My first exposure to ORDEN OGAN came thanks to Dirk Liehm from HUMAN FORTRESS (Great band. Go listen to them if you haven’t already!) just over a year ago. After purchasing their discography it was clear to me that this band really sets themselves apart from others in the Power Metal realm due to their songwriting, crunchy guitars, and stellar production. So naturally when new album Ravenhead (out now via AFM Records) hit my mailbox I was all about it. And I can honestly say that this is their best album yet. The whole thing is a winner from top to bottom, front to back, and soup to nuts. One of the best features is that it’s not overdone. There is vocal layering where there needs to be, which makes for a nice full sound, but it’s not three THOUSAND layers which damn near drowns out the music. That’s just something I hate because it feels way too artificial. Thankfully, ORDEN OGAN manages to avoid that pitfall.
Immediate standouts were “Evil Lies in Every Man” and “Here at the End of the World” the latter of which is my overwhelming favorite not just on the record, but damn near in the band’s whole body of work for its combination of speed, thrash, and power. Seeb Levermann (Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards) delivers his strongest performance on the disc, and it’s one Mini-Amps was rockin’ to in the car just this morning. The guitar interplay between Seeb and Tobin Kersting is outstanding and when you factor in the guest vocals of Chris Boltendahl (GRAVE DIGGER), they had me at “Hello”! The title track is of course, anthemic and powerful, and an excellent way to kick off the album. Fueled by the rhythm section of Niels Löffler (Bass) and Dirk Meyer-Berhorn (Drums) this locomotive chugs along hard and fast, so I suggest you jump on quickly. The dual lead breaks are yummy as well.
Single and video “F.E.V.E.R.” has that majestic feel to it and is quite catchy making it a wise choice to be released first. “The Lake” features breakdowns, but not in that horrific metalcore way. For one, they’re in tune, and two, the keyboards behind them only serve to give the song a bit of the grandiose. Plus when it takes off, the big choruses are in full force. Pure speed and power are the basis for another asskicker “Deaf Among the Blind” which should have you abusing your REPEAT buttons all day long. The hook nearly rivals that of “Here at the End…” for my favorite on this record, and it is high up there in the band’s entire catalogue for me as well. And once again the guitar riffs and solos are dare I say it, epic! Another guest star makes an appearance; none other than HAMMERFALL’S Joacim Cans on “Sorrow Is Your Tale”, and it’s destined to be yet another classic from the band.
Once again, ORDEN OGAN gives us something special in Ravenhead. If you consider yourself a fan, you should already have blared it a thousand times before even reading this. And if you haven’t gotten your copy yet what in the name of the Gods is wrong with you??
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Ravenhead”, “Here at the End of the World”, “Evil Lies in Every Man”, “Deaf Among the Blind”, “The Lake”