Orphaned Land Mabool

Nordic folk metal is becoming fairly commonplace, but Orphaned Land offer a tributary off the folk metal flood, approaching the crossover from a Middle Eastern perspective. The band reunited last year after a break of nearly seven, and Mabool (The Story of the Three Sons of Seven), is only their third official release. Lyrically Mabool is bound up in a mythology bridging Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Sonically it weaves extreme metal and folk with prog, and encompasses a familiar vocal spectrum — male clean, male growls, female clean, but there are moments when Orphaned Land dive into folk full on — language, rhythms, melodies and harmonies fusing into anything from choral arrangements to instrumentals. In its extremes Mabool makes the greatest impact, the edges of brutality and pastoralism bordering the less certain ground in between, forging a powerful musical experience. (Century Media)