Orden Ogan – To The End
Label: AFM Records
Release date: November 13, 2012
Orden Ogan, the German symphonic power metal band rightfully called the “saviours of power metal” by PowerPlay Magazine, returned to the power metal world with the release of their newest album “To The End” this month. The album is full of chanting choruses perfect for those of us that enjoy singing along (as if we’re not sitting in our bedrooms by ourselves), fantastic guitar and bass work, driving drums, and killer keyboard accents. It is safe to say this is quite the amazing release for a struggling genre of metal, and may in fact be one of the best releases of the year.
The album begins with the intro track “The Frozen Few” complete with a delightful harmonized guitar riff, transitioning into an ever progressing driving instrumental that truly sets the mood of the album, causing you to feel excitement, hope, and even fear. The title track begins with remnants of the instrumental before it, but builds on to create quite the first impression of the band. A chorus well worth shouting along to – add in some nice thrashing guitar riffs and blasting drums – and you can’t help but feel extremely excited for what is to follow on the remainder of the album. And the band definitely does not disappoint on the following track “The Things We Believe In”. The band released this song as a single and produced a seriously breathtaking video to go along with it, which was a perfect first impression. This song is full of grooving verses and chanting and killer guitar work worthy of following into battle, which is the theme of the rest of the album.
“The Ice Kings” is a slow and beautiful track with great keyboard work throughout the intro. When Seeb Levermann’s vocals come in, I had a moment of reflection of all things in my life I once viewed as beautiful. All of a sudden everything I thought to be wasn’t nearly as beautiful as this song. The vocal layering in the chorus sounds absolutely beautiful over the instruments and has the possibility of bringing a tear to one’s eye. The emotion comes out in the vocal harmonies and is rather hard to ignore, but layer that on top of a soaring guitar solo, and you have justly reached perfection. By far, this is the best track on the album due to amazing song writing and vocal work.
Another noteworthy track, though they are all amazing in their own way, is the track “Mystic Symphony” which brings in some seriously driving drums and riffs. Yet again, the chorus steals the show, with its layered vocals and cleverly arranged lyrics. “Angels War” is over seven minutes of sheer heavy metal, and was originally supposed to be released on their 2004 release, Testimonium A.D. It does have a slightly different feeling as the rest of the album, but I’d say it fits in rather well, and is one hell of an enjoyable listen. The vocals have an angrier, less polished sound to them, which is in no way a bad thing as it is still very melodic, symphonic, and power metal, especially as the chorus comes in.
Any fan of symphonic metal, power metal, or heavy metal, needs to be aware of this band. I am ashamed that as an avid fan and supporter of the genre this album release was the first time I had heard of them. That being said however, they have seriously blown me away with one hell of an album. I am a fan for life and appreciate all of the talent that went into writing this album. Each band member has their moments to shine, with killer bass and drum work, great guitar riffs and solos, and keyboards perfectly arranged. The vocal arrangements still manage to steal the show for me, as Seeb has one of the most memorable and beautiful voices in the industry.
Once again the album artwork was created by legendary artist Andreas Marschall (Blind Guardian, Running Wild, In Flames).
Simply put, this album is damn near perfect, and will for sure be one of my favorite releases of the year.