Orden Ogan: 'Gunmen'
Out now (AFM Records)

ian sutherland
Words: Ian Sutherland
12th July 2017

orden ogan

German power Metallers Orden Ogan are one of those European bands who totally embrace their chosen genre. They are all about epic sounding melodic Metal full of riffs to bang your head to and choruses which are ideally suited to being roared along to, fist punching the air. Preferably this all happens in a sweaty hall or in a field full of drunk Metalheads.

'Gunmen' is their fifth studio release and continues on from 2015s 'Ravenhead' in showing that they are continually learning their craft and adding some invention and adventure to their song writing, while still remaining unashamedly tied to the power and the Metal.

Seven of the ten songs here run to lengths of five minutes and more, as if they are keen to emphasise their epic Metal credentials. That decision is totally vindicated as none of the songs sound like they outstay their welcome. They have enough invention and ideas to make the build up to those big melodic choruses natural and organic.

Highlights are the title track which totally sets their stall out right at the start, 'One Last Chance' which showcases how they can use the same riff in different ways to create a natural flow and building musical narrative to a tune and 'The Face Of Silence' which illustrates just how catchy they can make a chorus.

It's not certain that the addition of ex-Leaves' Eyes singer Liv Kristine to 'Come With Me To The Other Side' is an experiment that totally works and there is a slight sameyness to their sound as you work your way through the album. However closing track, the near nine minutes of 'Finis Coronat Opus' has enough inventive uses of their trademark sounds to finish the album on a high.

I have seen Orden Ogan live a couple of times and they add a likeable, humorous quality to their knack of penning memorable, epic tunes. The tracks on 'Gunmen' will give them plenty of good ammunition to use as they continue their slog around Europe's stages.

They will make a lot of new friends along the way but they really are worth checking out on album too, as there is plenty here to enjoy and have you punching your fist in the air.

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