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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:56 pm 
 

This is an awesome power metal album. If you like old Blind Guardian, well these guys are equally as good, and better than anything BG has done in the last twenty years or more. Heavy riffing, celestial melodies and a big unified feel to the sound. I don't know if this is exactly a concept album, but all the songs have this unified 'ice' theme to them and as a result, the album is incredibly cohesive and whole-feeling. I really like how frigid and sleek everything is, and the band has done a great job tying together their songs with such a strong, definite atmosphere while still remaining heavy and without getting too gimmicky or ridiculous. The ice theme is there, but it's not really intrusive. Everything comes together really well, the band sounds like they mean it and the music is some of the most mature and hooky in power metal all year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSEDSFfkG5k
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQnvJg-Kyq0

That should be a good enough teaser for you. If you haven't heard this...what are you waiting for?
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Necroticism174
Kite String Popper

Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:46 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:06 pm 
 

Damn, this is actually really cool. The vocalist is a beast.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:13 pm 
 

He really improved. On the older stuff he was one of the weaker aspects of the band and only got by with his sheer attitude and charisma, but here he is legitimately a great singer. Good job on his part.
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DarthVenom
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2003 10:56 am
Posts: 611
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:57 pm 
 

Great band and great album. I'm especially glad that the limited edition comes with the DVD of their 2010 Wacken show, as I was actually intending to see that performance and missed it that night.

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Turner
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 2:04 am
Posts: 1228
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:21 pm 
 

This is one of the few "modern" metal songs I actually like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir_BVxBz ... re=related

it's fucking amazing

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STORMM
Veteran

Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:27 am
Posts: 2840
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:22 pm 
 

I had first heard this band a few years ago but somehow over-looked them until I recently came across them again thanks to the Running Wild cover and ended up ordering the cd. I always enjoyed bands like this and look forward to the album arriving in the post. The clips I heard so far sound great!

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CoF
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 4:25 pm
Posts: 462
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:10 pm 
 

I own "Easton Hope", but somehow the sound and the lacking drive made me listen to it rarely... this seems to have been improved this time, so maybe I'll give the album a fair chance.
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Xlxlx
Metal freak

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:55 pm 
 

For Dio's sake, is this stuff awesome or what? Melodic, anthemic, powerful, and full of hooks. Damn Emp, this is a great find. Seriously, thanks :metal:
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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:24 pm 
 

CoF wrote:
I own "Easton Hope", but somehow the sound and the lacking drive made me listen to it rarely... this seems to have been improved this time, so maybe I'll give the album a fair chance.

Actually it was more of a dip in their career. I really liked Vale, but Easton Hope just left me cold. Luckily the new one sounds much better, and I'd actually agree with Empyreal that if they continue on in this vein, they make a damn good case for being the ones to carry Blind Guardian's torch (assuming Blind Guardian continues their long slide into mediocrity).
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:40 pm 
 

Easton Hope was pretty weak, but this one is a lot better. Vale is basically a really proggy, out-there take on power metal and nobody else really sounds like it, whereas this new album is sort of like the best of Blind Guardian, Theater of Salvation-era Edguy (I swear "Till the Stars Cry Out" is a rejuvenated-sounding "Babylon" from that old classic) and Gamma Ray done up with some heavy as fuck riffing and atmosphere. Totally killer.

The first time I heard "The Things We Believe In" I basically hated it and almost wrote this album off entirely; fortunately the rest of the album is way better and more epic/interesting. And the song is growing on me anyway. I dig the "COLD AS THE STARS" chant in the chorus.
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Slag
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:56 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:17 am 
 

Yeah, I've been listening to this album for the better part of the week. I'm loving it, I don't know how it stands to the rest of their discography, but I'll be spinning it round for a while yet. I don't have any favourite songs yet, but that is because I've not been paying attention to the song names. It is all great, so whatever.
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Dandelo
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:08 am
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Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:58 am 
 

I've listened to a few songs off this and it didn't really grab me. I'll probably pick it up on a blind buy 2 years from now and love it :lol:

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Xlxlx
Metal freak

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
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Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:40 am 
 

Been listening to it in intervals for the last couple of days, and it's great. The hooks are some of the best I've heard in a power metal record as of late, being extremely memorable and having this sort of "larger than life" quality to them, and the musicianship and songwriting are definitely up to par with that. I surely will be buying this if I come across it :-D
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Deviante
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:59 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:48 am 
 

Those sample songs were great! I'll be checking into this album for sure now. Easton Hope was extremely disappointing in my opinion, after liking Vale, so I didn't really have much hope for this band - but if the rest of the album is on par, this will be really killer. :)
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WrathOfVishnu
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:25 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:57 am 
 

Better than anything Blind Guardian has done in the past 20 years or more? Calm down with the broad, over-dramatic sweeping statements there. You seem to have just discredited a very, very large portion of Blind Guardians discography. Back on topic, though, I have been meaning to check this album out in it's entirety for a while, from what I've heard it does seem to be quite good, especially given the lack of Power Metal releases I've enjoyed this year. Cool stuff, indeed.

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Xlxlx
Metal freak

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:08 pm 
 

WrathOfVishnu wrote:
Better than anything Blind Guardian has done in the past 20 years or more? Calm down with the broad, over-dramatic sweeping statements there. You seem to have just discredited a very, very large portion of Blind Guardians discography.

I don't see what's the problem with that, and you're talking to the dude who really likes both A Night at the Opera and At the Edge of Time (so it isn't like I'm biased or anything). I mean, if you can't understand why people dislike BG's modern output, then I'd say you're lacking some perspective. Not to mention the comparisons of this release with modern BG are very precise, considering Orden Ogan have been notably influenced by them.
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Deviante
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:59 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:30 pm 
 

Xlxlx wrote:
WrathOfVishnu wrote:
Better than anything Blind Guardian has done in the past 20 years or more? Calm down with the broad, over-dramatic sweeping statements there. You seem to have just discredited a very, very large portion of Blind Guardians discography.

I don't see what's the problem with that, and you're talking to the dude who really likes both A Night at the Opera and At the Edge of Time (so it isn't like I'm biased or anything). I mean, if you can't understand why people dislike BG's modern output, then I'd say you're lacking some perspective..

While you have a point in what you are saying - I, too, second what Vishnu said in that, well, it's been 17 years since Imaginations, not 20+. Whether that album represents "modern BG" or not is up to you, but to me - that album is the last of their absolute classics. It's a nigh perfect album. Nightfall is good too (when in the mood, if not, the best songs off it are still cool) and Night at the Opera is their best since Imaginations for sure, but those albums are not classics per se if you ask me. Still love the band, even the latest album, though.

At any rate, not to derail further.. This Orden Ogan album.. I am finishing my first spin soon. Not a single weak song so far, impressive. Will probably just give it another spin today and see how it grows on me. :)
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:39 pm 
 

Yeah, I should have just said 'since Imaginations.' That was their last good album really. Subsequent ones have all had high points but never have been quite so shining as Imaginations and SFB. Orden Ogan's best work is easily better than Nightfall, ANATO, etc.
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WrathOfVishnu
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:25 pm
Posts: 90
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:50 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Yeah, I should have just said 'since Imaginations.' That was their last good album really. Subsequent ones have all had high points but never have been quite so shining as Imaginations and SFB. Orden Ogan's best work is easily better than Nightfall, ANATO, etc.



Ahh, there we go, that makes much more sense. Of course I don't personally agree with you, but I certainly do see where you are coming from now! On the topic of Orden Ogan, I am going to give this a couple of listens, it seems to be getting some decent praise, though I am not sure of some of their earlier releases. I am not liking what I am hearing from "Easton Hopes" as much as I am "To the End".

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:48 pm 
 

I'd like to call everyone's attention to the Vale album as well...this is really up there with the most original power metal albums in the last decade. It's not very accessible at all, but the band really, really grows on you and sinks their hooks in after a while. This album is proggy in a way, but not in the sort of Dream Theaterish or Rush-y way like you'd be expecting. It's more that the band has a weird and unique songwriting style. The guitarwork is excellent, laced with hard rock as well as very soft medieval/European folk, and as such makes for an interesting mix - they play power metal, but when they get really heavy it sounds hard rockish, and when they go all soft it's like a sort of modern take on a Blind Guardian "Bard Song" sort of thing; no AOR or tired true metal cliche here. And they just pack so much stuff into even the shortest songs. I notice new things every time I listen to this one. Like how delicate and well put together this song is despite being so aggressive and probably the heaviest they've ever done. Or how they have a short tune like this one starting off slow and then rapidly changing dynamics to become a louder, more anthemic song...hell, I could do this with every song, as they are all packed with interesting twists to catch your ears as you listen more intently. Not to mention the heavy, complex riffing on To New Shores of Sadness or Reality Lost. Fuck, this is a good album.
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c210344
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:06 am
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Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:14 pm 
 

I really, REALLY like this album! I only listened to it because they were supporting Luca Turilli's Rhapsody in London and I wanted to do my "homework" - glad I did! It's front-loaded with two extremely catchy tunes "To The End" & "The Things We Believe In" then sets out on an epic twisting journey. There's a couple of almost "groovy" moments where they play weird, sliding riffs.

This album is very different to Vale, that one is more proggy and kind of folky as well, but also great...

They were f'in brilliant live, by the way. They put on a great show & were truly thunderous. The album cover looked great on Rhapsody's projection screen too! See 'em if they play near you.
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HenryKrinkle31
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:12 am 
 

Some songs are awesome, but a bunch are just...meh.

Blind Guardian's last album destroys this in every way possible and then in some new ways.
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Pippin_Took
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:30 am 
 

About to check out these samples now, but just wanted to second all the love for "Vale". Magnificent album, and one which totally rekindled my love for power metal after a recent period of neglect. Check it out! As others have said, "To New Shores of Sadness" is an absolute beast of a song.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:13 am 
 

Quote:
Some songs are awesome, but a bunch are just...meh.

Blind Guardian's last album destroys this in every way possible and then in some new ways.


Bah, that album is safe and boring and this one is new and fresh. ;)
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CoF
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:26 am 
 

Ah yeah, just started listening to stuff from "Vale" and initially liked it most from what I heard from Orden Ogan so far. I'm not much into the genre, so it's rather difficult to get me excited anyway, but those power metal albums I enjoy - like Galloglass' "Heavenseeker" - I certainly do appreciate a lot. Gonna get "Vale" with my next order.
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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
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Location: Oswego, Illinois
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:39 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Quote:
Some songs are awesome, but a bunch are just...meh.

Blind Guardian's last album destroys this in every way possible and then in some new ways.


Bah, that album is safe and boring and this one is new and fresh. ;)


Nah, Mr. Krinkle is right. It's not bad or anything but I was bored of it before the first listen was done. I don't think I ever managed a second playthrough all the way. If this is fresh and interesting then I'm just hardwired to not enjoy whatever the hell is interesting about this. Blind Guardian at their worst (A Twist in the Myth) is only slightly below this. I'd put like 8 BG albums over this one, which really speaks more to how great BG are as opposed to how bad OO are, but still. It's a pretty inconsequential album to me, and is coincidentally sitting at #61 in my running list of albums for this year, which is the exact middle position. Seems about right.
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Necroticism174
Kite String Popper

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:28 am 
 

I just finished my first listen of it and, unlike mr." negative nancy Blind Guardian is better than everything BastardHead" here, I enjoyed it immensly. It's massive, tremendously catchy, and has some absolutely insane solos. In the running for power metal album of the year.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:20 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
Nah, Mr. Krinkle is right. It's not bad or anything but I was bored of it before the first listen was done. I don't think I ever managed a second playthrough all the way. If this is fresh and interesting then I'm just hardwired to not enjoy whatever the hell is interesting about this. Blind Guardian at their worst (A Twist in the Myth) is only slightly below this. I'd put like 8 BG albums over this one, which really speaks more to how great BG are as opposed to how bad OO are, but still. It's a pretty inconsequential album to me, and is coincidentally sitting at #61 in my running list of albums for this year, which is the exact middle position. Seems about right.


It is fresh and interesting. They take the power metal template and do it up with a cool, original atmosphere, some interesting slower parts and mid-tempo work that most PM bands don't do. The drumming is really great and the use of choirs is top notch. It's an incredibly well written album. If you just like the more generic, back-to-basics speed metal kind of stuff, or you just want sheer catchiness and nothing else, well I can see how you wouldn't like this. But I love seeing bands try new things. If "Land of the Dead" and "This World of Ice" aren't the most original power metal tracks of the year, I'll eat my hat.

It's not a perfect album or anything; there are a few weaker tracks. But I wouldn't say this is an ordinary album. It's done very well and has its own distinct style. That's out of the ordinary, for me anyway.
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BastardHead
Magic Mike

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:15 pm 
 

I guess my theory goes mid paced power metal (in concept) = mid paced thrash metal. The idea behind it isn't bad per se, but I almost never witness an execution that resonates with me in a good way. Just the base styles are so much more entertaining when pushed to the limit, and even if they're proggy or whatever, I just rarely every buy into it. That's why Orden Ogan is one of several bands of the style that I see get praised to high heaven that I just never liked.
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Thiestru
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:59 pm 
 

I ordered this and 'Vale' based on nothing but the praise they're getting in this thread. I hope I'm not disappointed. And for the record, Blind Guardian is better than everything else. =]

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:33 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
I guess my theory goes mid paced power metal (in concept) = mid paced thrash metal. The idea behind it isn't bad per se, but I almost never witness an execution that resonates with me in a good way. Just the base styles are so much more entertaining when pushed to the limit, and even if they're proggy or whatever, I just rarely every buy into it. That's why Orden Ogan is one of several bands of the style that I see get praised to high heaven that I just never liked.


Midpaced thrash can be pretty dull, but midpaced power metal? Whole different world there, man. Power metal focuses a lot on good vocals and strong melodies, both of which can be accentuated further by using midtempo songs. Plus I just like midpaced, anthemic/atmospheric kind of songs, so I guess that's where I'm coming from. I think you have this mindset where midpaced = dull, restrained, etc, which I can't say I see eye to eye with. Pushing a style to the limit for me is about good songwriting and attitude, not necessarily playing fast or loud - those are only two ways out of many to make a band noticeable.
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lord_ghengis
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:17 am 
 

The vocals are really not working for me, only listened to Land of the Dead, but the vocal melody makes me think of it as something between Ensiferum and Alestorm. Usually this sort of mid paced PM stuff is the only area when me and Emp match up in taste, but I don't like this. Vocal lines remind me more of Manticora than BG, maybe due to the weakness of the vocals.
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Thiestru
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:53 pm 
 

All right! Today I got 'Vale' and 'To the End' in the mail, and I'm listening to the former now. Even though I'm only on the fourth song ('Farewell'), I feel I must thank Empyreal for bringing this to my attention. This is some great power metal. So, thank you!

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:21 am 
 

lord_ghengis wrote:
The vocals are really not working for me, only listened to Land of the Dead, but the vocal melody makes me think of it as something between Ensiferum and Alestorm. Usually this sort of mid paced PM stuff is the only area when me and Emp match up in taste, but I don't like this. Vocal lines remind me more of Manticora than BG, maybe due to the weakness of the vocals.


I agree with you on the Ensiferum and Alestorm comparisons, though this is markedly more serious in tone than they are and I like the songwriting better...as for the vocals, try the first track I linked in the OP, "Mystic Symphony." Best vocals on the album and a shining performance overall.

Thiestru: :thumbsup: Let me know when you've heard both in full.
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lord_ghengis
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:36 am 
 

First song you linked has been removed sadly.
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Thiestru
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:27 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Thiestru: :thumbsup: Let me know when you've heard both in full.


I've listened to them both in full, 'Vale' more than once. I've got to say, these guys are really good! They aren't taking the torch from Blind Guardian or anything, but they're impressive and enjoyable. :headbang:

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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
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Location: Oswego, Illinois
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:40 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
BastardHead wrote:
I guess my theory goes mid paced power metal (in concept) = mid paced thrash metal. The idea behind it isn't bad per se, but I almost never witness an execution that resonates with me in a good way. Just the base styles are so much more entertaining when pushed to the limit, and even if they're proggy or whatever, I just rarely every buy into it. That's why Orden Ogan is one of several bands of the style that I see get praised to high heaven that I just never liked.


Midpaced thrash can be pretty dull, but midpaced power metal? Whole different world there, man. Power metal focuses a lot on good vocals and strong melodies, both of which can be accentuated further by using midtempo songs. Plus I just like midpaced, anthemic/atmospheric kind of songs, so I guess that's where I'm coming from. I think you have this mindset where midpaced = dull, restrained, etc, which I can't say I see eye to eye with. Pushing a style to the limit for me is about good songwriting and attitude, not necessarily playing fast or loud - those are only two ways out of many to make a band noticeable.


I had like two paragraphs written out about why I feel the way I do, why I feel like a lot of times midpaced does indeed feel restrained to me, but across all the rambling I did I realized it was just that, a stream of consciousness rambling that I couldn't even pick my point out of. I guess I'll just keep it short for now and say yeah, I feel like midpaced variations of generally fast styles are usually lacking in energy, and thus not nearly as fun to listen to.
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Thiestru
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:24 am 
 

So, I have a question: what's the story behind Orden Ogan's first album, 'Testimonium A.D.'? The sticker on my copy of 'Vale' says that it ('Vale') is their debut, whereas Metal Archives says 'Testimonium A.D.' is the debut; I haven't been able to find this CD anywhere online, nor even seen any mention of it. Anyone have any idea what that's all about?

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