Orphaned Land

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Orphaned Land
Orphaned Land at the Tbilisi BLITZKRIEG Fest 2014
Orphaned Land at the Tbilisi BLITZKRIEG Fest 2014
Background information
Also known asResurrection (1991–1992)
OriginPetah Tikva/Bat Yam, Israel
Years active1991–1997, 2001–present
LabelsCentury Media
MembersKobi Farhi
Uri Zelcha
Chen Balbus
Matan Shmuely
Idan Amsalem
Past membersMatti Svatizky
Sami Bachar
Itzik Levy
Eran Asias
Eden Rabin
Avi Diamond
Yatziv Caspi
Yossi Sa'aron Sassi

Orphaned Land is an Israeli metal band, formed in 1991 under the name Resurrection (changing their name in 1992 to the current name), that combines Israeli Jewish, Mizrahi, and other West Asian influences. They are considered the pioneers of oriental metal.[1][2] The band has gone through several lineup changes over the years, but has retained two of the founding members, Kobi Farhi (vocals) and Uri Zelcha (bass). They are joined by Matan Shmuely (drums), Chen Balbus (guitar/keyboard) who replaced co-founding member Matti Svatizky in 2012, and Idan Amsalem (guitars/bouzouki) who replaced co-founding member Yossi Sassi in early 2014. Their lyrics promote a message of peace and unity, particularly between the three main Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Islam, and Christianity).


Kobi Farhi, lead vocalist

In 1992, the band changed its name from the original Resurrection[3] 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.[4]

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).[5]

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, with the majority of the band members identifying as atheist or agnostic.[6][7][8]

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.[9] 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.[10]

In 2008, Orphaned Land was featured in the documentary Global Metal, a film by the creators of Metal: A Headbanger's Journey.[11]

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 a replacement guitar player for some live shows, before he became an official member. Chen instantly became an integral part of the composing, writing, producing and recording of the new album, All Is One.[citation needed]

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.[12]

Orphaned Land's fifth album, entitled All is One, was released on June 21, 2013, and worldwide on the 25th. The previous vocalist, Shlomit Levi, did not perform on this album, so female vocals were performed instead by Mira Awad. Despite its optimistic title, the band considers it their darkest album thematically, albeit musically their most accessible, being nearly devoid of death metal influence.

On January 7, 2014, Orphaned Land announced on their Facebook page that it had parted ways with guitarist and co-founding member Yossi Sassi.[13] He was replaced by guitarist Idan Amsalem.

Orphaned Land won Metal Hammer award for "Global Metal Band of the Year 2014".[14] The band also released a new music video for the track "Let the Truce Be Known" which is directed by Vadim Machona.[15]

In 2017, Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett called Kobi Farhi. He was looking for artists that work for peace between people, and unsurprisingly, he chose Orphaned Land. The two sides immediately clicked and started collaborating. Together with the highly acclaimed Israeli-Arab singer, Mira Awad, Farhi sings on Hackett’s album, The Night Siren and on the song, "West to East". Later on, Hackett continued to work with Orphaned Land and recorded a guitar solo for the band’s new album,[16] which was released on January 26, 2018, entitled Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs.[17] In September 2018, Orphaned Land won the 'Video Of The Year' award at the Progressive Music Awards 2018 in London, for their video, "Like Orpheus".[18]

Band members[edit]



Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales
  • Released: November 25, 1994
  • Label: Holy Records
  • Formats: CD, CS, LP
El Norra Alila
  • Released: July 18, 1996
  • Label: Holy Records
  • Formats: CD, CS
  • Released: February 23, 2004
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download[22]
The Never Ending Way of ORWarriOR
  • Released: January 25, 2010
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, CD+DVD, LP, digital download[23]
192 44
All Is One
  • Released: June 24, 2013
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, CD+DVD, LP, digital download[24]
Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs
  • Released: January 26, 2018
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, CD+DVD, LP, digital download
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Title Album details
The Beloved's Cry
  • Released: 1993
  • Label: Self-released
  • Formats: CS


Title Album details
  • Released: September 16, 2005
  • Label: Profound Lore Records
  • Formats: LP
Sukkot in Berlin (EP)

Live albums[edit]

Title Album details
The Road to OR-Shalem
  • Released: October 24, 2011
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, DVD, DVD+CD

Other albums[edit]

Title Album details Notes
Sentenced / Orphaned Land
  • Released: 2005
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD
  • Released: 2016
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD
Orphaned Land & Friends
  • Released: 2017
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD
The Peace Series Vol. 1
  • Released: 2021
  • Taklitim Holim
  • Formats: Digital

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Directed Album
2004 "Ocean Land"[26] Yosi Arzi Mabool
"Norra El Norra"[27] Eli Klein
2010 "Sapari"[28] Shahar Hamo, Matan Cohen The Never Ending Way of ORWarriOr
2013 "Brother"[29] Ami Bornstein All Is One
"All Is One" Shahar Hamo[30]
2014 "Let the Truce Be Known" Vadim Machona[31]
2017 "Children" [32]
"Like Orpheus"[33] Vadim Machona[34] Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs
2018 "We Do Not Resist"[35] Shahar Hemo[36]


  1. ^ Erdem, M. Nur; Kocabay-Şener, Nihal; Demir, Tuğba (2 October 2020). Handbook of Research on Aestheticization of Violence, Horror, and Power. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-7998-4656-7.
  2. ^ Bennett, Andy; Shank, Barry; Toynbee, Jason (2006). The Popular Music Studies Reader (1st ed.). London and New York: Routledge. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-415-30710-9.
  3. ^ "MusicMight :: Artists :: ORPHANED LAND". April 15, 2012. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012.
  4. ^ . February 4, 2005 https://web.archive.org/web/20050204063604/http://www.orphaned-land.com/default.php?language=en. Archived from the original on February 4, 2005. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "Concept -> The Concept of El Norra Alila". Archived from the original on November 12, 2007.
  6. ^ "Interview: Matti Svatizky, Orphaned Land – MuchMoreMetal.com". Squatneysteel.wordpress.com. 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  7. ^ "Interview with Orphaned Land". MetalIndia Magazine. 2012-01-29. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  8. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  9. ^ "Orphaned Land - Encyclopaedia Metallum". The Metal Archives. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  10. ^ "Metal Storm Awards 2010 Progressive Metal". Metalstorm.net. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  11. ^ "Orphaned Land - New Album On The Way - Metal Storm". Metalstorm.ee. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  12. ^ "Nominate Orphaned Land for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize". Facebook.com. 2012-10-23. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  13. ^ "Orphaned Land - Orphaned Land and Yossi Sassi part ways:..." Facebook. 2014-01-06. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  14. ^ "ORPHANED LAND Premieres "Let The Truce Be Known" Video". Knac.com. Aug 25, 2014.
  15. ^ "New Music Video "Let The Truce Be Known" Released By Orphaned Land". Metalunderground.com. Aug 25, 2014.
  16. ^ Orphaned Land Collaborates With Genesis' Guitar Legend, Steve Hackett (Playbuzz, April 2017)
  17. ^ "ORPHANED LAND ANNOUNCE NEW STUDIO ALBUM FOR RELEASE IN JANUARY 2018". Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. July 6, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  18. ^ "ORPHANED LAND: Win 'Video Of The Year' At Progressive Music Awards 2018". Metalshockfinland.com. September 14, 2018. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  19. ^ "Ultratop Belgian Charts". Ultratop.be. 2013-06-29. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  20. ^ "Les charts français". Lescharts.com. 2010-01-30. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  21. ^ "greekcharts.com - Greek charts portal". 2012-06-08. Archived from the original on 2012-06-08. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  22. ^ "Mabool - The Story of the Three Sons of Seven by Orphaned Land". Music.apple.com. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  23. ^ "The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR by Orphaned Land". Music.apple.com. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  24. ^ "All Is One by Orphaned Land". Music.apple.com. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  25. ^ "Metal By Numbers 7/3: July Burns Red, White And Blue". Metal Insider. 2013-07-03. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  26. ^ "Orphaned Land - Ocean Land (Official Video)". YouTube. 2009-01-12. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  27. ^ "Orphaned Land: 'Norra El Norra' Video Available For Download". Blabbermouth.net. 2005-04-06. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  28. ^ "Orphaned Land: 'Sapari' Video Available". Blabbermouth.net. 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  29. ^ "Orphaned Land: 'Brother' Video Released". Blabbermouth.net. 2013-05-28. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  30. ^ "Orphaned Land: 'All Is One' Video Released". Blabbermouth.net. 2013-07-15. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  31. ^ "Century Media Records - Orphaned Land: : premieres video "Let The Truce Be Known"". Centurymedia.com. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  32. ^ "Orphaned Land and German Letzte Instanz release video "children"". rockhard.de. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  33. ^ "ORPHANED LAND Releases 'Like Orpheus' Single/Video Feat. Voice Of BLIND GUARDIAN's HANSI KÜRSCH". Blabbermouth.net. 2017-12-08. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  34. ^ "Orphaned Land: - release single and video for "Like Orpheus (ft. Hansi Kürsch)"". Centurymedia.com. 2017-12-08. Retrieved 2017-12-08.
  35. ^ "ORPHANED LAND: Lyric Video For New Song 'We Do Not Resist'". Blabbermouth.net. 2018-01-05. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  36. ^ "Orphaned Land: - release single and lyric video for "We Do Not Resist"!". Centurymedia.com. 2018-01-05. Retrieved 2018-01-05.

External links[edit]