Interview with Chen Balbus (Orphaned Land, The Secret Saints)

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Chen Balbus is an Israeli guitarist, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and composer currently playing with Orphaned Land and The Secret Saints. Orphaned Land is widely regarded as the pioneers of “oriental metal,” and are one of the biggest musical acts to come from Israel, using religious allusions and iconography to hold up a mirror to the world and comment on the current state of affairs across the globe. January 2018 saw the release of their latest album, Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs (check out our review of the album here), with a resulting North American tour alongside TYR, Ghost Ship Octavius, and Aeternam in the spring.

Sonic Perspectives author and interviewer Austin Kokel had the chance to catch up with Chen Balbus via phone interview as the band was making their way to the last couple dates of the tour, and they discussed the larger meanings of some songs in the Orphaned Land discography, what goes into the music, former Orphaned Land guitar hero Yossi Sassi, what Balbus does to keep busy when not occupied by Orphaned Land duties, and more. You can hear the entire interview, as well as the opening track “The Cave” from the band’s new album, in the link below.

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