Metal across borders

by Brett Stevens
July 20, 2013 –

orphaned_land-band_photo

At a recent concert in Tel Aviv, Israel, a remarkable thing happened: two bands from two different cultures, Jewish and Arab, stood up together and performed a concert.

“We are metal brothers before anything,” Abed Khathout, bass player for Khalas (“enough” in Arabic) said. His comment was underscored by Koby Farhi, Orphaned Land’s lead singer. ” Tonight is the second time we’re playing together — Orphaned Land and Khalas, as Israelis and Arabs. Having a brotherhood, sharing the stage, simply shows that Rock and Roll music is above politics, ” he said.

Farhi added, “The purpose of art is to represent harmony and coexistence in places of disharmony.” This marks the first time the bands were able to do this, after a similar show in Egypt was cancelled in November.

The more pressing question might be whether metal, the music that decidedly is not about peace and harmony, achieves a greater sense of balance by allowing people to speak honestly about their ambitions and desires, instead of hiding behind layers of social pretense.

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9 comments

  • Ben Salmon

    Orphaned Land are a bit too full of themselves and they carry the stench of Steven Wilson. They used to be good, back at 96.

    1. Anthony

      Yeah, particularly that second album of theirs was pretty good. It came out on Holy Records at the time, and it totally fit in with their label output up to that point, stuff like Supuration, Septic Flesh, etc. The early Salem stuff is also pretty good. Melechesh is still probably the best band from Israel in the end, though.

  • Cum baya

    right! now we can all hold hands because metal transcends borders and skin color and reminds us that inside we are all children of god and we are all the same inside!!! like metal and rock music, i still dont get it why some bigots try to make them look like theyre irreconciliable, its just fun music like Orphaned Land! kudos to this writer who once i thought was a fascist elitist but it turns out he is pretty okay.

  • deadite

    As liberal happy-feely this all sounds, I’m glad it’s happening. Wish they would lay off the term “rock and roll” though.

  • The Dude

    I fail to understand the aversion people on this website have to the term “rock and roll”. That phrase obviously doesn’t bare the same connotations that it used to and in this context is being used in an obviously direct reference to heavy metal music.

    My uncle is an old metal fan and recalls that back in the day before they even had the term “heavy metal” they just called it acid rock. Furthermore, several heavy metal bands such as Venom, Motorhead, Dio, Carcass, etc. have described their music as being rock and roll. We know that they aren’t saying that they sound like Elvis Presley or Buddy Holly, it’s not that difficult of an inference to make.

    1. Dominating Fucker

      So, what’s your point besides: “I don’t like that you don’t like the term rock and roll”??
      The way that I see it is that back in 1983 or so, (as in the early 70s) artist tried hard to get away from rock and roll as a pattern of thought in favor of a different mode of thought that in essence was antagonistic with the rock and roll mentality!
      .
      This means that early 70s artist (kosmische musicians for instance) and 1983 metal artist shunned the rock mentality in favor of something which birthed underground metal. Therefore to answer your question, rock and roll is not only a term but an overall ideal which is at odds with underground metal; at least the early creators of underground metal that is. Even NWOBHM shows this same intent of shying away from that mentality.

    2. fallot

      The phrase has the exact same connotations it always had, it just describes different music today. The rock and roll mentality is unqualified individualism (translation: me! me! me!).

      1. Brett Stevens Post author

        The rock and roll mentality is unqualified individualism (translation: me! me! me!).

        I agree. As a result the music has a passive vibe, and tends to be based on “entertaining” discontinuity rather than adroitly concealed continuity, as death metal is.

        Rock ‘n’ roll is obsolete and has been for over twenty years.