AFM Records [Release date 25.03.16]
“The Book of Ogan” would appear to be German power metal band Orden Ogan’s way of closing the first chapter of their career as it is a very impressive double CD double DVD package. What we have here is a best of CD, a CD copy of their self-produced 2004 demo “Testimonium A.D.”, a full documentary DVD plus music videos and a full live DVD plus interviews…a running time of over 5 hours…as I said a fairly impressive content.
The history of Orden Ogan (meaning “The Order of Fear”) can be traced back to 1996 with ever-present vocalist/guitarist Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann. Guitarist Tobias Kersting joined for full debut “Vale” in 2008 and bassist Nils Löffler and drummer Dirk Meyer-Beerhorn made their debut on 2012’s “To The End”.
Now Orden Ogan are actually a new band to me so the best of CD (aka “All These Dark Years”) is a good a place to start as any. From the off it is all over the top power metal with a big dollop of folk and progressive rock thrown in here and there and immediately brings Blind Guardian to mind throughout…which is no bad thing at all. The wide use of harmony vocals on almost every track add to the overall quality.
Each of the songs reveals more and more with each subsequent play which is always a good thing and who can’t resist singing along to the classic “We Are Pirates”! I can’t really fault any of the songs.
“Testimonium A.D.” is interesting as it shows the birth of the true potential of the band…a great snapshot of a work in progress…you can see why they were signed as a result of this!
The first DVD contains a very comprehensive history of the band through the ages and my only grumble would be that it is fairly obviously all in German so as my German is poor I had to rely on the subtitles throughout which can make it drag a bit. All of Orden Ogan’s videos are tagged on the end together with a “making of” section. The second DVD contains 2 full concerts from 2015 and therefore are fairly similar in running order. Enjoyable none the less. Interviews with the band at various festivals bring proceedings to a close…again all but one are in German only this time there were no sub-titles (on my copy anyway…).
For the fan and newcomer alike “The Book of Ogan” is a superb package. I now need to check out all of their previous albums! ****½
Review by Phil Berisford
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