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Orden Ogan - 'Vale' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/40/42/90/1044_ordenoganvale_1298929496.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 28, 2011    
 
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Definitely a band to keep an eye out for.

A few issues* ago I had the pleasure of reviewing the new album by Orden Ogan, 'Easton Hope', which turned out to be quite a fine piece of melodic folk metal (though the folky parts were not always that evident). So when the reissue of their debut album 'Vale' came to me I was very intrigued to hear what the band sounded like in their earlier days. Well although not a million miles away from the 'Easton Hope' album (as you would expect), for me 'Vale' has a slightly more melodic edge to it, with the songs benefitting from strong arrangements and tight, powerful musicianship, and well, just a great set of songs. 

After a short (obligatory) instrumental the album starts off in fine fashion with 'The Shores Of Sadness', a romping guitar fuelled track that puts you in a happy frame of mind as the band blast away at their instruments, 'Wind's Of Vale' quickly follows and has a catchy, almost hard rock like chorus that you can't help enjoying. 'And If I Do Right' is a heartfelt ballad with some excellent harmony vocals that draw you into the song. 'A Friend Of Mine' is slightly different from the bands normal sound, the riffs are tighter and heavier, the vocals more urgent and the song darker than what has gone before, yet for all that it still fits in with the bands overall sound and direction. Another departure from the norm is 'The Candle Lights', a beautifully arranged vocal performance, joined only with acoustic guitars and violins, which for me is a standout track of this album because it's so different.

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As this is a reissue you also get four bonus songs, a folk version of 'We Are Pirates!', a demo version of 'Wind's Of Vale', an orchestral version of 'Welcome Liberty' and lastly a nine minute track called 'The Yearning Remains'. All in all a great bunch of songs and if, like me, you missed out on this band first time around, then this new version of 'Vale' should be right at the top of your wants list. Definitely a band to keep an eye out for.

Ian Johnson

(* ... of Fireworks Magazine)

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