Orphaned Land / Mullost / Even Flow

Israeli peace-seekers find a new source of power

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“Yes this is a church, and yes there is a bar” is the sign that greets the array of well-dressed concert-goers, parishioners and black-draped metalheads heading to the pews of the 19th-century East End church.

This show by the Israeli peace metallers was never going to be ordinary. After the upbeat melodies with a melancholic twist of EVEN FLOW [7], the excellent strings and piano set from opera metallers MULLOST [8] is weird and spiky enough not to feel out of kilter. Next we have 15 minutes of sub-Van Canto a cappella dicking around from the headliners’ backing choir, which ends with Kobi Farhi (white-robed and Christ-like) joining them to sing Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah.

A godlike performance

A godlike performance (Image credit: Marie Korner)

It’s a bizarre start to a gorgeous, emotional show from **ORPHANED LAND [9] *but from there on, it’s all about them. The favourites are all there and there are a few rarities that suit the acoustic show that wouldn’t work otherwise (New Jerusalem* especially). But the songs that shine are those where the setting and arrangements add something, most prominently Brother, an imploring apology to Ishmael from Isaac, sung beautifully in front of a statue of the Prince of Peace. Emotional and exquisite.