Known to me as the Co-founder of Orphaned Land, Yossi Sassi is an internationally acclaimed musician having shared the stage with a plethora of artists from across the world, such as Metallica, Steve Vai, Marty Friedman and Steven Wilson to name a few. Having given a TED talk on ‘The power of music to unite people’, he was awarded 4 peace and friendship awards from cities and governments. That’s not all, he invented the unique Bouzouki-Guitar instrument (Electric guitar combined with acoustic Bouzouki) and is known to play 17 different types of guitars and traditional instruments.
While the music has a blend of eastern and Oriental scales eclectically blended with Progressive rock we do hear a lot of experimentation with tones. The band loves to drive inspiration from different cultures in the world, while listing Joe Satriani, David Gilmour, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, and Opeth as some of their influences. To me that’s a wonderful list of progressive influencers and some of my favourites too. “Hear and Dare”, marks as the 5th Studio album released on the 19th of March 2021, with Production by Amir Rozanes, Concept art by Amir Rozanes, Liza Murashkovsky, Album design by Noa Reshef, Engineered and recorded by Liron Schaffer at Black Rock Studios, Santorini, Greece; Additional recordings at Jaffa Sound Arts; Mixed and Mastered by Liron Schaffer & Jonathan Jacobi.
The album starts off with “Brotherhood” which is an absolute ecstatic Instrumental piece, an amalgamation of different instruments, cultures, seasons, stories and eras. The song arrangement showcases immense maturity and creativity, and Yossi is a master blender. “The Mind Spirit” booms in and takes on a progressive stance, with odd time sequences, a blend of multitude of instruments, where East meets West which sounds as if the melodies are duelling out and eventually culminating into something unique and mellifluous. “Hear and Dare” starts off with crunchy guitar riffs layering on marching drums, and as all the elements mix up, we hear Mats Levén adding a unique blend into the mix with his vocal deliveries. The song carries its momentum and ends the way it starts (only a pitch higher).