Orphaned Land performing at Wacken Open Air in August 2010
|Also known as||Resurrection|
|Origin||Petah Tikva/Bat Yam, Israel|
|Genres||Folk metal, Oriental metal, progressive metal, death/doom|
|Associated acts||Mahavatar, Distorted, Porcupine Tree|
Yossi Sa'aron Sassi
|Past members||Matti Svatizky
Orphaned Land is an Israeli progressive metal band, formed in 1991 under the name Resurrection (changing their name in 1992 to the current name), that combines Jewish and Arabian influences. The band has gone through several lineup changes over the years, but has retained three of the founding members, Kobi Farhi (vocals), Uri Zelcha (bass), and Yossi Sassi (guitars/strings). They are joined by Matan Shmuely (drums) as well as Chen Balbus (guitar/keyboard), who replaced founding member, Matti Svatizky in 2012.
In 1992, the band changed its name from the original Resurrection to Orphaned Land. Orphaned Land fuse progressive, doom, and death metal as well as Middle-Eastern folk music and Arabic traditions in a form of Oriental metal. Each album has some concept related to two extremes: a meeting of East and West, past and present, light and darkness, and God and Satan.
The band’s first album was Sahara (1994) which was originally released as a demo. The second album, El Norra Alila (1996), had many Eastern/Oriental influences, such as "El Norra Alila" ("Illustrious God"), based on a poem sung during Yom Kippur as a plea of forgiveness. It also included songs with traditional oriental Jewish piyyut and Arabic melodies. The album explored the themes of light and darkness, as well as conveying the message of commonality between the three main Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Islam, and Christianity).
The third album, Mabool: The Story of the Three Sons of Seven (the Hebrew name for the Deluge, depicted in the Bible and Noah's story), released in 2004, was seven years in the making. It tells the story of three sons (one for each Abrahamic religion) who try to warn humanity of a flood coming as punishment for their sins. Musically, the album contains oriental instruments, two choruses, traditional Yemenite chants sung by Shlomit Levi, and quotes of biblical verses from the story of the deluge, read by vocalist Kobi Farhi. After Mabool, Orphaned Land released an EP, Ararat (2005) named after Mount Ararat. Despite their songs drawing on biblical themes, the band have said that they are not religious.
On January, 2010, Orphaned Land released the follow-up to Mabool, entitled The Never Ending Way of ORWarriOR. ORWarriOR means "Warrior of Light", and the concept is the battle between light and darkness. The album has a different sound than Mabool, and was mixed by Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree. The first single from the CD was titled "Sapari" and was put on Myspace with two other tracks, "Vayehi OR" and "Disciples of the Sacred Oath II". In early 2011, ORWarriOR was rated the Metal Storm number one progressive metal album of 2010 by users with 421/1130 total votes.
On May 22, 2010, Orphaned Land performed as the opening act to Metallica's show in Israel. Following this, the band went on a festival tour in the summer of 2010, promoting their latest album, The Never Ending Way of ORWarriOR, with appearances at such festivals as Wacken Open Air, Summer Breeze Open Air, Sonisphere Festival, Gods of Metal, Rock Hard Festival and more. After the summer festival tour, the band will go on a North American tour in support of Katatonia, along with Swallow the Sun. This will be followed by a tour of Europe supporting Amorphis along with Ghost Brigade.
They performed on June 19, 2011, at the French Metal Festival Hellfest held in Clisson, near Nantes. In February 2011, they performed at the Riviera cultural festival at VIT University, Vellore, India. And in February 2012, they performed at the festival Alcheringa at Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT), India.
On June 11, 2012, guitarist Matty Svatitzky announced his departure from the band, due to personal issues. Matti Svatitzky was replaced by Chen Balbus, a young musician who was Yossi Sassi's guitar student, and replacement guitar player for some live shows, before he turned to be an official member. Chen instantly turned to be a integral part of the composing, writing, producing and recording of the new album, 'All Is One".
In 2012 there was an online petition for Orphaned Land to be awarded a Nobel Prize for their commitment to allowing the Arab World to listen to their music despite bans on such a thing from Arab League countries.
Orphaned Land is currently in the final stages of the band's fifth album, entitled All is One, to be released on June 24-25, 2013. Shlomit Levy did not perform on this album, and female vocals will be performed instead by Mira Awad.
- The Beloved's Cry (1993)
Studio albums 
- Sahara (1994)
- El Norra Alila (1996)
- Mabool (2004)
- The Never Ending Way of ORWarriOR (2010)
- All Is One (2013)
- The Road to OR-Shalem (2011)
- Music videos
- "Ocean Land" (2004) – Mabool
- "Norra El Norra" (2004) – Mabool
- "Sapari" (2010) – The Never Ending Way of ORWarriOR
- "A Heaven You May Create" – The Never Ending Way of ORWarriOR Limited Edition DVD (2010)
- "Vayehi Or: 20 Years of Journey" – The Road to OR-Shalem DVD bonus (2011)
Band members 
- Current members
- Kobi Farhi – vocals, leading chants, growls, narrations, choir & backing vocals (1991–present)
- Uri Zelcha – electric, acoustic & fretless bass (1991–present)
- Yossi Sassi – electric & acoustic guitars, oud, saz, bouzouki, chumbush, backing vocals (1991–present)
- Matan Shmuely – drums, percussion (2007–present)
- Chen Balbus – electric, acoustic guitars & bouzouki, backing vocals, piano, xylophone (2012–present)
- Former members
- Matti Svatitzki – rhythm electric & acoustic guitars (1991–2012)
- Sami Bachar – drums, percussion (1991–2000)
- Itzik Levy – keyboards, piano (1991–1996)
- Eran Asias – drums, percussion (2000–2004)
- Eden Rabin – keyboards, backing vocals (2001–2005)
- Avi Diamond – drums, percussion (2004–2007)
- Yatziv Caspi – percussion (2004–2007)
- Former touring members
- Steven Wilson – keyboards (2010)
- Shlomit Levi – female vocals (2004–2012 )
- "ORPHANED LAND MusicMight".
- "Welcome to the Ark of Orphaned Land".
- "Concept -> The Concept of El Norra Alila".
- "Interview: Matti Svatizky, Orphaned Land".
- "Encyclopaedia Metallum – Orphaned Land".
- "Metal Storm Awards 2010 Progressive Metal". www.metalstorm.net. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- "Orphaned Land – New Album on the Way: News @ metalstorm.ee".
- "ORPHANED LAND Putting Finishing Touches On New Album: News @ BLABBERMOUTH.NET".
- Orphaned Land – DVD Tracklist and Cover Revealed
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