ORDEN OGAN – Gunmen (2017)
German power metallers ORDEN OGAN never were among my favorites from the genre, but maybe that’s about to change with their brand new album “Gunmen” to be released July 7th via AFM Records.
The 4-piece are growing slowly and steady in the ranks of the Teutonic scene and aim to conquer the Wild West in this new album… don’t expect, however, a spaghetti western or silly takes on the attractive – yet ludicrous and widely inaccurate – stories of American robbers, anti-heroes, sheriffs and cowboys.
“Gunmen” goes the other way around and offers a unique and interesting view on the matter, illustrating a dark and sorrowful atmosphere that ends up working wonders in the final product.
The album features ten hard hitting, yet melodic songs that don’t actually intertwine together to form one big conceptual work, but rather each of them tell short stories themselves.
If you never heard the band, Orden Ogan are ‘pompous’ power metal, and seems with this new abum they are searching for new sound, more melodious and with more keyboard presence. And that’s what I liked most from this new opus.
Think Helloween, Unisonic and all the German classic stuff is this vein, with a strong pompous delivery both in vocal harmonies and choir arrangements.
“Gunman” serves as the introductory song to an overwhelming and fantastic world created by the Germans, and while not being entirely opulent, has more than enough pompousness to capture an epic essence that works wonders.
The anthemic and intense “Fields of Sorrow” changes the pace and delivers an emotional story through mid-tempo verses full of virtuous riffs and marksman precision by the rhythm section. I give special attention here to the highly emotional and symphonic chorus, this time illustrating a husband’s loss through blood and tears, wondering if his wife will still love him in the kingdom of the dead.
Metal bands need a powerful and emotive vocalist to really stand out and luckily Orden Ogan have Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann who fair belts out the songs on here. Even the quiet start to “The Other Side”, a song that features Liv Kristine (ex-Leave’s Eyes), soon sees Levermann soaring in with his vocals. Both work well together and Kristine was an inspired choice for this duet.
“Vampire in Ghost Town” is a weird metaphor for a guy who’s dating the wrong chick and all his friends leave him by himself, making him feel responsible for draining their energy, only to learn that it’s the girl that is truly to blame for tearing them apart. Strangely enough, the lyrics actually work out and the instrumental bit is toned down to form a darker, heavier atmosphere with stronger riffs and – of course – ghostly choirs in the background, which add some cool vibes.
Those fans who enjoy metal epics will love “Finis Coronat Opus”. Check out the choral harmonies at around the six minute mark, wow! Shows that a good metal band can try various musical ideas and not get stuck in a musical rut.
Orden Ogan prove why they are considered one of the best power metal acts to emerge in the past twenty years, and ‘Gunmen’ undoubtedly tops their creative output so far.
Actually all of the songs display an immensely high quality level regarding this genre and contribute in some way to the experience, being it with mighty, catchy choruses, creativity or good levels of diversity.
Very strong stuff.
01 – Gunman
02 – Fields of Sorrow
03 – Forlorn and Forsaken
04 – Vampire in Ghost Town
05 – Come with Me to the Other Side (feat. Liv Kristine)
06 – The Face of Silence
07 – Ashen Rain
08 – Down Here
09 – One Last Chance
10 – Finis Coronat Opus
Sebastian Levermann (vocals, guitars, keyboards)
Tobias Kersting (guitars)
Niels Löffler (bass)
Dirk Meyer-Berhorn (drums)