Orphaned Land is a Progressive Metal band from Israel formed in 1991. They combine Progressive, Doom and Death Metal as well as Middle-Eastern folk music and Arabic traditions in a form of Oriental Metal. Their latest album All Is One, released in 2013, can best be described with one of their statements: “People should be judged by their hearts and inner sincerity, not their religious beliefs.” No wonder there even was an online petition in 2012 for them to be awarded with the Nobel Price for their commitment to bring people from different nations and religions together. In a Metal world where religion tends to be just an element for easy provocation and PR it’s important that bands like Orphaned Land exist. Their message is positive, rational and humanistic.
All Is One’s major message is the unity of the Abrahamic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Abraham is considered to be a founding father of all three religions. In Judaism he is hailed as the first Hebrew and the father of the Jewish people. As a reward for his act of faith in one God, he was promised that Isaac, his second son, would inherit the Land of Israel (then called Canaan). In Christianity Abraham’s significance lies in his unwavering faith – his faith in God’s ultimate grace. Muslims regard him as a prophet and patriarch, the archetype of the perfect Muslim, and the revered reformer of the Kaaba in Mecca (source).
Ironically All Is One was recorded in three different countries: Israel, Turkey and Sweden. Countries that are Jewish, Muslim and Christian respectively, which strengthens the Orphaned Land message of unity through music (source).
The album’s cover artwork reflects that concept in the most logical and simplest way by combining the icons of each religion. The cross, the star of david and the crescent (using the star of David as star). Very simple, very graphic, very powerful. A message everyone understands but unfortunately still not everyone follows. Additionally we can see iconic beams of light originating from the upper centre of the artwork usually standing for a divine power. Another nice detail I really like is that the three symbols aren’t just layed on top of each other, they are connected and intervowen. They can’t be separated that easily, they belong together.