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Orden Ogan: To The End

I have to be honest and admit that while the clamour to bestow melodic heavy/power metal greatness on Orden Ogan after their first two albums (Vale (2008) and Easton Hope (2010)) has steadily grown to levels impossible to ignore, I have, until now somehow resisted the urge to take the OrOg plunge. Maybe it is the fact that this German quartet seem, from the outside, very happy to play by the all too apparent heavy metal "rules" that has left me un-intrigued, what with their swirly logo, silly name, fantasy themed album covers and beardy beards of beardness. However judging a band on their facial hair is never the best barometer, so with album number three To The End, I vowed to dive in and after we get done with the (as those rules state) customary atmospheric, instrumental intro track, I have to say I'm glad I did.

I could be surly and suggest that if you compared the likes of "The Things We Believe In", or "Dying Paradise" to say Running Wild, or Blind Guardian, then there's nothing new on offer here. However let's be honest and admit that if I applied that criterion to the majority of my over burdened CD and vinyl carrying shelves, then I'd be forced to sift out a huge proportion of the albums I've come to cherish over the years. So, bin the cynicism, put aside the preconceptions, take a big, bold, black marker pen to the rules of metal and put simply, Orden Ogan are great fun. Excellent musicians and great fun. Cracking song writers and more great fun. In fact if you like your metal crammed with chunky riffs, soaring, excellently arranged multi-layered vocals and guitar solos that take harmonious and add a flame throwers worth of fire to the mix, then you will indeed be banging thy head To The End. And having great fun!

There are few surprises, with kick drums battering out double blasts for all their worth, the guitars beating their chests and the vocals being a battle cry for all things metal, but then when it is done well, who cares? "Mystic Symphony" combines power with melody, demanding you punch the air to the reverberating beat, "To The End" offers up a rip-roaring romp that rock 'n' riffs viciously, while "The Ice Kings" tones everything down for a wave the lighters in the air slower number that provides a counterpoint to the bombast provided elsewhere.

Orden Ogan don't reinvent the wheel, won't offer you innovation, or truth be told much in the way of originality. But who can argue with an album that carries you along on the sheer enthusiasm of the songs and performances, leaving you with a big grin on your face as it does so? Not me anyway!

Track Listing
01. The Frozen Few
02. To The End
03. The Things We Believe In
04. Land Of The Dead
05. The Ice Kings
06. Till The Stars Cry Out
07. This World Of Ice
08. Dying Paradise
09. The Mystic Symphony
10. Angels War
11. Take This Light
12. Masks
13. The Battle Of Waterloo

Added: December 16th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Orden Ogan Online
Hits: 2730
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Orden Ogan: To The End
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-12-16 09:56:32
My Score:

Soaring vocals, speedy rhythms, memorable melodies, tasty lead guitar lines, crunchy riffs, and harmonies galore... all these elements and more are on display thoughout the latest release To the End from power metal act Orden Ogan. While those who might scoff at the whole melodic power metal genre and proclaim that there's nothing new happening here (and to an extent they will probably be correct), there's just this 'something' about To the End that's hard to ignore. The production is stellar, giving these songs plenty of punch but also a fine glossy sheen, and the songs are just so, well, likeable. It's not that we haven't heard this sort of thing before from Freedom Call, Blind Guardian, and the like, but Orden Ogan have a way of delivering their power metal with conviction but also making it accessible and quite melodic. "The the End" and "The Things We Believe In" just bristle with power and majesty, guitars 'a blazing and layers of vocals just pouring out of the mix. I mean, the backing vocals here are simply huge, which for fans of Blind Guardian or even Queen will be a big plus. When the band dive into muscular, speedy power metal along the lines of Primal Fear, as on "Dying Paradise", the results are equally as appealing. For those into more progressive styled material, there's also the adventurous, 7 minute mini-epic "Angels War", complete with a myriad of guitar textures and spectacular vocals.

In a time when power metal acts are a dime a dozen, Orden Ogan are doing their best to stand out from the pack. To the End is a good place to jump on board with these guys if you haven't already.

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