Orden Ogan - Testimonium A.D.
This is a rather beautiful combination of medieval/Irish folk music and metal. I must say that I've not been too impressed by earlier experiences of similar combinations. Lumsk for example does not at all manage to combine the styles, but sound rather like two bands playing different tunes at the same time and a woman singing a third. But Orden Ogan manages to accomplish harmony in the music. It is quite laid back, nothing for the more aggressive mood perhaps. But if you appreciate qualitative music created with heart and feeling, this will apply. Actually it's not much metal at all, except for some traces of power in the title track perhaps. It is beautiful folk music with electric instruments.
The production is compact and soft. I wouldn't disagree if the parts of Irish folk music would take even more place in Orden Ogan's sound. For example the piece at the end of Moods could be even hotter, with some pounding Irish drums and a bit higher tempo. I would also like the flute even more in the front. A wonderful instrument, well handled by Verena Melchert.
The flute in Angels War, the guitar solo in Golden as well as the women choirs at the end of The Step Away is just awesome highlights of an impressive record. If I should put my finger on a weaker spot, it would be Sebastian Levermanns voice. It's not bad at all, but lacks the little extra power and edge. Everytime you listen to this record you discover new details and that is certainly a good trait for music that will last.