Orden Ogan is an absolute highlight of the power metal genre and has gone a long way to making itself indispensable to the international metal scene. This is no coincidence, but the result of the rare convergence of quality and diligence. Since their debut Vale (2008), Orden Ogan has risen from insider tip to undisputed greatness. With their latest album Final Days, the band managed to climb to number three (!) on the official German album charts in 2021, and on Spotify they count over half a million monthly listeners. A new milestone, but for the band just another consistent step. Now their latest, quasi self-titled epic The Order of Fear is here – and continues the saga of Orden Ogan with a particularly triumphant lesson in dark power metal.

The seventh album of the band from Germany, led by mastermind Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann, is a triumphal march, a lesson in itself: an album that bangs like never before and is probably the hardest Orden Ogan has ever unleashed. “The album is much more stripped down,” agrees Seeb. “To the point. Thus also more metallic, direct, and perhaps ‘authentic’.” The guitars are more in the foreground, but of course it didn’t work entirely without orchestral elements,” he laughs.

The Order of Fear seamlessly fits into the band’s impressive catalogue: less progressive than Easton Hope, less poppy than Final Days, and harder than To The End. With shorter, catchy songs, it fills a gap. And Seeb can write songs, as the last few years have impressively shown: anthems like Gunman or The Things We Believe In – each have gathered around fifteen million clicks on Spotify.

The creation of The Order of Fear was nevertheless not an easy task, as Seeb recalls: “At the beginning of composing, we were at a dead end. We knew where we wanted to go, but we didn’t really make progress.” Then the truly amazing turn: A hardcore fan from Uruguay caught the band’s attention with his great cover versions of Orden Ogan songs. Seeb says: “A phone call later, it was clear that we would compose together. This guy is crazy, he breathes Orden Ogan and immediately knew what we had in mind for The Order of Fear. A Hollywood-style story.

Ten tracks come together on The Order of Fear. For Seeb, it was a unique opportunity to see his band through different eyes – and for Orden Ogan, the much-needed outside perspective. After that, the dam burst, followed by a veritable explosion of good ideas. “The rest practically wrote itself. I knew all along where I wanted to go, I just didn’t see the way there before.” After the Corona crisis, which brought two canceled headlining tours for Orden Ogan (with the supports Grave Digger and Rage respectively alongside Brothers of Metal and Wind Rose), this was a veritable liberation.

Behind a magnificent artwork by Dan Goldsworthy, adorned with numerous references to previous album covers, lurks a beast of a record. A manifesto of dark power metal, which further spins the dark story of the cursed protagonist Alister Vale. “The story we told on our previous albums has long since developed a life of its own,” says Seeb. “It has become a real lore, which has not yet been written down outside the lyrics.”

Until now: Everything started in 2008 with our debut Vale, recalls the mastermind. “The protagonist of the same name lives in a dark parallel world and is a member of an aristocratic circle that, disguised as a government, does sinister things behind closed doors. Believing he’s doing good, Vale breaks up the circle but is cursed for it and as a consequence must wander forever. However, everything he leaves behind also perishes. On our album Ravenhead from 2015, it’s about the eponymous monastery where the ancient monks of Orden Ogan reside. Here, Vale seeks answers.”

And this is just the beginning: Far from this monastery, there exists an even more radical splinter group of Orden Ogan, the Order of Fear. “Vale hears the ‘call’ of this order,” Seeb continues. “Voices in his head tell him they can free him from his curse. So he sets out on the long journey there with his old companion Abel. The monks tell him that the only way to break the curse is to commit an even more heinous act than the one done to him: he must spill the blood of his one true friend by moonlight. A philosophical question: Does the suffering of many outweigh the suffering of the individual? Vale promptly beheads his companion and must then realize that he was deceived. The curse is not broken, but intensified. The order never intended to help Vale, but to direct the power of the curse against humanity to destroy it.” How it ends? We only find out with the whole album.

This cinematic story is told in ten massive songs, soon also available in a reading version through the official Orden Ogan fan club. Perfectly underscored by some of the greatest anthems this band has written to date. The ballad My Worst Enemy, the heavy The Order of Fear, Moon Fire with its glowing riffs, or the fast Kings of the Underworld make the story vivid, while two special tracks refer to the band’s history. The Long Darkness comes from the Gunmen sessions of 2017, while Anthem to the Darkside goes back to the high school band days. “I’ve wanted to rerecord this song for years, and now it finally worked out,” comments the band founder. “We wouldn’t write a song like this today, but it still feels right and like Orden Ogan in context. Plus,” he adds, “it fits thematically perfectly.”

The Order of Fear was recorded in Seeb’s Greenman Studios (www.greenman-studios.de) with the unchanged lineup of Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann (vocals), Patrick Sperling (guitar), Niels Löffler (guitar), Steven Wussow (bass), and Dirk Meyer-Berhorn (drums). Seeb himself took care of the mix and mastering, as with the previous albums.

In April, Orden Ogan will present the first new singles on a tour with Feuerschwanz. On July 5, 2024, Orden Ogan will release The Order of Fear at the Rock Harz Festival. One thing is already clear: The future belongs to Orden Ogan.