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Orden Ogan - Final Days-Orden Ogan and Friends Award winner

Orden Ogan
Final Days-Orden Ogan and Friends
by Kevin Lewis at 19 November 2022, 4:22 AM

ORDEN OGAN is a German Power Metal band with a good bit of Progressive Metal influence thrown in. For good measure, they also bring in Folk and Traditional Heavy Metal as well, making sure to beef up the size of their sound to fill the soundscape. For this album specifically, they brought in a number of guest vocalists to rework their last album and give a huge undertaking a bit of leveling up. Final Days-Orden Ogan and Friends was released on October 21, 2022, via AFM Records. There is one new song on this disc, and it is the leadoff song. “December” is quite lovely, opening with ethereal tones and wolf howls, it quickly kicks in to a guitar driven, heavy track with some well-layered vocals and backing vocals as well. The sound is big, the guitars soar over a bombastic rhythm and the layered vocals build a tower on that epic base. The chugging rhythm is powerful, hitting a perfect speed/power combination.

The rest of the songs are reworked versions of songs from the previous album using guest vocalists from an incredibly wide array of bands. There are 12 different guests on 10 tracks, all bringing their own tones into the mix. Some are gritty, some clean, some men, some women. All of them fit themselves into the tracks beautifully. The final track, “Fields Of Sorrow,” is an Orchestral Version. Some of the differences in vocal styles brought in can be noted in the differences between “Heart Of The Android” and “Inferno.” The differences between Peavy and Nils is wide, with Nils being more melodic and cleaner in delivery, Peavy going grittier. Both fit into the song they do very well, though. ORDEN OGAN made good choices with all of the guest vocalists on this record. On “Let The Fire Rain,” Stu Block brings both the clean and grit, fusing them into one killer rendition of an epic song.

Alone In The Dark” features both male and female vocals in a more orchestral song. The strings mold into this one beautifully. Chris and Marta tag team this one and give it an even grander feel than the original. The layers of voices blow my mind, creating so much sonic joy in my ears that it is hard to describe. This is the go-to song on the album for me. I love everything about this track, the orchestration, the guitar work, the voices overlapping, all of it. The rest of the tracks run much the same, excellent vocal work over a known song, giving it a new and re-energized feel. Seriously, the choices made for each track are so well made, it’s hard to fault anything about it. Dennis Diehl’s harsh vocals on “It Is Over” adds so much texture to those lines that it makes the song better than before. His tone is phenomenal.

Wrapping the disc with an orchestral version of “Fields Of Sorrow” is just icing on the cake. Everything on this disc is new, even though the songs are mostly repeats, with the exception of “December.” Some remixes and reworks fail to get far enough from the original to really justify calling it something different, but this one excels at building on the original to create something new and beautiful. ORDEN OGAN really stepped up their game. Job well done!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. December
2. Heart Of The Android Ft. Peavy Wagner (Rage)
3. In The Dawn Of The Al Ft. Ross Thompson (Van Canto) & Frank Beck (Gamma Ray)
4. Inferno Ft. Nils Molin (Dynazty, Amaranthe)
5. Let The Fire Rain Ft. Stu Block (Iced Earth, Annihilator)
6. Interstellar Ft. Andy B. Franck (Brainstorm)
7. Alone In The Dark Ft. Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger) & Marta Gabriel (Crystal Viper)
8. Black Hole Ft. Leif Jensen (Dew Scented)
9. Absolution For Our Final Days Ft. Elina Siirala (Leaves' Eyes)
10. Hollow Ft. Marc Lopes (Ross The Boss)
11. It Is Over Ft. Dennis Diehl (Any Given Day)
12. Fields Of Sorrow (Orchestral Version)
Lineup:
Seeb Levermann – Vocals
Steven Wussow – Bass
Dirk Meyer-Berhorn – Drums
Nils Löffler – Guitar
Patrick Sperling – Guitar
Record Label: AFM Records
     


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