Release DetailsLABEL Century Media
RELEASED ON 4/6/2004
Mabool: The Story of The Three Sons of Seven
posted on 4/2004 By:
Bands that keep you waiting for an album for an extended period raise the expectations exponentially. Eight years, in my book, definitely epitomizes extended, and Israel’s Orphaned Land has actually made something more than worth the wait. Mabool is grandiose without being overbearing, hugely epic in scope and far more forward thinking than the two previous Orphaned Land releases. It’s nearly impossible not to become hooked immediately and once hooked it’s nearly impossible to cease listening. The only way to pull off such a lengthy hiatus between albums successfully is to create an album so good that it’s impossible for it not to be recognized. Mabool commands that it be heard.
This is one hell of a diverse album in all departments. It features both male and female vocals, both growled and sung. The clean singing can be described as somewhere in between power-prog and the standard for ethnic blends of metal, never failing to be epic and strong, but also never getting to the point where it becomes cheesy. The instrumentation is without flaw. An amalgam of styles come together seamlessly through expert musicianship. Stylistically, Mabool ranges from progressive, power, Viking, and ethnic Middle Eastern, to some passages that are simply beyond categorization. The most interesting instruments used are definitely the various Middle Eastern percussive and string instruments that find their way to the foreground on many occasions throughout the nearly seventy-minute duration. But even the more standard instruments are used as best they possibly can be. The use of classical style Spanish guitar blends finely into pure heavy metal and progressive synths make themselves at home within sections of ethnic influenced heaviness. What’s not to like?
Production is top notch, doing every single section just the service it needs. These guys knew the sound they wanted and apparently worked hard at achieving it. It was a success. The distorted electric guitars sound chunky and heavy, the various acoustic instruments are warm and gorgeous. Synthesizers and drums are exactly in the mix as they’re intended to be, never stealing the glory from what’s in the lead, but always making themselves apparent. My one tiny complaint is the very few instances of spoken word narrative being slightly louder than necessary. Of course, that’s nowhere near enough to detract from the perfection this album accomplishes.
With Mabool, Orphaned Land have truly proven their greatness. It’s likely an early contender for some extremely high placements on many top ten lists of 2004. Their vision has obviously been realized to a tee. Nothing here is less then perfection and this is a huge breath of fresh air into the metal world despite not being so outlandish as not to be a perfectly suitable listen for even the most discriminating metal fans. Mabool absolutely goes very highly recommended. It can safely be said that only the deaf might be disappointed by this fine record.
The Kiss Of Babylon (The Sins)
Halo Dies (The Wrath Of God)
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