Orphaned Land The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR

Orphaned Land The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR
Several years in the making, Orphaned Land's The Never Ending Way of OrwarriOR is an ambivalent success. More than anything, the latest album from these Israeli metallers unfolds like a melodic voice and guitar duet backed by a multi-faceted hybrid-genre soundscape. The lead male vocals are especially fluid, flowing in smooth contrast to the jagged rhythms and harsher sounds emerging from many of the album's more metallic, progressive and even folk elements. Steven Wilson's mixing and keyboard playing comes as no surprise after hearing the Porcupine Tree and Opeth-ish lilt Orphaned Land ease into now and then. But that's only one dimension of the complex musical activity at play. The band have drawn on a wide range of talents for their fourth record, collaborating with the Arabic Orchestra of Nazareth, incorporating the sounds of several Middle eastern instruments, as well as lyrics in multiple languages (English, Hebrew, Arabic, Yemenite). Bringing all these contributions into a sense of natural harmony is an ambitious but difficult feat, and Orphaned Land walk an uneasy line, not quite achieving musical unity but benefiting from the sonic tension. (Century Media)