Friday, August 5, 2011

Ogen - Black Metal Unbound (2011)

Lurking in the shadows of Italy lies an underground black metal band by the name of Ogen, a solo project by a man named Hartagga. He has written and recorded all of the music and lyrics on this EP, titled "Black Metal Unbound," which consist of five solid tracks of pure darkness.

Heavy machine gun double bass pedaling fires away in "Shattered Earth Volcano," starting off the album with a bang. Speedy guitar riffs lay on top of the drumming with devilish tones. The fiery snap of the snare controls the tempo as it will also control you're head as it bangs to the beat. Notice after the verses is an incredible little drum solo that set up the refrain perfectly. The details are insane. Wicked vocals rush in with deep, dark growls. There is definitely some strong black metal tones in Hartagga's delivery. This is nothing but a solid black metal song full of speed and aggression. A great opener to the EP.

"Black Tusk Retaliation" starts with a very interesting pattern of chords, as the first two build up with a positive feel, but are then brought down with minor chords to give it that epic yet demonic feel. The growling is down right malevolent and really sends a dark message just through the sound of his voice alone. The vocals do change up a bit in the middle of the song, with some eerie clean singing performed in a ghostly manner. As far as the drumming goes, constant double bass pedal action throughout leaving an explosive tone to the background. Violent guitars filled with distortion take over the track and provides an overwhelming background for Hartagga's vocals. Another track with lots of evil riffs is "Crest Of The Forgotten," which has got some really screechy black metal sounding guitars in between the verses. The vocals aren't as deep in this song as the others, however, they definitely have some pain in them creating great imagery to the music.

Monstrous guitar riffs take over in "As A Leaden Sun Shineth Upon" as thunderous drum rolls destroy the background completely. The are some quick melodic solos towards the middle of the song, hitting the highs and lows and making everything connect smoothly. This leads to some clean singing at the end of the song backed with some more incredible drum fills. This is probably the weakest of any of the songs, mainly because it drags out a bit in the end. I found myself skipping to the next song while the last minute of the track was still rolling.

The last track starts out with a brutal drum fill right off the get, as harsh guitar riffs attack you from all angles. This is where you will want to pump your fist in the air. This being the longest track on the EP, it's definitely got a lot to offer as it runs for over seven minutes long. The guitar work is aggressive and evil during the verses, as more vicious growling runs right over it. After about 4 and a half minutes, all instruments fade out except a quiet guitar riff. Soft notes float through the air with beautiful tones giving a whole new look to this track. This is definitely one of my favorite parts of this whole EP. The guitar runs for the rest of the song as it slowly fades to an end.

"Black Metal Unbound" has hit all of the solid elements of extreme black metal and is definitely a step in the right direction for this new born band. Ogen definitely has the potential to separate himself from the rest of the black metal bands that are just starting out. This industry is a tough one to get noticed, but as long as he keeps writing solid tracks like these then Ogen will be well on its way.


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