Review by Tarja Virmakari
Artist: Yossi Sassi
Album: “Desert Butterflies”
Release-date: May 1, 2014
1. Orient Sun (4:22)
2. Fata Morgana (4:34)
3. Neo Quest (4:26)
4. Azadi (3:11)
5. Believe (3:29)
6. Desert Butterfly (4:42)
7. Inner Oasis (4:44)
8. Shedding Soul (2:01)
9. Jason’s Butterflies (1:24)
10. Azul (3:27)
11. Cocoon (3:58)
12. Palm Tree Road (Limited Edition Only) (3:23)
Israeli guitarist, producer, composer, arranger and co-founder of ORPHANED LAND, YOSSI SASSI‘s music blends East with West, Rock with World music, melodic tunes with progressive passages, and traditional folk instruments with electric riffs. Recorded in four countries and on three continents, Desert Butterflies is YOSSI SASSI‘s latest musical journey, merging roots and cultures from around the world with contemporary music, pioneering Oriental Rock to the next level, playing 17 different types of guitars and traditional instruments. Collaborating with musicians such as Marty Friedman (ex-Megadeth), Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal (Guns’n’Roses), Mariangela Demurtas (Tristania, Moonspell) and many more.
Before going to the album review, I want to mention that normally Metal Shock Finland doesn’t see me as a reviewer, because I don’t like to evaluate and criticize music in writing. But then it happens that I find an album which becomes a gem to me for various reasons, so my inner me simply forces me to take a pen and write down my thoughts and feelings about the album. And this happened when I met Yossi Sassi’s Desert Butterflies, which is full of metaphors about life itself and its unending colour-tones, as simple and pure, where it’s easy to identify with. At least for me it was, and is each time I listen to it. And here the journey starts…
Warning: this review is about Hope for a better tomorrow, which we may start to find if we dare to dig deeper, first in our own lives…
The opening track, “Orient Sun”, a beautiful and passionate story with a clear oriental sound vibration, is like an invitation for a long journey together with the following songs. The next track, “Fata Morgana”, with Marty Friedman as a guest musician, makes me think of Steve Vai, with great and fluent riffs mixed with oriental flavours, in perfect harmony. “Neo Ques” leads us to a dialogue between different guitars and styles, time to time calming down like the sunset behind the seas. Strongly oriental “Azadi”, with traditional Choir vocals and pleasant race between guitars and piano, makes me see with my virtual eyes a crowded marketplace and me walking along the alleys… this song has a nice feeling.
“Believe” is absolutely my favourite song in this album, with Italian Mariangela Demurtas on vocals (Tristania, Moonspell), singing the first time in her mother tongue. It’s a soft and pleasant swaying of acoustic guitar with a strong message to believe in a better future, full of colours, even if today it may be difficult. Mariangela’s beautiful voice is crowning the harmony and makes you want to listen to the song over and over again. I could consider this as a core message which this album wants to bring forward, anyhow without mixing it to any religious connections. “Believe” is followed up by the title track “Desert Butterfly”, which seems to be a dabbling race between the butterflies in the desert. The initial riffs remind me somehow of the legendary American surf rock guitarist Dick Dale, mixing nicely with the traditional buzuki sounds.
The next track, “Inner Oasis”, is melodically rich with warm sounds and vibes, and the rhythm changes create a nice and light atmosphere. Notable here also is the charming presence of bass guitars. Yes, I could imagine that our Inner Oasis feels like this! The following track, “Shedding Soul”, works more like a transporter arising you for a moment above your earthly passage, before the album’s shortest song “Jason’s Butterflies” (at 1:24 in length) comes in. It’s another song full of butterflies, which seem to be enjoying and refreshing in a desert oasis. “Azul” takes us back to the oriental sounds, but also so different; maybe a bit sad, too? I really like the lead guitar work in this song. It seems to throw us the challenge to follow our road.
The closing track, “Cocoon”, is another song in this album with vocals, and, with a word, a very clear message to boot: If you wanna stay there where you are now, lost and fighting with the ghosts of the past, or come out into the light and leave your fears behind, it’s up to you…
Once you’ve listen to this album, you may take it lightly and think it’s an easy album to digest, but I encourage you to dig deeper and re-listen to it again. This conceptual release inspires the listener to ponder about the routine, the deserts of our lives, and setting sails after your dreams, breaking your misconceptions and raising out of your cocoon to become the butterfly you can be… Indeed, this happened to me while listening the album. It’s an amazing journey that has a destination if we have the courage to go on and find it out… so keep on digging! \m/
…because I still believe, I still want to believe!
– Yossi Sassi / Vocals, Guitars, Bouzouki, Charrango, Oud, Saz, Chumbush, Keyboards
– Or Lubianiker / Electric & Acoustic Bass
– Shay Ifrah / Drums
– Ben Azar / Guitars
– Roei Fridman / Percussion
– Marty Friedman / Guitar Lead
– Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal / Guitar Lead
– Mariangela Demurtas / Vocals
– Erez Lev Ari / Choir vocals, guitars
– Roy Zu-arets / Piano, Hammond
– Daniel Hoffman / Violins
– Itzhak Ventura / Arabic, Turkish and Persian ney
– David Sassi / Choir vocals
– Ariel Qassis / Kanun
– Shlomo Oz / Sitar
– Yosefa Zauosh / Vocals
Also go and listen to our recent interview with YOSSI SASSI, here.
More information at
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/YossiSassi
YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/yossis9
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/Yossi_Sassi
Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/yossi_sassi
BandCamp – http://www.yossisassi.bandcamp.com
Soundcloud – http://www.soundcloud.com/yossisassi