Video Premiere: Yossi Sassi & Oriental Rock Orchestra (ft. Mats Levén) — “Hear and Dare”

Hot damn! Here comes Yossi Sassi — mastermind of legendary expansive, boundary-defying Israeli metallers Orphaned Land — with an predictably unpredictable, extremely eclectic, hyper-unique, absolutely killer record — check that unreal shred courtesy the “bouzoukitara,” a musical instrument Sassi invented that “combines an electric guitar, a bouzouki and an acoustic guitar” — and he’s brought along none other than Mats Levén (Therion; Candlemass) to handle lead vox.

“This album is a true homage to music and musicians and the rare moments of synergistic creativity that they share,” Sassi tells Decibel. “It was recorded in between lockdowns at a top notch studio on the Island of Santorini, Greece, and the group had to learn the music on the island itself. Waking up without mobile phones nor schedule, learning songs on the balcony and recording in front of the Mediterranean sea. A blissful and unique experience that reflects on the result! My metal roots obviously are there, coming from thirty years of metal touring, recording, producing, etcetera — for example, the track ‘Hear and Dare’ features Mats Levén on vocals and offers an eclectic blend of East meets west, heavy rock/metal with traditional music.”

The exuberant, vital record, Hear and Dare, drops on 3/19 but we’ve got an exclusive stream of the video for the title track below. And then I’ll also toss in his TED talk on the “meeting point of Oriental roots and rock” for good measure. Enjoy!