Orden Ogan - Vale
Yonah Records
Folky Power Metal
13 songs (52:21)
Release year: 2008
Orden Ogan, Yonah Records
Reviewed by Thomas

Based on the lack of power metal I have reviewed in the past, it is pretty clear that yours truly have little left over for a genre that, in my opinion at least, is slowly dying. However, I have no problem acknowledging a good band when I hear one, and the German warriors Orden Ogan are one of those few exceptions. Being only their second full-length following a self-released debut, I have to say that I’m pretty damn impressed by what these guys have piled together. Orden Ogan play a folk-ridden style of power metal, which ultimately bring bands like Turisas and Falconer to mind. To be honest I’m not very fond of either band much due to them being too tame too often. However, Orden Ogan have blown a lot of life into this particular type of power metal, and with creative song-writing that pleases a former prog-enthusiast as well as a healthy dose of imagination, this quickly became a favourite of mine.

Especially the first quintet of songs, excluding the intro Graves Bay, are extraordinary and quickly left some traces upon the first listen. Opener To New Shores of Sadness is fast and fun, and flows surprisingly smoothly. Galloping riffs with some very nifty details are accompanied by extremely catchy melodies provided by very good vocal work and some melodic keyboard pieces. The huge choruses adds several dimensions and adds to the joy of listening to this, and the fact that they manage to recapture the success on nearly every track here is one definite highlight. Winds of the Vale slows stuff a little more down yet still manages to keep the excitement of the melodies intact. Personal favourite Farewell continues with the same slightly slow pace as well as the absolutely mind-blowing melodies and mighty compositions. However, in my opinion at least, no song on the album can compare to the stunning Reality Lost that even though it has the annoying keyboard/guitar wanky part still gets ten points from me. Fantastic riffing, unexpected twists and turns as well as an incredible chorus that will chill you to the bone is the way to go, and they really manage to capture the spirit of folk with this particular tune.

What makes this band so much more interesting than the average power metal band? These guys now how to write songs, they’re not afraid to mix in whatever they feel like and make it work out amazing more often than not. While never experimental, the creativity found within nearly each tune here deserves its praise and they are not afraid to make it shine. In other words, do not be afraid of getting any Sonata Arctica-like progressive bullshit here. The production is polished, clear as a sunny day and overall extremely comfortable as it fits the music perfectly as well.

There are however some stains that we would be better of without such as the seemingly little deliberate intro and interlude This Was. The songs are also varying a bit more in quality, especially on the second half of the album. That does of course not equal bad, as there are plenty of satisfactory joy and pleasure to be found in songs like Something Pretending, The Lord of the Flies and the inspiring closing ballad The Candle Lights. What keeps me from rating it any higher is the fact that they don’t manage to keep the quality up throughout the entire album as well as the fact that there are, sadly, some songs that qualify as filler here. The album could easily be cut a few songs shorter and no-one would miss them. Great, bordering to completely fucking awesome album nonetheless and definitely something every power metal fan should check out for a real treat.

Killing Songs :
To New Shores of Sadness, Winds of Vale, Farewell, Reality Lost, This Is
Thomas quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Orden Ogan that we have reviewed:
Orden Ogan - Ravenhead reviewed by Joel and quoted 88 / 100
Orden Ogan - To the End reviewed by Thomas and quoted 72 / 100
Orden Ogan - Easton Hope reviewed by Thomas and quoted 86 / 100
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