Israel is one of the most exciting countries in the world - not only if you are interested in history or geography. The country is a cultural melting pot which fuses European influences with an oriental philosophy of life. The band Amaseffer comes from Israel – and their music features a homogeneous mix of rock, metal, world music and the magical sound of the Middle East. Their debut album, entitled Slaves For Life, with its Old Testament story about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt must be one of the most unusual and innovative albums of the year. Slaves For Life consists of sophisticated compositions in terms of content and musical skill, which make most generic terms appear too restrictive. “We don’t want to limit our music by categorising it or restricting it to any specific kind of genre,” says the band’s spokesman and drummer, Erez Yohanan. “Our music is inspired by the scenes that we see in our visions. We try to concentrate on the feel and atmosphere of a ‘scene’ and play what we feel. That’s why our music is so ‘film score’-oriented.” Next to Yohanan, Amaseffer’s nucleus consists of the 24-year-old guitarists, Yuval Kramer and Hanan Avramovich.

The creative trio’s motto is: anything goes! Yuval: “If a flamenco kind of guitar part delivers the right emotions for a specific section, we will put it there. If a fast double bass drum and strong guitar riff gets us where we want to be, so be it. If a soft piano and a solo cello bring us to tears, they go on the CD.” To Yuval, Amaseffer means one strong vision, three different musicians and an unconventional way of working, Yohanan: “We have a few things in common like the love for philharmonic composers and compositions, film scores, traditional oriental music and chants, rock and metal music, and we mix all these influences.” No wonder that Amaseffer were asked to compose the soundtrack for the Israeli film, ´Altalena`, and to write music for computer games.

In Mats Leven (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen), Amaseffer have succeeded in enlisting one of the most distinguished metal vocalists worldwide: “From the beginning, we knew that our lead singer had to be a very dramatic vocalist. A singer who can deliver all kinds of moods and be theatrical, because our music is very atmospheric. Mats’ name came up, so we sat down and listened to his work. He’s an unbelievable vocalist, and he has all the vocal colours that we needed.” Yohanan got in touch with Leven through his website, talked to him, and he was interested in the job. “We sent him our audition package. It contained a part of the song, ‘Slaves For Life’, and the lyrics so he could record his own ideas on it. When we got his files back, it was obvious that Mats was the man for the job! We couldn’t have asked for a better vocalist to lead-sing on our album.”

Alongside Mats Leven and three Israeli guest vocalists (including one woman), the almost twelve-minute song, ‘Midian’, features German metal vocalist, Angela Gossow (Arch Enemy). “At a specific point on the album, a major turning point, we needed something that would turn the listener’s stomach upside down,” says Hanan. “We contacted the best beast for the job and Angela agreed to do it. This is an excellent example for our ‘no-boundaries’ approach to our work. We wrote a musical piece and needed something more, so we took it full throttle and brought in one of the most violent voices on the planet to emphasize the feel of this part.”

So what do we have to do to really understand this unusual band, their unique music and deeply symbolic story? Yuval: “Just listen to the stories, see what they tell you about the human spirit, the belief in yourself, about doing good deeds and being a better person.”

Latest Release

Slaves For Life