Meet the Israeli band ushering in a new wave of progressive metal from the Middle Eastern nation.
When veteran Israeli progressive metallers Orphaned Land invited Subterranean Masquerade on tour, they were able to flaunt their genre-bending chops to a global audience. Now they want to build on that experience to inspire a new generation of prog Israeli bands to follow in their footsteps.
“The Israeli prog community is getting bigger,” says vocalist Davidavi Dolev. “We hope what we’re doing will open more doors for bands in future. There are many bands here; promoters just need to put them on the plane.”
The band, who seamlessly blend bombastic orchestrations, gospel and klezmer music with prog metal influences are celebrating the release of their fourth album, Mountain Fever.
“Musically, we wanted to manifest the pluralism of the culture we’re from,” Dolev says of their sound. “Israel is such a diverse place; we want to portray that with our music.”
Not only is it their first album as a fully-fledged band, as they’ve been a studio-only project until now, it’s also their first through a major label in Sensory Records and their third album in five years. That output is a consequence, their vocalist says, of a lack of gigging opportunities and the income they provide.
“I think that something really beautiful has happened in that, because people cannot afford or to go to Europe and record at and pay for European standard studios, they started building their own studios and creating their own sound.
“I think there’s a certain spirit that defines the Israeli sound,” Dolev says. “Because Israeli musicians are so starved of playing live there’s a real hunger when they do get on stage. There’s something almost posttraumatic in the performance that makes the music either very virtuosic or extremely colourful. They’ll use every stage as a chance to compete with bands from the West because we feel we are not coming from the same opportunities. There’s no shortage of bands and they’re willing to fight. “We’re hoping that within a few years the sound here will be really identifiable and there will be a new wave of Israeli progressive metal, something we are really proud to be a part of. I’m optimistic about it.” POW
“We’re hoping for a new wave of Israeli prog metal.”
Mountain Fever is out now via Sensory. See www.submasq.net for more.