They did a good impression on this compilation I reviewed this summer. Based on one song, I definitely got the feeling that the music had sophistication and instrumental intellection but as life keeps one occupied most of the time, my concern with the band soon was lost. I was fortunate though as the members of ORDEN OGAN kindly contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing the full picture.
So now I’m sitting with “Testimonium A.D.”; the band’s latest release; and damn happy about the result and even more excited about future material! As indicated in my other review (“V/A – Breaking The Silence”), the German sextet performs Symphonic Progressive Power/Folk Metal with medieval atmospheres and do so without sounding like a total copy of let’s say GAMMA RAY, BLIND GUARDIAN, EVERON, ELVENKING or any other band involved in similar approaches. To spice things up a bit, there’s the presence of violins, flutes and a mini female choir, all packed into an interesting package.
Two aspects which definitely makes the band enjoyable is the fluid progressive song writing and the great vocal harmonies, you can take any song and make it the prime example of these blissful trademarks, excluding the intro of course. Vocals flow from the usual high pitch Power Metal register, nowhere near immature rankings thankfully, to clean Vintersorg brilliance and golden Hansi Kürsch harmonies. The music is in constant rotation, atmospheres change frequently, instrumental abilities are warm and tender (there’s lots of acoustic arrangements to be heard, just listen to “Moods” for starters) and the structure of a song is kept interesting, basically they have all the requirements to shake some Prog Metal ground… if they could get a better sound.
This is a self produced album, so when you’re dealing with sound qualities, you pretty much have to take what you can get, cause you’re on a very tight budget. “Testimonium A.D.” has a suitable sound, it’s good, the drums could have been treated better during the mixing stages, but with a better sound the band can easily shed some competition towards the bigger names in the scene.
If there’s any justice left in this world, ORDEN OGAN will strike a deal with a label soon (if they haven’t already done that). I sure hope they continue to evolve together with their majestic music, I’ve got a taste for this shit now and I want more! If you want Metal music that combines progressive song writing, mellow acoustic passages and symphonic atmospheres with traditional Power Metal and slight medieval/folk avant-gardism, check this out! (Online January 1, 2005)