2010)

Orphaned Land has the very daunting task of creating an even better release than “Mabool”, and they have somewhat succeeded in this almost impossible task. The band has refined their music greatly, and while this release is very good, they are miles away from the complexity and intricacy that “Mabool” offered us.

“The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR” is a great release and it brings the Middle Eastern Folk influences that the band has showed in the past to be the main focus of this release. I love when bands use different elements in their music as a complement, not as a main gimmick in order to create shock value.

Orphaned Land has surely come a long way since their old days of playing Doom/Death Metal and surprised everybody with “Mabool”, however with “The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR” it feels like their creativity got stuck and decided to add tons of more Middle Eastern influences and forget about creating solid metal songs. Like “The Pilgrimage To Or Shalem” the song features plenty of re-hashed “Mabool” riffs and even a similar structure, trying to re-capture the epicness that that album offered.

That being said “The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR” is a  very solid album by it self, not as a progression of this band. The music is top notch, and if you haven’t heard “Mabool” you will surely be blown away. The instrumentation for the Middle Eastern influences is majestic and does a great job at transporting the listener to the storyline that Orphaned Land is telling.

Featuring 15 tracks divided into three parts: Godfrey's Cordial - An ORphan's Life, Lips Acquire stains - The WarriOR Awakens, and Barakah - Enlightening The Cimmerian. The narrative of this album is very interesting since it gets you involved with the story while enjoying the music. The very rich sounding music will surely be a challenge when the band plays live, but they will surely tons of samples like most complex sounding bands do these days.

Kobi’s english clean vocals have improved considerable and no longer sound awkward like in “Mabool”. The female vocals are top notch, and the choir arrangements and chants are very good, thanks to the crystal clear production and mixing by Steven Wilson. All other elements give the band’s sound a very mystical aura.

Overall we are not slamming this release by any means. There are two sides to consider: 1) the band’s trajectory and evolution: in this department the album is sub-par, 2) the album by it self: here it’s probably one of the most interesting and elaborate releases of the year. If you are a fan of the band you will surely love the album, and if you are getting into the band this is the most approachable way of doing so, and once you go back and get “Mabool” you will be blown away.

Band: Orphaned Land Album: The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR
Label: Century Media

Release: February 9th, 2010

Official Site myspace
Genre: Progressive/Folk Metal

Country: Israel

Rating: 89/100

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