Orphaned Land play music that’s inspired and influenced by Middle Eastern melodies and ideas. These elements are skilfully woven into the band’s progressive metal in natural, effortless ways, resulting in characterful and individual songs that merge folk/ethnic influences with a heavy metal base.
Featuring guests from current and ex-members of bands such as Blind Guardian, At the Gates, The Lurking Fear, and Genesis, as well as additional lusciously-delivered female vocals and choirs, this is an extravagant and rich collection of music. Textured and full of inspired depth, the songs on Unsong Prophets & Dead Messiahs manage to be ostentatious and theatrical, while still retaining a certain heaviness and metallic nature that’s wonderfully balanced. After all, Orphaned Land are a metal band through and through, so the harsh vocals and heavy guitars are still part of their sound.
The album is 64 minutes long, but holds the listener’s attention easily. The combination of talented songwriting, expert delivery, variety of material, and professional recording, makes for an album that’s a joy to listen to.
Some of the additional instrumentation, strings, and other sounds, really enhance and add something special. As much as I love a thick, meaty riff, (and there’s plenty of those here too), Orphaned Land have a lot more tools in their toolbox than most bands, and these are all employed in extremely beneficial ways on this album. Highly emotive and affecting, this is music to get lost in.
It’s not very often that you encounter a band with such a distinct sound and vision, but Orphaned Land are definitely one such band. Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs is a treasure trove of rich, textured, exotic metal.
An essential listen for sure.