Release DetailsLABEL Century Media
RELEASED ON 2/9/2010
The Never Ending Way Of Orwarrior
posted on 3/2010 By:
Six years in the making after the critically acclaimed Mabool, Israel’s premier metal act return for album number four and what we have here is a brilliant, epic metal album, that’s an early contender for 2010 album of the year.
Conceptually based on the battle between light and dark and the OrWarriOR (‘light’ warrior), The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR comes with all the trappings of a concept album as the album comes in three ‘acts’ and thusly delivers the moods, lulls, peaks and shifts of the story it is telling rather than delivering ten or so tracks of just ‘songs’. And as you’d expect, the album has a host of guest vocalists and ethnic musicians (playing things like a Saz, Bouzouki, Oud, kawala Flutes, a Shofur and a Santur) that flesh out the band's patented, Middle Eastern take on metal; a form of metal that lies deftly between layers of prog metal, melodic death metal, gothic/doom, heavy metal and melds it all with an authentic Arabic ethnicity that’s artistic and captivating, yet not overdone.
As with all great stories, The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR starts with a bang on the form of first single, “Sapari,” one of the more rousing and epic numbers I’ve heard in a while with great use of ethnic chanting and female vocals over a solid, catchy riff. From there, the album descends into a far more complex and layered territory, with nothing quite as catchy or simple surfacing again, as the band unravels the rich concept and the album unfolds its dramatic and brilliant textures.
From the deep varied proggy throes of “From Broken Vessels,” through the epic duo of “The Path - Treading Through Darkness” and “The Path, Pt. 2 - The Pilgrimage To Or Shalem” the languid “The Warrior” and album centerpieces “Disciples Of The Sacred Oath, Pt. 2” and “New Jerusalem,” you feel swept away in a rich, cinematic, lush album drenched in a hypnotic Arabic sway, but still rife with ample riffs and exceptionally played metal (I.e. “Barakah”). And as you’d expect with such a band, while the songs all have their own sultry Arabic flavor, there’s a few Middle Eastern interludes throughout the album, with the excellent “Olat Ha'tamid” and “Mi?” being worth a mention. The album closes with “In Thy Never Ending Way (Epilogue)” a perfect complement to the energetic album opener with a more somber, story ending mood. However, one slight drawback is that other than "Sapari," as with most concept albums, there are no quick listens or fixes, as the album's 78-minute runtime, like a movie, requires you sit through the whole thing to fully appreciate it.
The only other issue will be for closed minded metal heads who might take issue with the whole Arabic elements, and the fact there are very few growls and screams on the album, less than Mabool as I recall. However, if those things put you off from experiencing one of the more creative and ambitious albums (and bands) of the last few years, I feel sorry for you.
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