Ogan, power metal’s most promising foursome from
Germany, has released their fifth full length album ‘Ravenhead’ in
January through AFM Records. Each of their previous four albums has received
great reviews and are still frequently talked about to this day, and this
release has already proved itself to be the same. Frequently compared to Blind Guardian, as the German metal
scene is probably the most competitive today, I would argue that the comparison
is no longer applicable. The band has grown into themselves so well over the
past few years that they are setting themselves apart from that need entirely.
a whole shared songwriting processes in, though frontman Seeb Levermann took up the brunt of the work. It’s easy to hear a
strong difference in the sheer heaviness and movement in the music, more so
than ever before. The album begins with a fantastic and eerie intro, and then
explodes immediately into the title track, “Ravenhead”.
Tied together by fantastic lead and rhythm guitar, this song has some killer
melodies throughout and a huge chorus to top it off. The layered vocals and
keyboard combination send chills down my spine every time, as this band is one
of the best out there to make you truly feel the music rather than just hear
amazing music video along with it, directed by Rainer ‘Zipp’ Fränzen who also directed the band’s 2012 video for “The Things We Believe In”. If you have
seen the music video, you already have a strong sense of the artistry and
passion behind this release. While the chorus is repeated quite a few times
throughout the song, it is accompanied by phenomenal musicianship that hits
harder than ever before. On the topic of heavy and hard-hitting tunes, “Here At The End Of The World” is one
of the strongest on the record, with guest vocals from Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger),
and galloping drum and bass lines that send it over the edge.
your Tale” which is likely my favorite track on the record. Joacim’s voice
fits so well with the band, but the real shining moment in the song is the
soaring chorus and vocal arrangements that take “catchy” to a new level. A
huge, moving guitar solo ties in all of the music perfectly and brings the song
to its last chorus creating a wonderful finale. “In Grief and Chains” is a small instrumental preparing the
listener for the final track “Too Soon”,
which is a gorgeous ballad highlighted by some seriously emotional lyrics and
beautiful vocal work.
release is the lack of a more story telling-like atmosphere, as the main focus
of most of the music lies in a repeating chorus. The verses as a whole are
short and to the point, but the choruses are larger than life and repeat many
times throughout the songs. With that being said however, this release doesn’t
feel repetitive or boring, and keeps my attention as well as any other Orden
Ogan albums have done.
stunning work of beauty, I will say it again. This album is full of larger than
life choruses, heavy, intricate drum and bass work, and fantastic guitar work
worthy of naming this their best release yet. Orden Ogan has stepped up to the
top of their game with ‘Ravenhead’, and are absolutely
setting the bar high for the German metal competition in 2015.