December 17, 2022

It was only last year that the German rock masters released the totally rocking album Final Days which was another perfect addition to the band’s most impressive discography with this new release being album number eight in an impressive list that began with the explosive debut Vale in 2008. There is just so much quality metal coming out of Germany these days but Orden Ogan has always been a little bit different due to clever and inspired merging of hard rock and power metal with an element of folk rock making these guys just that little bit extra special.

The band was initially formed by Sebastian Grütling and Sebastian ‘Seeb’ Sebastian in 1996 as Tanzende Aingewaide and it was not until 1997 that the name of Orden Ogan was adopted. Several demos followed but we had to wait quite a while for the release of Vale which well and truly announced to the rock world that a new name was in town. It is the band’s willingness to experiment that has always meant they hold a special place in my heart but they also know how to deliver exquisite power metal to maximum affect; this truly is a band designed for maximum volume! Sebastian Levermann is now the only original member in the band but as the ‘voice’ his place is sacred and there will always be an Orden Ogan as long as he remains within the group. The current team, other than former bassist and now guitarist Niels Löffler and drummer Dirk Meyer-Berhorn, is rather new with bassist Steven Wussow and guitarist Patrick Sperling both coming on-board in 2019.

However, they have comfortably settled in and helped make Final Days – which came out in 2021 – perhaps their best album to date. The band has always enjoyed a concept or themed album with Final Days being apocalyptic sci-fi which truly does suit the bombastic and intense power metal genre. If you are into the type of music that bands like Blind Guardian excel at then Orden Ogan should also be on your wish list with every album offering a different experience whilst remaining within the power metal framework. Indeed, Final Days truly is a must have release and a real vocal masterclass from Levermann shows that he is a king amongst kings.

Final Days – Orden Ogan & Friends is something of a special treat because the band has released a series of singles from the album with each featuring new versions with the addition of some very special guest vocalists which has now morphed into this new release. It is a little difficult to improve on perfection but that is what Orden Ogan has done with the additional of vocals from a stellar team that is Stu Block (Iced Earth, Annihilator), Peavy Wagner (Rage), Andy B. Franck (Brainstorm), Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), Elina Siirala (Leaves’ Eyes), Ross Thompson (Van Canto), Leif Jensen (Dew-Scented), Marc Lopes (Ross the Boss), Nils Molin (Dynazty, Amaranthe), Marta Gabriel (Crystal Viper), Dennis Diehl (Any Given Day) and Frank Beck (Gamma Ray). The album kicks off with a new song from the band, December, which is a huge, towering metal classic which sets the scene for what follows with the already familiar songs getting a new lease of life and quite a make-over from the outstanding guests. Each adds something special but the addition of female vocals really does add an extra dimension to what was already a stunning album. The album finishes with an orchestral version of Fields Of Sorrows which is a perfect way to close and also showcases the band’s symphonic credentials.

Buy both versions and rock out to truly exceptional power/heavy/progressive metal team of talented musicians.

Final Days – Orden Ogan & Friends

  1. December (new track) (5:07)
  2. Heart Of The Android (ft Peavy Wagner) (4:32)
  3. In The Dawn Of The Al (ft Ross Thompson and Frank Beck) (6:07)
  4. Inferno (ft Nils Molin) (4:37)
  5. Let The Fire Rain (ft Stu Block) (4:35)
  6. Interstellar (ft Andy B. Franck) (4:57)
  7. Alone In The Dark (ft Chris Boltendahl and Marta Gabriel) (4:41)
  8. Black Hole (ft Leif Jensen) (4:34)
  9. Absolution For Our Final Days (ft Elina Siirala) (4:27)
  10. Hollow (ft Marc Lopes) (5:48), It Is Over (ft Dennis Diehl) (6:26)
  11. Fields Of Sorrow (Orchestral Version) (5:25)

Orden Ogan & Friends is out now on AFM Records to buy and available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music