Orphaned Land’s Kobi Farhi may be the first progressive heavy metal musician to channel Plato for musical inspiration.
The Greek philosopher’s seminal Allegory of the Cave served as the core of the band’s sixth studio album, “Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs,”
released at the end of January and the basis of an upcoming tour in Europe and the US.
In the 13 new songs, the band takes a look at the world’s situation, criticizing humanity for doing nothing about dire events taking place throughout the world.
“The fact that people today are so into gossip and reality TV, it’s like drugs that keeps them asleep while bad things are happening,” said Farhi. “That’s the concept of the album; it’s a wake-up call, shaking people up.”
Kobi Farhi of Orphaned Land sits down to give us a Track-By-Track overview of their new album "Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs"Check out the album now! https://orphanedland.lnk.to/UnsungProphetsAndDeadMessiahs
Posted by Orphaned Land on Tuesday, 30 January 2018
It’s not an unusual approach for Farhi and Orphaned Land, whose sound is intense and often dark, and with Middle Eastern influences woven into nearly all of their songs.
The band appeals to headbangers of all stripes (see “Like Orpheus” below — one of their new videos), but also attracts fans for its messages of honesty and truth, as well as peace and unity. Orphaned Land opened for Metallica during that band’s 2010 Israeli concert and are considered the premier metal band in Israel.
They’re also a band that regularly critiques religion and politics, said Farhi, 42, although this time they’re taking aim at regular folks “who stand around and do nothing.”
In a 15-minute video that Farhi made for fans introducing the album, he speaks about Plato’s allegory and similar tales, including that of the Israelite slaves after the Exodus, who told Moses they would have preferred to remain in Egypt “with the devils they knew,” said Farhi, rather than face life on their own.
“It’s one of the biggest problems of humanity, being trapped in this darkness,” he said. “It’s a very human behavior. People are born in the cave, chained with their heads against the cave and they don’t want to leave the cave. And Plato realized that all the way back then.”
For fans, he said, the album is akin to coming out of their own caves.
“When you see people going to metal concerts, it’s like they’re out of their caves,” he said. “We based the song on characters that exist. I know a Muslim girl that had problems going to metal concerts and Jewish guys who did too, because they always connect metal music to Satanic messages. It’s automatic judgment. It’s the cave.”
The album cover is also conveys the band’s message, showing elements of resistance and Big Brother looking down on humanity, said Farhi.
“I’m not naive enough to think I can change the world, but if we make a few people think, that’s our contribution,” he said.
The band is heading out on tour in late February, and plans on touring the US in May. Check its Facebook page for more details. The band’s official Israel launch is on April 25, in Binyamina’s Shuni amphitheater.
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