Israel's ORPHANED LAND mix mysticism, metal, oriental ambience, and Middle Eastern tradition steeped in religious and moral teachings, to bring us a masterwork intended to hold back the wrath of an angry God. Mabool overwhelms the listener with its hypnotic weave of Middle Eastern choral arrangements, exotic instrumentation, dynamic use of language, and torrential guitar riffs.
These men came together in 1991 forming a singular sound. Originally called Resurrection, they changed their name in 1992 and further developed their unique sound. Their demo, The Beloved's Cry, created a stir, and they were quickly signed to French label Holy Records. Two albums followed, Sahara (1996) and El Nora Alila (1994), cultivating a worldwide underground fanbase. The releases strength secured their signing to Century Media; however, life changed for these Israelis, and forced to deal with their homelands harsh reality, ORPHANED LAND was put on hold.
After hibernating for seven years their strong Arab and Israeli fanbase kept the dream real, and in 2003 ORPHANED LAND was encouraged to reunite for three concerts. From Turkey to Tel Aviv the band found Arabs, Turks and Israelis, joining together to headbang side by side. United by the common bond of metal brotherhood, the Middle Eastern metal community had rejoined the band that unified them all. As a special bonus to their audience ORPHANED LAND performed and recorded an acoustic set to be released as an initial pressing bonus disc with Mabool.
Mabool-The Story Of The Three Sons Of Seven (translated -The Flood) is an amalgamation of the Biblical story, and the stories like it, taken from more than 50 similar tales from ancient cultures such as the Mesopotamian, Aztec, Mayan, Celtic, Navajo, Zoroastrian, Hindu, Sumerian, Babylonian, Scandinavian and combined into the flood story according to ORPAHNED LAND. The birth of 3 heroes opens the CD; he is the seventh son of the Creator whose soul is divided into three human beings. The three sons each represent one of the three monotheistic religions. Their goal is to unify themselves and their people, Jews, Christians, and Muslims, against the coming flood that will rid the earth of the sins and achievements of man. However, as revealed through the course of the album, they are unable to achieve their goal and the wrathful God, with his flood, returns the land to its cleansed perfection. Building a wooden ark the heroes survive the flood and are given the task to create a heaven on earth in this land newly orphaned.
Exotic and enticing ORPHANED LAND blends a multitude of sounds and styles to create its Middle Eastern Metal. "Our music style is a mixture of all kinds of metal, from progressive to black metal," says vocalist Kobi Farhi. "We are influenced by all kinds of music, from Indian music to Jazz. I even recorded musicians in the streets of India." Mabool was recorded in five languages: English, Hebrew, Arabic, Yemen, Latin as well as a form of gibberish (a language ORPHANED LAND created themselves). Oriental instruments such as oud, saz, and buzuki are used with traditional and classical instruments like violins, cello, piano and classical acoustic guitars. The introduction of unfamiliar languages and instruments heightens the mystical nature of the album, unifies the theme and makes the experience timeless. From opener "Birth of The Three," the engulfing lyrical passages and polyrhythmic stops and starts leave you holding your breath, anticipating what follows. "Ocean Land," the second track, is the heroes pleading prayer that pours through your head long after ending. "A'salk" starts with a mournful Hebrew cry, and the accompanying syncopated guitar-work wafts through like smoky incense-laden air. "The Calm Before The Flood" enlists acoustic guitar that portrays the emptiness and tension preceding monumental change, a virtual sonicscape. When it comes time for title-track "Mabool" (the flood), opening with cello and violin that moves into driving guitar-work interlaced with classical instruments, the musical tension is unstoppable. Thundering drum work and roaring guitars describe the violent ferocity and impending doom. "The Storm Still Rages Inside" is replete with sadness as the guitar solo soars into the midnight sky and returns with the calmness of a still morning sunrise.
ORPHANED LAND achieves its goal of uniting multitudes of cultures and crafting a mix of melody and mysticism. Interwoven guitar work coupled with exotic oriental instrumentations, infuses the well-crafted syncopated rhythms and makes the entire experience unforgettable.