“My name is Alister Vale. I am the last survivor of Easton Hope. Only the rags that cling to my back remain. I have lost everything else and journeyed countless miles. It would have cost any other person their life, the journey through that hot, arid desert. But as I arrived in GRAVES BAY, something awaited me that I could never had expected. My reputation had already preceded me.
Bright blue skies turned black, the earth shook and the raging storm ripped at the ship. The merciless ocean engulfed my executioners. I should have been the only one to die. I wished I had. But to live… that is my curse. Everything I leave passes behind me, everything I leave decays.”
The above passage was taken from Orden Ogan’s first album Vale. It sets up the story of their mascot Alister Vale. Each album features a theme surrounding Alister Vale and it also shows the progression of the band musically. The second album Easton Hope is a sort of prequel to Vale and deals with how Alister became cursed. Next up is To the End that deals with frozen kingdoms of ice. Ravenhead dealt with moorland monasteries and swamplands. The wastelands of the Old West in Gunman and now in outer space with Final Days. I mention this because it was one of the reasons how I got into the band. I was a huge fan of Steven King‘s The Dark Tower series and the Alister Vale story was very similar to me.
The Band’s Music
Orden Ogan have always been a power metal band but their sound has evolved over the years. Starting with Vale their sound encompassed a more folk element to it, as they moved on to their second album, Easton Hope their sound had added a more symphonic element. Their third album, To the End, is where they combined the folk and symphonic elements and leaned more to the catchy power metal sound. Ravenhead is where they really got me hooked with the powerful riffs and the catchy choruses that you can rely on hearing on every release. On Gunman the guitars are a bit toned down and not as upfront as in previous releases but it still works.
This leads us to Final Days. Wow, what an album. This gets better with every listen. You can expect to hear typical Orden Ogan melodic power metal with big choruses and huge vocal melodies that they are known for. I love the guitars, not over the top but just perfect for the song. The vocals fit the songs and they don’t sound the same on every song throughout the record. Bombastic drumming throughout and the production work (also handled by Seeb) is as perfect and crystal clear as always.
“Heart of the Android” kicks things off and sets up the album perfectly. Chugging riffs and catchy chorus. The vocals are great and carry the song. Small touches that add to this are the vocal glitches that are added in places.
“In the Dawn of the AI” the lead single is next, another pounding song with a great chorus. This song has a modem solo. Yes, you read that correctly. It might turn some off but I think it’s a nice touch in the overall theme of the album and it isn’t overdone.
Next up is “Inferno”, a pop-infused very keyboard-driven track with another great big chorus. I can see this one being a popular live track with the crowd singing along. This is also the third single from the release.
Next is the fourth single “Let the Fire Rain” it’s a slower track that has a crowd effect that reminds me of Iron Maiden with the woah-oh sing-along. Again great catch chorus.
“Interstellar” moves at a faster pace than most tracks on this album and is led by some excellent melodic guitar work. This track has a guest appearance by Firewind guitarist Gus G on the solo. Keyboards are still prominent on this track but give way to the guitar work.
“Alone in the Dark” is a ballad that features a guest vocal by Ylva Eriksson from Brothers of Metal. The vocal harmonizing performance by both of them makes this track.
“Black Hole” and “Absolution for Our Final Days” are good songs but nothing stands out more than the usually good guitar work and vocal, but they do serve a purpose to move the story along.
“Hollow” is the heaviest most intense track on the album. This is a typical Orden Ogan track that fans will enjoy.
“It is Over” is about “the end of the world caused by an asteroid impact,” ending with “the last radio broadcast of mankind presented in all the world’s languages.” That was a description of the song from Seeb. This track ties up the album perfectly. A Very powerful end to the story.
Final Days is a great album and will probably make my top 10 of the year. The more I listen to it the more I get the story. This release solidifies their place among the other great German power metal giants Running Wild, Helloween, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian and Primal Fear. A must for Orden Ogan fans or any fan of great melodic power metal with big catchy choruses.
Also, find more of my CGCM reviews here: Ivan Galesic
- Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann / Keyboards, lead vocals
- Niels Löffler / Guitars
- Dirk Meyer-Berhorn / Drums
- Steven Wussow / Bass
- Patrick Sperling / Guitars
Final Days track listing:
- Heart of the Android
- In the Dawn of the AI
- Let the Fire Rain
- Interstellar (Feat. Gus G.)
- Alone in the Dark (Feat. Ylva Eriksson)
- Black Hole
- Absolution for Our Final Days
- It Is Over