Israeli progressive folk metal masters ORPHANED LAND will join forces with the Palestinian group KHALAS for an 18-concert European tour in October/November. The two bands will also share a tour bus for three weeks, an artistic cooperation between Jewish and Arab artists which is being hailed as "a major breakthrough."
"We can't change the world, but we can give an example of how coexistence is possible," ORPHANED LAND singer Kobi Farhi told The Guardian. "Sharing a stage and sharing a bus is stronger than a thousand words. We'll show how two people from different backgrounds who live in a conflict zone can perform together."
"We are metal brothers before everything," added KHALAS lead guitarist Abed Hathut. "There is no bigger message for peace than through this tour."
Previous collaborations between Jewish and Arab artists in Israel have led to calls for boycotts from pro-Palestinian activists as part of a campaign to isolate the Jewish state culturally and economically.
"I'm strongly against boycotts of any kind," Farhi told The Guardian. "The purpose of art is to represent harmony in places of disharmony, to bring hope."
ORPHANED LAND is touring in support o its sixth full-length album, "All Is One", which was released in North America on June 25 (one day earlier internationally) via Century Media Records. The cover artwork for the follow-up to 2010's "The Never Ending Way Of ORwarriOR" was created by the French artist Metastazis (PARADISE LOST, AS I LAY DYING, SONNE ADAM, WATAIN) by perfectly incorporating the three biggest religious symbols into one piece of art.