|Review: Orden Ogan - Gunmen|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2017
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: July 14, 2017
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Rated 4/5 (80%) (15 Votes)
Gunmen offers a unique and interesting view on the Wild West world, illustrating a dark and sorrowful atmosphere that ends up working wonders in the final product. The album features ten hard hitting, yet melodic songs that don't actually intertwine together to form one big conceptual work, but rather each of them tell short stories.
"Gunman" serves as the introductory song to an overwhelming and fantastic world created by the Germans, and while not entirely bombastic and opulent, has more than enough pompousness to capture an epic essence that works wonders as an opener. With classic Orden Ogan choirs and chorus symphonies, as well as blasting and galloping riffs, the track quickly dispatches you to the no-man's land that is home to the gunman. Sworn to bring salvation by vengeance, he will find you wherever you are.
The anthemic and intense "Fields of Sorrow" and follow-up "Forlorn and Forsaken" keep up the pace with galloping leads and pumped-up choruses. The choirs in the album are particularly stellar this time with several friends of the band helping out with the backing vocals, which include some heavy hitters of the scene such as Klaus Dirks of Mob Rules.
"Come with Me to the Other Side" features Liv Kristine (solo, ex-Leaves' Eyes) and offer a more romantic and gothic feel to the album. "Down Here (Wanted: Dead or Alive) and "One Last Chance" don't strike as hard as the others nor offer something different lyric or performance-wise, but are, nevertheless, good and solid tunes.
The stomping "Ashen Rain" adds some modernity to the mix with some pedal changes and pounding drumming, while being constructed as a somewhat slow opus. "The Face of Silence" and closer "Finis Coronat Opus" serve as the epic bits and deliver to the promise: grand and beautifully crafted, both are great examples of top-notch songwriting and provide a welcome balance between the melodic, the heavy and the opulent. The latter one, in fact, couldn't be named better as "the end crowns the work".
These guys prove again why they are considered one of the best Power Metal acts to emerge in the past twenty years. Actually all of the songs display an immensely high quality level and contribute in some way to the experience, being it with mighty, catchy choruses, creativity or good levels of diversity. "The Face of Silence" may have the simplest, but best phrase to illustrate what the Germans represent to the Power Metal scene today: "We are, we are, we are, we are the future." Yes you are, Orden Ogan...yes you are.
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