Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Amaseffer - A Progressive Metal Exodus

Amaseffer album coverIt's the last night of Passover and I wanted to share one last bit of Passover music. Last summer Amaseffer, an Israeli progressive metal band, released a highly regarded album called "Slaves for Life" which is the first of a trilogy (seriously) of albums retelling the story of the Exodus.

I was introduced to Amaseffer by the Israel Beat podcast, which offers some tracks from the album and a nice interview with band member Erez Yohanan, and have spent time on the bands website listening to the samples. I'm honestly not sure what I think of the music. It's an amazingly ambitious work, one that combines elements of heavy and progressive metal with Jewish liturgical and folk music in a sparse but powerfully cinemagraphic, arrangements. My only complaint was that I found it a bit monotonous after awhile. Listening to a soundtrack without watching the movie can be like that sometimes. There wasn't as much melodic range or experimentation as I'd hoped for.

But based on the reviews I've read, a lot of people love this album. The website Metal Underground, for example, says...
"Never in the history of metal music has there been such a colossal undertaking as the Israeli band Amaseffer’s plan to release a trilogy of albums based on the Old Testament. Daunting and controversial, yes, but the results, at least for the first album, "Slaves For Life," are awe-inspiring."
So there you go, daunting and awe-inspiring. I will say that I will probably buy the album and give it more of a serious listen and that I can easily see it in heavy rotation next Passover in my house. During the interview Yohanan promised two more albums continuing the story and then a concert series where all three albums worth of material are played, will full backing band and choirs. That, to be sure, would be something to hear and see.

The best way to hear album samples is to go to the Amasaeffer website or MySpace page, both provide lots of clips. To hear the interview, check out to the Israel Beat blog.


camfrogcuyumbeta said...
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Avi player said...

This album turned out great! Do they have a facebook page? There also is a way to create band pages and post playlists.