Published on August 26th, 2017 | by Justin G.
Orden Ogan: Gunmen (AFM)
You can flip a coin as to whether the most exciting band in power metal is Powerwolf or Orden Ogan, but there’s no contest when it comes to which band is releasing the best albums these days. With To the End, Ravenhead and now Gunmen, Orden Ogan keeps outdoing themselves (and everyone else).
Gunmen is the band’s sixth album, and it picks up right where 2015’s Ravenhead left off: huge, glorious power metal with just a hint of folk and speed metal to make things interesting. If you’re unfamiliar with the band, think Imaginations From the Other Side-era Blind Guardian with just a touch of Elvenking and Grave Digger. The folk-infused melodies are almost as huge as the massive layered vocals, and both make it ridiculously easy for these songs to take hold of you. The relentless Teutonic rhythms and expertly applied symphonic elements also help seal the deal.
While not exactly a concept album, the band went with a Western theme for Gunmen beyond just the outlaw cover art and band photos. Obviously the leadoff single “Gunman” captures that, but throughout the album songs like “Forlorn and Forsaken,” “Vampire in Ghost Town” and “Down Here: Wanted Dead or Alive” all conjure up sawdust and gunsmoke. It’s not the usual dungeons and dragons fare, but Orden Ogan makes a power metal Western seem perfectly natural (or supernatural). Ten songs (including one very memorable duet with Liv Kristine on “Come With Me to the Other Side”) and zero filler.
This is modern power metal at its very best. Orden Ogan has never sounded better, and it’s hard to see any other power metal album coming close to Gunmen this year. If you’re a fan of high quality power metal, especially bands like Blind Guardian, Iron Savior, Elvenking and Judicator, this album is an absolute must-buy.
Edition Notes: The limited edition CD version of Gunmen comes in a digipack and includes a bonus DVD with their performance at the recent Wacken festival.
Summary: Here's the power metal album of 2017