We remember with exemplary precision the moment we listened to this album for the first time, we purchased the album at the "Disc Club" store in Eilat and were just waiting to get in the car and slide the disc into the sound system. A few seconds until it starts playing automatically, this moment felt like 5 years, 5 years of waiting for new music from the band that we so admire. From the first note, it sounded crazy!! We were sure the car system was upgraded during the night because the sound coming from the speakers was unbelievable. For 4 consecutive hours, we listened to this album !!
Hayehudim's fourth studio album, "Forte", was released on July 13, 2007, at a time when CDs were still the leading media, before the dominant streaming. By the way, in the same year, the first iPhone was launched.
As we mentioned the album came out 5 years after the album "Death Fear", an album that for us was a kind of unconventional experience on the part of the band with a sound that is a bit lacking.
After the release of the album, the band underwent a significant change, Yiftach Shahaf (no blood relation to Orit) who was the band's guitarist from the late 90s right after the second album "HaYehudim" was released and was also a close friend of Orit Shahaf and Tom Petrover, decided to leave to develop his career in the US.
He was replaced by two great guitarists and talented musicians, Daniel Bercher and Guy Be'er. They made their first appearance with the band in August 2003 at the Wahl Amphitheater in Tel Aviv. They were also partners in the "Hayehudim BeYeshiva" tour, which continued several years after the release of the Live album "Unplugged".
For us "Forte" was the band's best album until the release of their latest album "No More". We are not objective because we are devoted fans, maybe that's why every new thing they put out is the best for us. And what about "Separate Reality" you ask? It is an album that has its own Hall of Fame, closed in a glass aquarium, both because of its temporary super-uniqueness and because the leading radio stations in Israel only play songs from it. Let's get back to the point...
It was the best album in a sense for a lot of reasons, its sound is just phenomenal, the guitars of Bracher and Beer (B&B) are just phenomenal, Yahav the drummer is stepping up, Stroll along with him and Orit and Tom just close it tight as quality "su-weed" cooking, we'll continue...
The background to the recordings is described in the song "New York City", in April 2005 the band members took a joint break and flew to the Big Apple to experience Manhattan, where they stayed for four months. Tom said they were touring the city on foot to soak up the atmosphere, get to know, be impressed, and experience. It gave them a sense that everything here is possible, not in the economic sense but simply in the segment of things happening and moving, allowing you to be who you are, and that's magic. In December 2006, they arrived at Sterling Sound Studios in New York for an intensive recording week, where they worked on their fourth album with one of the masterminds, Ted Jensen, who worked with bands such as Green Day and "Dave Matthews Band".
(Photo: Tal Shachar)
Undoubtedly New York influenced the first song that opens the album in English, this is the only album of the band that opens with an English song. The song “Don’t Like” already opens with a different, heavy, dramatic vibe that gives a taste of what’s going to happen here. The song gives you a feeling that Orit and Tom were waiting to explode with you together, these 5 years also felt like an eternity to them. Power - this is the name of the game on this album !! What a beauty of a break there is in the song, the 16-bit that accompanies Mittelman's keyboards built with the guitars for a climax that explodes powerfully, trumps.
The second song "You Have No Place" came out as the first single from the album, but we will stop for a moment because something exciting happened to him at that time. The network company "Cellcom" used the song with Tom and Orit (if our memory is not misleading) in favor of a TV commercial. The band has been carrying the disregard from the media on their backs since the beginning of their journey and we are not going to talk about it here. This is also the band's first big-budget music video since "Looking for Answer" from the first album. The song has a mesmerizingly powerful rhythm that puts you in a trance with Yahav's beat on drums, Mittelman's keyboards that sound like a string ensemble, and Daniel's arpeggios on the guitar, which also takes the solo. The chorus explodes here uncompromisingly causing you to scream your throat and lungs out uncontrollably, try it works !!
"That's how I am" rolls around like this in a fun way, creating an illusion of pleasure and lightness, but Orit's lyrics are strong and even gloomy. Her voice as she shouts "Why me" and then whispers again lends a dramatic element to her mesmerizing performance. Get ready for "Here It Comes", Tom's lyrics do not ignore the atmosphere of the period and the events that surround us at that time, are accompanied by a strong rhythm with a beautiful break that even reminds a bit of bluesy rock with B&B's amazing guitar work, especially by Guy Beer who takes the lead in an amazing solo in these two songs. No matter what comes next we are ready and what comes now, caresses and touches.
The song "Until It Passes" was written about a 17-year-old girl named Dana Ben-Tzur who was a fan of the band and died tragically. After she was injured in tragic circumstances, the members of the band sat next to her bed and saw her sinking into a coma. At the first meeting, they even managed to make her open her eyes and have not left her since. After several months, precisely when it seemed that positive neurological signs were beginning to appear, and after recovering from a violent bacterium that attacked her, Dana gave up and died. Inspired by the story and the deep acquaintance of Tom and Orit with Dana the song was written. It’s hard not to shed a tear on the last part, the so exciting thrill at the end.
The first part of the song that follows "Somebody Else" feels like giving hope to the tragedy that occurred:
"If you fall I will catch you
I promise I will
I will love you forever
Help you cross all the rivers
And the deserts, I swear"
Sound different from what we have known until now, Orit uses effects that make her voice blend with the distortion of the guitars. A refreshing and delightful change, have we already said that everything the band touch will turn to gold?
Who said grunge? A sound that fits so well on this band, what a beauty of a song. In our opinion this is the cluster bomb on the album, every album of the band has this song that makes you explode from beginning to end like: "Ella", "Stealing", "Falling" and more. "New York City" as we said at the beginning was written inspired by the band's experiences during their time in New York where they tried to take a break from everything but performed at some festivals to give their audience overseas a little taste. What a cool and catchy riff, what a rough sound of B&B, with two sweeping solos by Daniel on the guitar.
We're just in the middle, this is one of the band's longest albums if not the longest...
A caressing and delicate rock ballad "Be", takes you on a journey into the depths of the character's mindfulness, and existential questions accompanied by a duet that makes us shiver non-stop. And what a break, how beautiful the keyboard section is before the guitar comes in, the art of music is here friends. It's heavy and rolling and grows into an exciting, sweeping, and amazing solo, an amazing guitar work by Daniel and Guy Who just at 3:40 takes the solo and just smashes us to pieces.
We had a bit of grunge and a rock ballad so let's get back to metal a bit. Please check that your speakers and especially the subwoofer will withstand the power of the song "Even When You Don't Cry", this is very dangerous for non-equipped systems. The heavy and uncompromising sound of this all-too-great band is deadly. Notice Yahav's wide open hi-hat which is like a strong waterfall of water dragging the deadly riffs of the guitars, beyond the strong and heavy sound pay attention to the talk box. Remember what you heard now when we get to "What About You".
Now take a glass of whiskey or red wine, sit on the couch with the speakers right in the center of your head,d and listen to Tom telling you he "Can not do it Otherwise". There is something very addictive and real in how Tom sings (also Orit, don't get confused), we bought his rolling R 'on the first album, his roars all the way,y and also the whispers. It does not matter what he tells you, it goes directly to the heart. Tom's painful and tragic love story on the piano, the difficulties, the struggle, and the difficulty flow to your cells in the lint and you identify with your suffering hero even if you have not gone that way.
The third song in English "Learning" is an amazing purposeful display that expresses the power and strength of the band, the dynamics, the structure, the sound, the singing, Daniel's solo, just sheer pleasure, just step up !!!!
The song "Free" tells a beautiful story about a guy who found his freedom, a freedom he chose for himself, no matter how we see it or how it is perceived by us, for him it is freedom as far as it sounds distorted.
Now moving on to one of the album's masterpieces, "What About You", remember we mentioned it earlier. This is an epic piece, 6:02 minutes of a song that is built over time, step by step. Each member of the band brings a performance to the Pantheon here, let's say it again, powerful !!! Only at 3:31 does it start to fall, like huge and powerful rocks that fall like meteors from the sky and crash on the ground as their shards roll and Orit sings "What about you" and suddenly a terrifying explosion takes place like an atomic bomb mushroom that raises the whole ground in the air to uncontrollable levitation !!! This is the second single from the album with a high budget and impressive music video.
We will take a breath and continue towards the end, two songs that end the album.
"Forever by me" is a promise of love on Tom's part, he will always love, he will always remember, and he is always here by your side. He is looking for meaning in life that perhaps only with her will he find. An amazing ballad worthy of the band's style intensifies as you progress until you reach Tom's roars which are synchronized with Daniel's solo, stems out of desperation or jealousy, that you decide.
The song that seals the album is "Dreaming", this time Orit alone with the piano, "Queen of the Amazons", excites us every time again no matter what she sings. A beautiful ending to an amazing album.
We will not argue if this is the band's best album but it is definitely one of its greatest, it is a significant milestone and in our opinion has always carried the Israeli rock torch that this band holds proudly throughout these years.
Along with the band's first two albums,s this is its third best-selling album, the album won the "Album of the Year" title at the Channel 24 Awards at Channel 4, and in March 2008 reached gold status, having sold over 20,000 copies.