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On disc: Ephrat

- No One's Words - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

No One's Words

No One's Words
(InsideOut Music - 2008)

There aren't too many bands coming from Israel, but with Ephrat there is a new band arising from the a land which seems to be in the news almost every day.. But what do we know about Israel? Mainly the historical details and today's problems. Mastermind Omer Ephrat will now show us a new side of Israel with his music. The guitarist and keyboarder is responsible for all songs and that he got Steven Wilson for the mix as well as Daniel Gildenl÷w and Petronella Nettermalm for guest appearances tells a lot about the kind of music and the quality!
The opening track is called The Show and kicks off with electronic sounds, but soon the band takes over and present a mid-paced riff-based prog rock tune with the emotional vocals of Lior Seker. The heavy riffs are based in metal and let you think of bands like Iron Maiden or even Metallica, but in combination with the vocals and the guitar melody it becomes a prog rock song. The vocals carry some melancholy... A melange of the past and the present of prog rock. Later in this 10-minute epos a slow part with reminiscences to the sounds of the middle East accompanied by flute makes the song differ. Heavy riffs set in and lead you back to the main theme - in a variation. At the following Haze you hear Petronella Nettermalm (Paatos) adding her unique voice. Slowly the song shows it's beauty with heavy guitars and distorted vocals and slow parts where Petronella's vocals are ethereal - and remind me a bit of Tori Amos... And some parts are kinda placed between the two sides of the song. Enthralling. Later the song culminates and has some classic citation... some similarity, not really a citation - I think it's Grieg's Peer Gynt... For Better Than Anything Lior Seker takes over the mic again. Slowly and balladesque it starts with acoustic guitar and flute. Again they switch between heavy riffed parts and more balladesque ones. At Better Than Anything you find again some pieces of ethnic music woven in, but also parts which could be taken from some soundtrack. A rollercoaster ride.
Blocked is the shortest track on No One's Words and just shy of 5 minutes and can entertain you even without vocals! Then it's time for Daniel Gildenl÷w to add his vocals to The Sum Of Damage Done - and the song has a rock edge. Quite catchy and more focussed on rock while the progressive elements step back a bit - at least for a bit. Gildenl÷w's vocals style is based in hard rock at the beginning. But surely they surprise you during this 10 minute track with twists and turns. The closer is Real with more then 18 minutes! At Real Lior Seker is joined by Petronella Nettermalm and so makes the tune stick out. And it's the heaviest track, but also has slower and more balladesque parts. After about a minute there is a short piano part with distorted vocals and it somehow make me think of Beatles for a moment... Later a short frenzy is giving you a brief look into jazz. And then into electronic sounds. Omer Ephrat knows how to get the listener's attention and how to keep it!
Mastermind Omer Ephrat created some cool tunes which combine heaviness, balladesque parts and ethnical elements. His guitar play is emotional or if necessary he fires heavy riffs at the listener. I think everybody thinks of Jethro Tull when there is a flute played at a rock tune, but that's okay. The flute adds something special to their prog rock mix.

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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