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Oriental metal

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Oriental metal

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Oriental metal
Stylistic origins: arab music, Black metal, Death metal, Doom metal, oriental music, Power metal
Cultural origins: Late 1980s Israel and Turkey
Typical instruments: Acoustic guitar/Oud - Electric guitar - Bass guitar - Drums - Keyboards
Mainstream popularity: Varying
Fusion genres
Mesopotamic Black Metal
Other topics
Timeline of heavy metal

Oriental metal is a crossover between death metal and doom metal, influenced by ancient Jewish traditions and the oriental culture.

The Oriental metal evolved in Israel, where bands from the local metal scene began writing metal songs related to Jewish tragedies and biblical stories. This change did not only have an effect on the lyrics, but on the music as well; the bands added traditional instruments and singing to their slow Death metal riffs, creating moving, emotional, apocalyptic music. Some of the bands have also composed Death metal versions to ancient Jewish prayers and Psalms chants.

The most notable bands in this genre are the Israeli bands Salem and Orphaned Land.

Salem was a pioneer of combining metal with Jewish issues, and after a typical Death metal album in 1992, Salem produced the first Oriental metal album in 1994. The album is called Kaddish (literally "holiness", a Jewish prayer asking God to come to earth) which deals with the Holocaust and the massacre of six millions Jews by Nazi Germany. The most powerful song in the album is the metal revision of Ha'ayara Bo'eret - a song in Hebrew that was composed by a Holocaust survivor and depicts the burning of a Jewish town in Europe. The song was adapted to a slow Doom metal version, but sung in Hebrew. In 2002 Salem produced the album Collective Demise dealing with the atrocities of Palestinian suicide bombings against Israelis. In this album Salem wrote a metal adaptation to the Biblical Psalms chant Al Taster. The song opened with Shofar blowing and the chant was sung by duet of clean female vocals and distorted male vocals.

Orphaned Land is in the core a doom/death metal band, but it was highly infuenced by folk music and tradition of the Oriental Jews (Mizrahi). Their album Sahara (1994) was the first to include a combination of Death metal and traditional oriental music. In their second album El Norra Alila (1996), Orphaned Land elaborated the combination of metal and oriental music, including the addition of song with traditional oriental Jewish piyyut and Arab melodies. This album conveyed a message of co-existence between Jews and Muslims. Their third album, Mabool (the Hebrew name for the Deluge, depicted in the bible and Noah's story), 2004, was worked for seven years and takes the combination of doomdeath metal, oriental music and biblical issues to a new level. The album tells the story of three sons (one for each monotheistic religion) which try to warn humanity from a coming flood (deluge) as punishment for their sins. Musicly, the album contain oriental instruments, two choruses, traditional Yemenite chants sung by Shlomit Levi and quotes of Biblical verses from the story, said by Kobi Farhi, one of Orphaned Land's founding members.

In Turkey, the pioneer of Oriental Metal is Pentagram (also known as Mezarkabul (Grave Acceptance) in Europe).

The Pentagram album Anatolia is a best selling metal album in Turkey.

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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