Review Summary: On album number 5, the German power metallers don their 10 gallon hats for 10 amazing fantasy western tracks.
Orden Ogan, their name translating to order of fear, are a German power metal band formed in the late 90s yet did not release their first record until 2008.
Current line up :
Sebastian "Seeb" Levermann - Guitars and Lead Vocals (1996–present)
Tobi - Guitars (2007–present)
Niels Löffler - Bass (2011–present)
Dirk Meyer-Berhorn - Drums (2011–present)
The album has 10 tracks and we start off with the title track "Gunman" which starts off with a symphonic intro before pounding you with catchy drums and a very thrashy riff, leading into the triumphant chorus and repeating, throwing in a very nice solo complete with tapping and incredible, technical shredding, closing with the same triumphant chorus.
Track number 2 is "Fields of Sorrow" and this song is incredibly melodic, with the best chorus lyrically:
On fields of sorrow, I lost the love of my life
I'm standing right here where she left
On fields of sorrow, I dug a grave for my wife
I'm standing right here where I put her down to rest
On fields of sorrow, the soils wants blood and tears
On fields of sorrow, these minutes feel like years
Will you remember what little time we had
Will you still love me in the kingdom of the dead
These lyrics combined with frontman Sebastian's incredible vocal delivery and amazing production, I will admit, brought me to tears upon first listen. The guitar work is incredible, the solo is very interesting, with a short vibrato before technical shredding.
"Come with me to the other side" features Liv Kristine, ex Leaves Eyes, who provides some incredible melancholic vocals during the acoustic introduction, before the song explodes into a thrashy power metal anthem with yet another incredibly epic chorus:
Come with me to the other side
Leave the pain of this world behind
For whatever you will decide
I'll be your bonfire
After the acoustic intro, Liv is undermined by Sebastian's incredible performance, I feel she should've stayed just for the acoustic intro, would have fit a lot better.
The 3 songs I described were all in the first half, making it an incredible start to the album. However after track 6 "The Face of Silence" the songs start to feel a tad lacklustre. Not because they are bad, quite the opposite, but after the pure majesty of the first half of the album, they just feel like "meh". Some highlights include the previously mentioned "The Face of Silence" whose bridge after the solo has an incredibly catchy heavy rhythm riff, the epic closer "Finis Coronat Opus" which clocks in at nearly 9 minutes, and has everything Orden Ogan does well in spades and "Ashen Rain" which has very noticeable bass work with a near nu metal song style in its vocal delivery and riffing, like Deftones and Blind Guardian had a child.
The album was recorded in Sebastian's own studio, now Orden Ogans headquarters, as well as completely produced by him including mixed and mastered. He is an incredible producer as he has also produced Rhapsody of Fire, and the mixes are polished, all the instruments are audible and given spotlights. The drums were recorded in a saloon inside Fort Fun, an amusement park in Germany, the same place where part of the music video of the title track was shot.
Overall, this album is incredible, despite a lacklustre second half, and it shows the band as well as Sebastian as a producer is one not to trifle with, performing alongside incredible acts such as Hammerfall and Rhapsody of Fire.
Fields of Sorrow
Come With Me to the Other Side