Orden Ogan - Gunmen review


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Band: Orden Ogan
Album: Gunmen
Release date: July 2017

Disc I
01. Gunman
02. Fields Of Sorrow
03. Forlorn And Forsaken
04. Vampire In Ghost Town
05. Come With Me To The Other Side [feat. Liv Kristine]
06. The Face Of Silence
07. Ashen Rain
08. Down Here (Wanted: Dead Or Alive)
09. One Last Chance
10. Finis Coronat Opus

Disc II [Digipak Bonus DVD "Live Wacken 2016"]
01. Orden Ogan (Intro)
02. Ravenhead
03. Here At The End Of The World
04. We Are Pirates!
05. Deaf Among The Blind
06. Sorrow Is Your Tale
07. F.E.V.E.R
08. The Things We Believe In
09. In Grief And Chains (Outro)

Orden Ogan have followed up Ravenhead, their shortest and most accessible album to date, with Gunmen, an album that feels more like the band's earlier works with its density and weight. Gunmen has a more even mix than Ravenhead or To The End, with the guitars blending more with the rest of the instrumentation, and while a couple of songs ("Vampire In Ghost Town" and "Gunman" in particular) contain prominent, memorable riffs, the riffing doesn't seem to be as much a concern on Gunmen as it was on past albums. Gunmen emphasizes cohesion and has a thick, enveloping atmosphere akin to Vale.

Orden Ogan is not an ordinary power metal band that must thrive solely on the speed of its rifs, the leanness of its presentation, and the melodrama of its choruses. Orden Ogan can get away with creating dense layers of sound and utilizing repetition; when they come across a melody that really works, they refuse to let it go, reworking it over and over again, and with the unique quality of the lead vocals, backing vocals, and guitars, these melodies can continue to sound new each time. "One Last Chance" feels almost like one long chorus, and while that threatens to be exhausting in some instances, Orden Ogan also has a peculiar talent for finding the type of melody that is easy to listen to on repeat forever, which is why favorites like "The Things We Believe In" and "F.E.V.E.R." are so powerful despite their reliance on only a few notes. That's a dangerous strategy, though, and where Gunmen falters is in failing to deliver these types of songs consistently. The specific offenders will no doubt change from listener to listener, but a fair few songs on this album don't feel all that inspired and drag down the truly memorable tracks.

Gunmen is an unusually heavy album for power metal. The relentless, chugging rhythm guitars and piercing leads, especially in "Gunman," seem borrowed from Kreator's recent output, having little to do with Orden Ogan's power metal peers. The album does pick up from Ravenhead in that sense, sounding almost like a "hardcore power metal" experiment similar to recent Iron Fire. The backing vocals are too warm and enveloping for that, however, and the melodies too hook-laden. Gunmen is emotionally heavy, too, dealing with suicide, loss, death, and other morbid motifs (also vampires and cowboys). Levermann's wrenching vocals in "Fields Of Sorrow" and the fading chants of "Finis Coronat Opus" once again recall some of the darkest moments of Vale and reinforce Orden Ogan's capacity to be more than a ludicrously catchy power metal tyrant.

There are fewer immediate standouts on Gunmen than most Orden Ogan albums, and while I find it more nuanced and layered than Ravenhead, Gunmen might be a bit of a step down. Even so, given tracks like "Come With Me To The Other Side," which boasts one of the greatest slow-to-fast transitions you'll ever find, and the aforementioned "Gunman," "Finis Coronat Opus," "Fields Of Sorrow," and "One Last Chance," bedecked with passionate performances all around, make Gunmen a strong album even in spite of its potential sticking points. Orden Ogan has already established its primacy within the modern power metal scene; Gunmen contains a strong argument in defense of their splendor.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Written on 09.08.2017 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments: 5   Visited by: 250 users
09.08.2017 - 16:52
Bad English
Vampire In Ghost Town is best song in a album, and somehow extraordinary PM band, same like finns like extreme PM, germans went own way and created own sound what is unique and so far non was able to copy it. Band seems has no sexy singer what all teenage girls like, Alexi
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
09.08.2017 - 19:10
Great review! I love Ordan Ogan. Ravenhead was one of my favorite power metal albums of the last decade. It just delivered on every track, perfecting that perfect blend of riffs, twin melodic leads, complex subtleties, big choruses, and fantasy feel. Gunmen is quality, but seems like a step down from their last two. I blame the Westworld theme, which feels like it takes some of the color out of the album. Some nice tracks (Gunman, Fields of Sorrow, Vampire in Ghost Town, The Face of Silence), but overall a pretty obvious step down in consistency and "wow" moments. The back half of this album drags.

Then again, it's better than 90% of power metal these days, so it's really just a matter of expectations. If you've never heard Orden Ogan, check this out! Thanks for reviewing. A heavily underappreciated band.
10.08.2017 - 12:18
For the last 3 years of knowing Orden Ogan, not many Power Metal bands compare to them, which I feel makes them one of the best bands to listen to in this genre. Sometimes they give me a Blind Guardian vibe, but Orden Ogan are undoubtedly heavier, especially in terms of riffs. With this album and Ravenhead, they have really established themselves as a band and have potential to become one of the most popular Power Metal bands. I like the fact this band is under-appreciated, though. Sometimes too much exposure or moving to a more established label affects a band's sound, and Orden Ogan's sound on the last 2 CDs is outstanding, there really isn't much, if anything i'd change.

Musically I have no complaints whatsoever, the only song for me that I dislike lyrically is Come With Me To The Other Side, the words are a bit too suicidal for my liking, and the dialogue is odd. 'I'll be your bonfire' huh? Lol. The rest is just as good as Ravenhead though, if not better. Overall, as an album i'd give Gunmen a strong 9/10.
10.08.2017 - 12:30
So curious about this one! Orden Ogan is seriously good. But I do fear I won't like the themes on this one.

I'm always searching for a power metal love like I had for Falconer but I still find good gems here and there. It might not be as good as their last, but we'll see...
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.

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19.11.2017 - 12:34
After listening to it, I can say that this one is on par with their last album, to be honest.

Don't know why I was worried about the themes at all. One of the contenders for best power metal album of the year for sure.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.

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