All Is One is the fifth album from Israeli prog metal band, Orphaned Land & the very first I have ever heard. The band combines Arabic & Asian influences into their music while lyrically promoting peace between the major religions of the world.
Politics or religion should never over-shadow music & it is amazing that Orphaned Land has embraced both & let them influence them into creating such an interesting sound.
Opening with the up-lifting title track, All Is One utilises a choir to epic effect & is a song that stays with you long after it finishes as much thanks to the lyrical content… “who cares if you’re a Muslim or a Jew?”
I’m a big fan of the guitar solo that hits around the 3 minute mark.
The Simple Man opens with a flourish from an orchestra that makes an appearance a few times throughout & feels slightly subdued compared to the fast-paced opener. Brother is really heart-warming ballad that showcases Turkish violins & the singer’s voice.
After the lighter edge of the last 2 songs, Let the Truce Be Known is a welcome change & is easily one of the more accessible songs on the album. Perhaps a tad too slow nearer the end though. The ballad style continues into the next track, Through Fire & Water which takes a moment to get going but is one of the stand-out tracks on the album. Sung in Arabic with a back-up from a female singer & the choir it is awe-inspiring stuff.
We then get Fail which is the heaviest songs on the album combining spoken word vocals & death metal-esqe growls. It’s impossible to not nod your head along with the amazing guitar work going on throughout. A real surprise compared to what came before.
Freedom lacks any vocals but makes up for it with a pretty rocking guitar/drum combo. The middle-eastern elements are never more present then in Shama’im. It’s a slow number that never really reaches the heights of the songs that have come before it. Thankfully Ya Benaye picks things back up nicely opening with a nice sounding riff & staying consistently Middle Eastern throughout, particularly in the vocals.
The final 2 songs move a little away from the last couple of heavily influenced Middle Eastern styles with Our Own Messiah combining more metal-esqe vocals, short drum solos & that Orphaned Land feeling of epic-ness.
The album draws to a close with Children, a ballad if you will. Opening with soft singing & a violin before upping the volume suddenly. It’s a song that really showcases the differences in sound found through the album & it’s a fitting ending to an album littered with so many different instruments.
All Is One is certainly a unique album with a few out-standing tracks & plenty of great ones. Musically it can sometimes miss the mark & the Middle Eastern influences get a bit tiresome near the end. However the breadth of talent on show, no one more so then the lead vocalist is awe-inspiring & it’s an album that makes you feel good.
Orphaned Land - All is One (Century Media Records)
- The Final Score - 7/107/10