You have to be rather confident of the quality of the songs to have the balls to
release a new album in the same month as the new Blind Guardian record. Although
I haven't heard this album yet, I know for sure that it can't be much better
than this new Orden Ogan album and perhaps it can't even top 'Ravenhead'?
When Orden Ogan started they added a big portion of folk in their music, but
soon they turned more to the real power metal style and there were a lot of
people claiming them to be the successor to bands like Blind Guardian and
Running Wild. Still the band plays the same kind of style, but there are also
small changes compared to their 2012 album 'To the End'. Let me start however
with the intro; humming choirs which immediately make you think of Pirates of
the Caribian movies, but luckily the lyrics have other themes. "Ravenhead" is a
fast opener with double bass drumming and melodic guitar harmonies. The singing
of Seeb Levermann is rather low but with higher phrases every now and then. Like
in a lot of other songs to follow the choruses are of the caliber: heroic
rather easy-to-sing-a-long gang choirs.
In general the album sounds more modern, a bit like on the last Nocturnal Rites
albums. "F.E.V.E.R." follows in the same tempo and again the modern production
can be heard, especially the guitar riffs sound: very heavy and in front of the
mix. In a few songs you still hear their folk background with some bag pipes.
The little changes on this record opens new paths for the next albums. I don't
know if they intend to change a lot more, but they are not just a dime a dozen
euro power metal band anymore, because they made some steps. Sure fans of those
bands will really like this and there are lots of comparisons, but this sounds
more like Orden Ogan 2.0. Power metal with a metalcore producer behind the
"Evil Lies in Every Man" is again a song that combines Euro power metal with
modern riffing and it turns into a rather creepy sounding song. In "Here
the End of the World" Grave Digger's Chris Boltendahl contributes some singing
lines and together with the thrashy riffs it is one of the heavier songs. "A
Reason to Give" is a soft ballad with Keltic influences building up in heaviness
with near the end some mighty choirs and majestic epic parts. "Deaf Among the
Blind" has a modern metalcore drum start, yet another small change that makes
the band more modern and better. Joacim Cans is a guest on the song "Sorrow
is Your Tale" and adds the necessary emotion to the song. "In Grief and Chains"
is a rather slow instrumental and together with the very soft closing track "Too
Soon" the album peters out. That is a slight spot on this perfect power metal
album, but I will not split hairs because of that.