Israel seems to be a cradle for impressive progressive metal bands. After Orphaned Land’s masterpiece All Is One, which was my favorite record last year, I went on to discover similar acts and found the band Amaseffer. This trio from Tel Avic has only released one record so far, but this album is an extremely impressive release. Exodus – Slaves For Life is a conceptual record about the history of the people of Israel as portrayed in the Old Testament, and it’s supposed to be the first part of a trilogy. Right now, the band is rather inactive because two of its members have been working in another symphonic progressive metal called Reign Of The Architect. This band released a more science-fiction influenced record entitled Rise in 2013.
Exodus – Slaves For Life is a bombastic and challenging seventy-eight minute long soundtrack of cinematic dimensions. The record may be difficult, but is satisfactory even upon first try. It’s worth many spins, as it is very detailed and sophisticated, inviting listeners to discover more and more details, to dig deeper and deeper into its epic atmosphere, and to let the ambitious lyrical concept unfold. The album features epic symphonic elements, radio play passages with narration and touching actors, many calm moments driven by enchanting Middle Eastern folklore and the use of flutes or tablas, and, of course, melodic mid-tempo metal with melodic vocals along with a few harsher and more vivid passages at the right moments. I can’t pick out any song individually, as this is a continuous listening experience, but let me tell you that the record has absolutely no filler and never gets dull.
The band invited fifteen session actors, musicians and singers that add a lot of diversity to the project. You should definitely know some of them. Above all, there are the charismatic vocals of Mats Levén (who has collaborated with bands such as Apocalyptica, Candlemass and Therion). Let’s also cite the guest appearance of Orphaned Land’s singer Kobi Farhi, and female vocalist Maya Avraham completes the clean vocal array. On the other side, we have screams performed by Yotam Avni from melodic death metal band Prey For Nothing, as well as Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy fame. Together, this strong line-up delivers a gripping experience for your ears and your mind.
If you are a fan of bands such as Melechesh, Myrath, Orphaned Land, Septicflesh, and Therion, and if you are ready to seriously spend some time on a gripping and mindblowing listening experience, you will be rewarded by discovering a true masterpiece of symphonic and progressive metal. If you think you have discovered everything that is possible in the metal scene, better think again and try out this release. I’m absolutely amazed, and can’t wait for a second part of the trilogy in the near future.