Israeli prog metal might have been overlooked in the past – and we’re as guilty as anyone of ignoring it (!) – but the fantastic Orphaned Land appear to be on a mission to bring the genre to the masses.

Preaching a message of togetherness from within a nation riddled by division, the sensational six-piece combine traditional metal with an eastern flavour to give Dream Theater a run for their money.

But after facing a volley of criticism following their latest publicity shots (see picture), in support of next month’s The Never Ending Way Of The ORwarriOR, frontman Kobi Fahri has been forced to speak out. “Many people we’re a bit confused by the first photos we did, so let us make it clear once and for all,” he said. “We are not a religious band. We are not anti religion.

“We are not a black metal band, not a white metal band. We are about the unification of everything – All Is One.”

So there you have it. We’ll be reviewing the new record on February 7 but after picking up the promo it looks like Orphaned Land are well on the way to setting the prog pace in 2010.