ReviewsOrden Ogan – The Order of Fear (Reigning Phoenix Music)

Orden Ogan – The Order of Fear (Reigning Phoenix Music)

The alignment of melodic power metal with tremendous choirs has paid significant dividends for German unit Orden Ogan. Pulling from a host of influences inside (and outside) the heavy realms, they’ve captured a large fanbase album to album, becoming a force as well on a multitude of stages from small clubs to the biggest of festivals. Those familiar with the band have also seen the group take on a diversity host of themes lyrically – be it the old wild west on Gunmen to the future with AI/sci-fi implications on Final Days as their main character / mascot Alister Vale has prominence in many tracks. Now they arrive at eighth studio album The Order of Fear – a perfect time to reflect on how the quintet’s style, sound, and abilities have progressed as they incorporate a variety of songs that emphasize a command of aural hooks that translates into explosive tracks bursting at the seams for ultimate satisfaction.

While many will know the requisite elements that make this subgenre so special (the larger-than-life choruses, higher BPM / consistent double kick action, positive vocal melodies, and a multitude of shred Olympics next to heavy twin guitar harmony action), it’s the finer details that put these musicians in a classification rarely heard. Significant whole step key changes, intriguing 8-bit video game sounding transitions, folk-oriented clean passages that transform into soul-moving rhythms of heft – it’s all in there, and more. A proper pace to the record also gives listeners a chance to grab hold of themselves through more of a mid-paced marcher like “Dread Lord” or the follow-up reflective ballad “My Own Worst Enemy”, Sebastian ‘Seeb’ Levermann delivering a tear stream flood of thoughts for the latter in a deep, emotionally connective way that could be one of his best vocal performances to date. The main anthems certainly push the band’s arena-level arrangements to almost packed stadium size effectiveness – “Kings of the Underworld” as well as “Blind Man” two titanic cuts that feature a multitude of vocal/musical components that provide audience excitement / engagement. The record also contains some epic songs with symphonic/progressive flourishes that harken back to the Vale or Easton Hope eras of the group – “Anthem to the Darkside” at a little over seven-minutes crunchy when needed, folky as the counterbalance also suggests while closer “The Long Darkness” at 8:21 sends chills through its mead hall-oriented choirs and steady, circular harmony builds from guitarists Niels Löffler and Patrick Sperling.

Orden Ogan aren’t content to coast album to album – they choose to dissect, refine, and pump up their strengths to create records that are just as fresh and vital on first listen as they will be years to decades down the line. The Order of Fear could be an ideal starting point if you have been on the fence at checking out this band – while the original guard or current followers should champion this as a strong album of the year contender.

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9.5 / 10