If you’re not acquainted with the works of this unfairly underrated yet highly provisional band, their freshly released third record may just as well hand you the perfect chance on a silver plate. The ambitious musicians from Germany outdid themselves here and literally encapsulated the very essence of everything which lies behind the name Orden Ogan
. Their “Testimonium A.D.” debut baptism was a treasury full of beautiful folk melodies combining nicely arranged heavy metal elements while the follow-up “Vale” accented more successfully on the power metal streak and still managed to preserve Orden Ogan
’s favorite dose of romanticism which many people tend to call “medieval folk”. Nevertheless, with their latest effort, the namesakes and founders of the band - Sebastian
Levermann and Sebastian
Grutling, aim higher than ever before. Compared to its predecessors, the new album sounds more direct without compromising anything in terms of quality. The lyrics frequently give the listeners some hard time to think them all over, the music is utterly addictive and the enchanting is guaranteed. Welcome to Easton Hope
The homonymous city from the artwork is bursting with life, emotion, excitement and madness on every step. The same can be said about the music which accompanies the fans on their way within the fictional walls of Easton Hope
with a note that the folk elements are missing and the previous charmingly romantic mood is replaced by an even more epic scale of the current production, raising the album to a whole new level. In defiance of their 10 years of existence, the guys from Orden Ogan
have always bent the rules and stereotypes which is the most important feature of “Easton Hope
” as well. The long compositions compete with each other in terms of complexity – the guitars are anything but typical; we get a perfectly played power metal music with tons of surprises such as semi-breakdowns, occupied with progressive riffs and keyboard motives. As if it’s natural, every song has chameleon’s features and easily take polar turns in order to blend with the rest of the album in a unique and most fitting way. There’s also a notable influence by the band’s titanic countrymen Blind Guardian
– Thomen Stauch, namely one of their founders, marks his participation on the record along with his colleague Majk Moti from Running Wild
, who also got a brilliant role in the hilarious clip of “We Are Pirates”. The whole production speaks unambiguously of high class aerial acrobatics – in addition to the orchestra that’s responsible for the majestic symphonic passages in “Easton Hope
”, Orden Ogan
show wonderful approach to the vocal lines. As if Sebastian
Levermann’s voice which sounds like several vocalists imprisoned in one is not enough, here he’s also supported by an entire choir, consisting of a dozen tenors, countertenors, baritones, bass and a soprano who take great care of the backing vocals in the memorable choruses, which is one of the most alluring sides of “Easton Hope
” in general.
It’s hard to point regular highlights in an album that is particularly built upon mini-masterpieces. Starting with the symphonic introduction “Rise And
Ruin”, going through the maniacal sound of the homonymous song next to “Nobody Leaves”, the epic mood of “Goodbye”, “Nothing Remains
” and the touching ballad “Requiem
”, you will find yourself lost in the masterfully presented music in the record without the slightest desire to stop it. Actually, that’s what adds the authority of the lyrical message “Nobody Leaves Easton Hope
”, which after a couple of spins starts to sound more and more trustworthy.
The album is a direct winner on all points, leaving its two predecessors far behind along with the massive wave of conventional bands that’s been flooding the power/progressive metal market nowadays. The guys from Orden Ogan
leave nothing to chance and play as if it’s their last, marking their best achievement up to date. Having in mind the enormous development they demonstrate within the ranks of a magnum opus such as “Easton Hope
”, their hard work seem to have already started repaying itself a long time ago.