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Old March 24th, 2011, 04:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
lorenzo_kolony
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OGEN - Black Metal Unbound

Let's post all reviews / interviews / etc. about this album in this thread!



"Black Metal Unbound" track listing:

01. Shattered Earth volcano
02. Black tusk retaliation
03. Crest of the forgotten
04. As a leaden sun shineth upon
05. A steep slope to desolation

OGEN online:
http://www.facebook.com/ogenblackmetal
http://www.twitter.com/ogenblackmetal
http://www.youtube.com/ogenblackmetal
http://www.myspace.com/ogenblackmetal

Listen to 'Crest of the Forgotten' here:

http://soundcloud.com/kolonyrecords/ogen-crest-of-the-forgotten
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Old March 24th, 2011, 04:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Here we go with the first review 'Black Metal Unbound' - it's a really short one and has appeared on Rock Overdose Webzine!

"Οι εντυπωσιακοί OGEN τελείωσαν επιτέλους το πρώτο τους δίσκο ο οποίος μας άφησε με ένα χαμόγελο ευχαρίστησης στο στόμα.
Καταπληκτικός θα έλεγα με επιρροές από EMPEROR, OPETH, και πρώιμους IN THE WOODS.
Αρκετά συναισθηματικός , black metal αρχιτεκτονικής , έθεσε τα θεμέλια για ένα αξιόλογο μέλλον καθώς η μπάντα έχει σκοπό να μας απασχολήσει αρκετές φορές μακροπρόθεσμα.

Η παραγωγή έγινε από το μεγάλο Daniele Mandelli (FORGOTTEN TOMB).
Και στο "Shattered Earth volcano" συμμετέχει ο δικός μας lead singer George Kosmas από τους BE'LAKOR , άξιο τέκνο της ομογένειας \m/" [Σπύρος "Death" Τάσης]

Link:
http://www.rockoverdose.gr/news_details.php?id=2631
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Old March 24th, 2011, 01:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Another very good review of 'Black Metal Unbound' by Italian webzine Metalwave.it - check it out!

"La giovane etichetta italiana Kolony Records sarà anche giovane, ma per quanto riguarda gli Ogen ha davvero visto lungo e la sua lungimiranza verrà certamente premiata. La scelta di puntare sul progetto dell'artista
Hartagga, mastermind degli Ogen, è stata davvero saggia. “Black Metal Unbound” è il titolo dell'Ep e non potrebbe essere stato più esplicativo di così (anche la rima!). Un black slegato dai ferrei canoni, senza catene quindi e con uno sguardo rivolto anche altrove con la grande voglia di sperimentazione che Hartagga possiede.
Imbracciando la chitarra, poi il basso e librandosi nell'aria con ottimali vocalizzi in pulito il nostro amico si fa aiutare da un competente Mjøllnir dietro le pelli e con tutto l'ottimo lavoro di un batterista professionista il risultato non sarebbe potuto essere scarso, nemmeno un po'. Ogni brano è valido ed è nuovo ad ogni ascolto. Tante minuscole sfaccettature compongono ogni traccia ed ogni volta che si compie un “play” il tutto suona in un altro modo. Buonissimi gli arpeggi distorti in pieno stile black, certamente, ma sempre attenti ad inserire qualcosa di altri mondi musicali, ed esempio “Black Tusk Retaliation” e “As A Leaden Sun Shineth Upon” mi hanno riportato alla mente i primi Opeth, quelli di fine anni '90, ancora poco progressive ma attaccati saldamente ad altre radici. Gli Opeth sì, ma solo per particolari passaggi di accordi e fraseggi tipici di un sound come quello, nulla di “preso in prestito” né copiato, assolutamente. Degna di nota è anche il brano con cui BMU chiude in bellezza, “A Steep Slope To Desolation”, mediamente lunga di minutaggio ma intensa.
Direi che l'intero lavoro degli Ogen è un'opera molto particolare da assimilare con serenità, nonostante le atmosfere a volte cupe e violente (qualche blast beat chiaramente compare anche qui, e che diamine!). E' un disco ricco di momenti intimi intrisi di attimi di pura follia. Merita!" [carnival creation]

Link:
http://www.metalwave.it/viewrece.php?id=3078
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Old April 18th, 2011, 10:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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New review of 'Black Metal Unbound' online on Dutch webzine Theducthreturn.blogspot.com!

"Ontstaan in 2010 uit het brein van Hartagga die ik verder helemaal niet ken maar die wel een aardig stukje muziek kan maken. Het is hem gelukt om de koude Noorse Black Metal met de warme Italiaanse sfeer te mengen.

En we gooien er gelijk een beetje Grieks-achtige Black Metal zang bij en je hebt het plaatje compleet. De ijzingwekkende en schelle gitaarsound gecombineerd met het enigszins rustige mid tempo ritme wat de mini cd domineert is lekker om te horen en bevalt goed. Het is leuk om te horen hoe de drie eerder genoemde landen en bijbehorende Black Metal stijlen samen smelten tot een geheel, een geheel die al bij de eerste luisterbeurt overtuigd en smaakt naar meer.

Opener "Shattered Earth Volcano" heeft een lekker tempo en een aantal gave riffs en breaks en de gastzang van George Kosmas (Be'lakor) klinkt er erg goed bij. In "Black Tusk Retaliation" gaat het tempo wat omlaag en horen we ook wat cleane zang in de orkestrale vorm. Vanaf dit nummer horen we de orkestrale achtergrondzang hier en daar nog vaker maar gelukkig niet zo vaak dat het gaat vervelen. "Crest of the Forgotten" heeft wat meer blast stukken waarna "As a leaden Sun shineth upon" zichzelf neer zet als het meest afwisselende stuk. Melancholische solo's, een slepend ritme die plots versneld om later weer slepend ala Katatonia te eindigen.

Ik ben wel benieuwd naar een volledige cd, met nog een beetje meer aandacht aan de productie kan dit wel eens groots worden." [Stefan]

Link:
http://thedutchreturn.blogspot.com/2...bound-mcd.html
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Old April 20th, 2011, 05:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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New review online at French webzine Metalland.org!

"Projet solo à peine sorti de l'œuf avec une petite année d'existence au compteur, OGEN se veut avant-gardiste et expérimental dans son exploration du Black Métal. Une approche pas si originale que ça quand on regarde attentivement la scène (ce créneau semble d'ailleurs réservé aux musiciens les plus misanthropes) et donc une épreuve du feu risquée pour l'artiste Italien qui, coupons court au suspense, s'en tire relativement bien.

Certes son Black n'est pas follement original, mais il a la décence de ménager la chèvre et le chou (non je ne parle pas de Head et de Sandman). Non seulement il parvient à rester audible sans partir dans des délires bruitistes bien arides, mais il s'attache à nous offrir un EP propre où chaque instrument a sa place sans tomber dans la surenchère technique ou extrême. En intégrant des passages mystiques il s'attire les grâces des fans d'IN THE WOODS, en laissant parler la poudre il tape plus dans le Black pur et dur et s'il n'hésite pas à intégrer du chant clair, c'est pour satisfaire les amateurs de mélodique.

Vous l'aurez compris, OGEN a un peu tendance à manger à tous les râteliers mais le fait avec classe et dignité avec un EP que nous qualifierons de "très encourageant" et dont nous attendons de voir la suite. Parce que les étincelles ne suffisent pas toujours à allumer un feu de brousse... Wait and see comme dirait l'autre!" [Le Scribe]

Link:
http://www.metalland.org/chronique-3...-metal-unbound
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Old April 20th, 2011, 05:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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'Black Metal Unbound' rated 80/100 on Ragherrie.com!

"Het is weer eens tijd om je neus achterna te gaan en af te stappen op een random band. Onwetende wat de voorgeschiedenis van de band is, ga je gewoon af op het etiketje dat de band op zich heeft plakken. Dit is voor mij het geval bij Ogen. Met tags als black metal, atmosferisch en avant-garde en de titel Black Metal Unbound, ontstaat er bij mij wel enige interesse. Laten we ons maar weer in een diep gat gooien en zien wel wat er op ons pad terecht komt.

Voordat de cd wordt aangezet, krijg ik alvast goede hoop bij het lezen dat deze cd een guest-appereance heeft van George Kosmas, de zanger van Be’lakor. Tevens wordt deze EP aangeraden voor fans van Emperor, Opeth en In The Woods. Een zeer kleurrijke combinatie wat mij persoonlijk doet water tanden. Tijd om de plaat maar eens te draaien.

Het tempo ligt hoog bij de opener Shattered Earth Volcano. Een lekkere riff met een zeer hoog Emperor gehalte, is al een goed begin. Voeg hierbij de machtige stem bij van George Kosmas en je hebt een winnend startschot. Vervolgens wordt wat gas terug genomen met Black Tusk Retaliation. Het nummer bestaat uit een zeer horror-achtig rifje dat perfect wordt aangevuld met scream en clean zang. Een gerante headbang drang en een goed doordachte atmosfeer zorgen voor een top nummer. De opvolgende twee nummers zijn ook erg efficiënte nummers. Het is allemaal niet ernstig ingewikkelde muziek, maar toch is het iets wat nog niet vaak ten gehore is gebracht. Het werkt en dat is belangrijk. Vervolgens door naar de afsluiter van het geheel, A Steep Slope To Desolation. Het nummer bestaat uit een mengelmoes van al het voorgaande. Knallende drums afgewisseld met rustige tussenstukken, jengelende gitaar riffs die overgaan in akoestische melodieën en een krijsende stem die overvloeit in een stem die me laat denken aan Vintersorg. Een goed einde van een spetterend album.

Zo zie je maar weer, af en toe moet je op het onbekende afgaan en kun je aangenaam verast worden. Het album is een goede samenvatting van muziekstijlen die menig fan van bovenstaande bands zal appriceren. Nu maar wachten tot een volledig album. Ik zal mijn ogen open houden voor meer Ogen."

Link:
http://www.ragherrie.com/2011/04/oge...metal-unbound/
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Old April 21st, 2011, 04:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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'Black Metal Unbound' got a cool review on France's Lechantdugrillon.fr!

"Ogen est un projet solo italien mis sur pied par Hartagga en 2010. Notre homme gère aussi bien les vocaux, les guitares que la basse et a fait appel à Mjøllnir, batteur de session, pour martyriser les fûts (de son vrai nom Daniele Valseriati qui officie aussi au sein du groupe gothic Tragodia et celui de death-industriel 49 Hydrogen Device). Signé chez Kolony Records ce premier EP intitulé Black Metal Unbound est composé de 5 titres pour un peu moins de 25 minutes de musique.

"Shattered Earth Volcano" s'ouvre avec un bruitage de tremblement de terre puis le black-metal d'Ogen se met en place. Les riffs classiques avec quelques bidouillages électroniques sont mis en avant. Ils sont dans le genre black-metal joué avec des sonorités death le tout avec une production très actuelle qui permet à chaque instrument de trouver sa place. Celle-ci a été réalisée par Daniele Mandelli (Forgotten Tomb, Dark Horizon) au Elfo Studio. On peut aussi apprécier les différents leads lumineux qui parsèment cette première composition. Quant aux vocaux ils sont à l'image de la musique, black dans l'âme sous forme d'harsh vicieux et parfaitement retranscrits. "Black Tusk Retaliation" suit le même chemin tout en présentant quelques structures thrashy. Ce titre nous permet de découvrir des interventions vocales claires effectuées par George Kosmas de Be'lakor (groupe aussi signé chez Kolony Records). L'aspect mélodique est vraiment très présent, déjà par l'apport des vocaux clairs mais aussi via les différents leads qui, même s'ils n'ont rien d'agressifs, se trouvent tout de même bien sombres.

Dans le genre black-death avec quelques relents de gothic-metal Hartagga gère parfaitement ses compositions. Car en effet, les influences d'Ogen sont nombreuses et chacune trouvent sa place sans pour autant bousculer les autres. Ogen se dit atmosphérique mais ce n'est pas l'aspect qui m'a le plus sauté aux oreilles. D'accord les interventions de chants clairs sur "Crest of the Forgotten" ainsi que les arpèges torturés apportent une touche dark supplémentaire mais c'est plus la hargne qui ressort en général des titres. "As a Leaden Sun Shineth Upon" est mené par de très bons leads et la puissance de la batterie permet de donner un tempo des plus robuste, les riffs typiques black viennent bousculer le mid-tempo pour envoyer la composition dans des sphères rapides et agressives. La suite ne sera que variations autour de ces deux genres (avec un final aux vocaux clairs). Le vent souffle sur l'introduction du dernier titre "A Steep Slope to Desolation", l'inspiration est toujours là tout en gardant les mêmes composantes que les titres précédents et on regrette qu'il ne s'agisse que d'un EP." [Olivier]

Rien à redire, ce premier EP est vraiment très bon et permet de découvrir un one-man band dont on devrait reparler sans tarder!

Link:
http://www.lechantdugrillon.fr/Chron...l-unbound.html
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 03:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Another very good review of 'Black Metal Unbound' is online, this time on Wings of Death webzine from the Netherlands!

"Ogen werd opgericht in 2010 als een soloproject van mastermind Hartagga die de wens had om het gebied van extreme metal te verkennen en zijn muzikale horizon te verbreden. De te volgen weg was voor hem vanaf het begin duidelijk: vanuit de vroegste stadia van het project was Ogen bedoeld om zijn standpunt en composities bij te dragen aan het steeds veranderende genre black metal. Met dit in het achterhoofd werd de vijftrack EP Black Metal Unbound gecreëerd en is Hartagga er in elk geval in geslaagd om zijn eigen visie op muziek in het algemeen en black metal in het bijzonder weer te geven. Het voordeel is dat je hier niet een standaard, voorspelbaar black metal product voorgeschoteld krijgt.

De muziek van Ogen is voor dit genre dan ook vooral toegankelijk. Ik zou het zeker omschrijven als atmosferisch, harmonieus. Dit in tegenstelling tot veel artiesten die kiezen voor snelheid om de snelheid en het geluid zo smerig mogelijk willen hebben. Ogen kiest vooral voor afwisseling door de midtempo black metal te combineren met melodieuze, bijna rustgevende klanktapijten. Dit klinkt ongetwijfeld vreemd als een omschrijving waar het om black metal zou moeten gaan, maar ik kan het niet anders zeggen. De zwarte metalen rand is in de muziek zeker aanwezig, maar heeft niet de overhand, de muziek ademt vooral een vervreemdende sfeer en harmonie uit.

Opener Shattered Earth Volcano zet de toon met een lekkere en toegankelijke gitaarriff, aangevuld met pittige drumpartijen en een niet overheersende, gestroomlijnde scream. De volgende track doet daar niet voor onder, deze is zelfs nog wat relaxter en kent met name door het gitaarwerk wat post rock invloeden. Verrassend zijn hier de wat cleanere zangstukjes, die we overigens ook later nog een keer tegenkomen. Crest Of The Forgotten is daarna wel een onvervalste snelle black metal beuker, het enige op deze EP.

As A Leaden Sun Shineth Upon begint met hetzelfde gitaarthema als waar Black Tusk Retaliation mee eindigde, maar slaat dan na 40 seconden onverwacht om in een death metal stamper. Even lekker headbangen tussendoor! Want daarna gaat het thema gewoon weer door waar het gebleven was. Ook hier weer dat stukje cleane zang, al met al een verrassende track. Dan zijn we al weer aangekomen bij het laatste nummer, de tijd vliegt voorbij. Dat is weer een fraaie sferische track, wederom mooi toegankelijk riffwerk, met aan het einde wederom een verrassing die ik niet wil verklappen. Over het geheel vind ik Black Metal Unbound een interessante EP, gevarieerd en soms verrassend, die daardoor zijn titel zeker eer aandoet." [Chris]

Link:
http://www.wingsofdeath.net/content/...etal%20Unbound
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 09:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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New review uploaded to The Ripple Effect blog - it's cool so don't miss to read it below!

"Nice production (i.e., bass), very cool chord changes (in tracks --"traccias"-- one and two), blast beats used sparingly, but well when so used....

Track two, "Black Tusk Retaliation," [Italian Black Metal etymology?] seemingly taps directly into the Archetypal Fear of Man, when Mankind was of caves and cookfires....

Evocative soundscapes/ almost soundtracks for a wilderness-- each track drops into rhythmic, almost "breakdown"-type parts to invoke the savage prehistorical dances of men around a fire at night, ecstatic with their however-temporary transcendence in appeal to God....

"Crest of the Forgotten" has cool 6/8 time choral section;

"As a leaden Sun shineth upon," shows you what you've been suspecting about the music so far: it's not the blast beats, or the open-chord over choral vocals, or the occasional gallops at 300 bpm (all the black metal staples, basically) that sets this album apart: it's the chord voicings, plus the odd, dissonant chord progressions that stick with you: initially they can be very disconcerting to the ear (and so the brain)-- the chords crash up against each other, sounding odd and eerie; however, after getting used to the alien beauty of the chords, "normal" chord progressions like you hear in every pop song, sound so bland so as to barely register as sound, let alone music: it's almost like Ogen is so heavy that even their chord progressions, not the Black Metal parts, but the so-called "relaxing" ambient/drone parts (without lyrics, usually) are desensitizing in and of themselves.

A heavier Alcest?

Songs nicely economical; short....

Not Winter music, like the cover would suggest, but late Autumn music: music pregnant with the sadness of the coming loss, the things to die, the fear that they may not return, the fear that you've angered the sun, that the dark may not go away, that your best days are behind you... a very primitive fear, embodied in these chord changes....

Ogen will grow on you." [Horn]

Link:
http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/
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Old April 26th, 2011, 05:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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'Black Metal Unbound' by OGEN reviewed by Metal Army America webzine, rating is B this time!

"Sure, the idea of a one-man Italian black metal outfit sounded iffy at best, when read on paper.

Ogen’s Black Metal Unbound proves once again that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, however, for these end results are actually quite decent.

Basically the creation of instrumentalist/vocalist Hartagga and a session drummer, the Black Metal Unbound EP defies its sole creator in the best possible sense, as a surprisingly full-sounding effort all ’round.

These songs succeed on multiple levels, not the least of which is their attention to detail, variety and pacing. No riff ever outstays its welcome, and each diverts from brutalty to melodic and melancholic sections at the correct moments. The EP’s production also lends credence to Ogen’s cause, by capturing that mid-way Emperor production quality; a sound which is suitably grim, yet listenable to a T.

The fact that Forgotten Tomb producer Daniele Mandelli has his hands in this comes as no surprise either, for Ogen possesses more than its fair share of stylistic similarities, although I’d hesitate to refer to Hartagga’s musical efforts as ‘suicidal black metal’ exactly. If anything, Black Metal Unbound is comparatively bright and bristling in execution; a balanced and aggressive effort which serves as an intriguing snapshot of hopeful things to come from this outfit." [MetalGeorge]

Link:
http://www.metal-army.com/?tag=ogen
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Old April 30th, 2011, 03:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old May 1st, 2011, 12:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Lords Of Metal webzine rated 'Black Metal Unbound' 75/100!

"Ogen is an one-man black metal project hailing from Italy. Set out to explore the more extreme side of metal frontman Hartagga has come up quite an enjoyable debut mini-album called ‘Black Metal Unbound’. The five songs on it show a great range in variety. We encounter harsh and clean vocals, (semi) acoustic guitars and cold and bleak black metal chords and what not. The overall atmosphere is quite soothing but wintry cold like a non-depressive version of Forgotten Tomb. Also noteworthy is the guest appearance of George Kosmas from Be’lakor of the opener ‘Shattered Earth Volcano’. Never breaking the speed or aggression limit, Ogen keeps the mood intact throughout the total duration of the mini. For fans of melodic black metal with a laid back attitude." [Roel de Haan]

Link:
http://www.lordsofmetal.nl/showrevie...=18888&lang=en
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Old May 13th, 2011, 05:36 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Greek webzine Metal Temple rated 'Black Metal Unbound' EP 'Excellent' (8/10)!

"OGEN hail from Italy, founded in 2010 and "Black Metal Unbound" is their first release. The person responsible behind all this is Hartagga (vocals, guitars and bass).

The five-track EP starts, as the name of the first track indicates ("Shattered Earth Volcano") with sounds of an exploding volcano. A lot of interesting stuff follow through-out this EP. Groovy black metal with very nice leading melodies. Great guitars that speak through a lot of ways. Fast riffs, melodic riffs, lunatic "Old Man's Child" - "Emperor" influenced riffs. Very well worked melodies and guitar harmonies that lead the songs and add a great atmosphere. The vocals also have more than one color. Mostly extreme, raw and sometimes switching to double recorded demonic (high groahls and low roahrs combination). There are also some clean vocals that work really nice in the songs. Drums (session played) are really helping the themes to emerge and shine. Thrash rhythms, slow rhythms, fast doublekicks and blastbeats.

Hartagga is not afraid to play with moods within the songs. Raw, atmospheric, raged, melodic, whatever serves the idea. And actually this works great, because the result is an EP with it's own character.

"Black Metal Unbound" is a really interesting and well performed EP that will definately speak to the hearts of Emperor, Old Man's Child and Rotting Christ fans." [Morgan Djevelbjörn]

Link:
http://www.metal-temple.com/site/cat...lack-metal.htm
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Old May 16th, 2011, 05:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
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New review of 'Black Metal Unbound' online @ Absolute Zero Media (USA)!

"I would have to say this is more epic black metal in the style that bands like Emperor, Dimmu Borgir or even more modern Mayhem in what they create. Love the Strings going on here it symphonic black metal with a very bomastic as well so it gives all sides of the very classic Norwegian Black metal sound . Ogen arranges there music in many many layers with the clean and fuzzed out guitars, prog drum and bass lines . Ogen's vocals are in that very throaty Black metal sound you have come to love and know as well. Then out of no where those clean Emperor or Borknagar like vocals come in and make it all the more massive in sound. Ogen are complex and flowing all at once in a few tracks. I will be watching this project as it grows." [The Doorway To]

Link:
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Old May 16th, 2011, 11:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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'Black Metal Unbound' rated 7,5/10 by The Metal Observer!!

"What makes a good album? I’m not talking about some genre-redefining meisterwerk, just a good, solid album. Intricate riffs, lots of intricate riffs, nifty tempo changes, soaring melodies, passionate vocals? Sure, all those things count in one way or another but I think what it really comes down to in the end is balance. Y’know, that elusive (and oft overlooked) element that just makes everything ‘click’ and flow in just the right way.

OK, I’m not going to elaborate further on this issue; suffice to say, OGEN’s debut EP has a kick-ass sense of balance to it. “Black Metal Unbound” is not going to revolutionize the Black Metal genre, and there’s really not much on here you haven’t already heard countless times before, but this two-man Italian act really know how to pen a solid BM tune or two, and at the end of the day their songs simply go down really smooth... Looking for comparisons? Well, I guess a well-heeled mix of “Under The Sign Of Hell” era GORGOROTH, BELPHEGOR, and early BLUT AUS NORD just about sums up their sound. OGEN’s music isn’t necessarily as aggressive as the first two bands nor quite as eerily dissonant as the latter’s, but they capture that specific vein of traditional-yet-moody BM sound quite well on here. The tempo remains resolutely mid-paced throughout, but the great little melodic break about halfway through “Shattered Earth Volcano,” the effective use of clean vocals in “As Leaden As Sun Shineth Upon” spice things up enough to keep the ball rolling. Elsewhere, there is also the space-y atmosphere of “Black Tusk Rebellion” and the aggressive thrust of “A Steep Slope To Desolation,” with the latter track in particular bringing to mind the aforementioned BELPHEGOR/BLUT AUS NORD comparisons. I also really appreciate the fact that the band managed to keep the thick vibe of dread and bleakness intact throughout the whole affair without ever letting the songs degenerate into one of those piss poor “depro” BM exercises.

Top off this strong display of song writing with a solid production job and you have yourself a great little EP in your hands. Like I said, it’s nothing that original but these Italians get the job done when it matters. This one is recommended for those who prefer their Black Metal the primal way (but with a sly sense of brains behind the scenes too). Good stuff!" [Neil]

Link:
http://www.metal-observer.com/articl...sid=1&id=17953
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Old May 24th, 2011, 03:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
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French webzine Aux Portes du Metal rated 'Black Metal Unbound' 16/20!

"One-man band italien, Ogen propose son premier EP répondant au nom énigmatique de Black Metal Unbound. L'homme au coeur du projet, Hartagga, s'occupe de la composition, des voix, des guitares et de la basse, et a fait appel à un batteur de session pour se charger des fûts.

Autant le dire tout de suite, Black Metal Unbound est une bonne surprise. Ogen joue un black metal à mi-chemin entre du dépressif et de l'atmosphérique. Des touches de death parsèment l'album, des voix claires font également leur apparition. La diversité des compos est bluffante pour un premier essai, et malgré le format un peu court, Ogen arrive à faire entrer l'auditeur de pied ferme dans son univers. Tous les morceaux sont bons, sans exception. Que se soit Black Tusk Retaliation avec son refrain en voix claires rassurantes, Crest Of The Forgotten et son riff mélant chaos et dépression, ou encore Shattered Earth Volcano qui ouvre la porte de cet EP, rien n'est à jeter. Black Metal Unbound se clôt avec A Steep Slope to Desolation, morceau de sept minutes, voyage dans les méandres d'une musique aussi riche que complexe, qui se termine sur des arpèges d'une beauté fragile.

Ogen s'en sort très bien sur ce coup d'essai. La production est léchée, les compos sont extrêmement intéressantes et, en dépit d'un format trop court, Black Metal Unbound parvient à créer une atmosphère dans laquelle on entre sans difficulté. Très bonne surprise donc, qui touchera un large public amateur de black, et s'adresse aussi bien aux fans d'Enslaved que de Shining." [florentv]

Link:
http://www.auxportesdumetal.com/revi...alunbound.html
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Old May 29th, 2011, 05:23 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Great review of 'Black Metal Unbound' by Stereo Invaders webzine (Italy) - 7,5/10!

"Arrivata la consueta comunicazione di nuovi album e/o EP da recensire, mi accaparrai con curiosità il lavoro del project Ogen. Decisi di approcciare al lavoro senza notizia alcuna, così che mi immersi nei suoni e nelle atmosfere rilasciate dai cinque brani proposti, senza nessuna influenza esterna. Considerato le sonorità e le ambientazioni, pensai di trovarmi di fronte ad un project Norvegese. In realtà siamo in Italia, e nonostante nomi che evocano mitologia e cultura nordiche, parliamo appunto di Made In Italy. “Black Metal Unbound” è un concentrato di Black Metal, con echi Avantgarde che riportano alla mente Enslaved e Ved Bues Ende. Una summa epica che nasce da un uso sublime della chitarra e che poi vive di pause e crescendo sonori degni del più esigente Blackster. In effetti non viviamo di estremismi fini a se stessi o di scontate pause, tutto è decisamente intenso e tecnicamente sopraffino. Veramente veementi le accelerazioni e impressionante il quantitativo di suoni in sottofondo, melodie disegnate da un’ispirazione spontanea e poetica. E’ proprio l’aspetto della riflessività di fondo a farci innamorare di Ogen e di ciò che musicalmente riesce ad evocare. La natura viene accarezzata da una luna splendente, limpida notte che ci osserva e che si veste dei riflessi di un gelido specchio d’acqua. Incontaminati presagi si avverano e ci riportano a quell’idea di Black assai più raffinata e personale del semplice luogo comune della nera fiamma. Buonissima la prima, vedremo se il tempo ci darà ragione su questo investimento che ci azzardiamo a fare." [Thiess]

Link:
http://www.stereoinvaders.com/index....ound&Itemid=16
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Old June 1st, 2011, 03:34 AM   #18 (permalink)
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SoundShock Webzine rated OGEN's latest EP 8/10!

"A powerful offering from Italian black metal ensemble Ogen that instantly gets the grim-o-meter flickering. As a modest five-track EP it works well to strike chords both menacing and uplifting whilst giving the listener an unabridged window into an enchanting yet bleak world.

Attacking and seemingly self-damning in equal measure; the vocals stay true to a black metal rooting albeit experimental with passages of harmonious chanting and singing but mainly empowering application of animalistic guttural dirge with a guest vocals from Be’Lakor lead vocalist George Kosmas on track 'Shattered Earth Volcano'.

Respectively understanding and tipping hats to their audience throughout, no track over or under stays it welcome, themes once established long enough to engrain a tangible glow within, then are flayed and the surviving features given the means to grow and sometimes surprise but often do little to stray from the strong religious info structure of the genre.

Synthesized atmospheres are here used as precursors or outros to otherwise constantly morphing musical concepts, expertly crafted variations and parallels can be found in both timbre and structure through out giving truly astonishing body and depth to each track and in turn chaining this chilling entity together with strong vision.

You’ll like this if… Lashings of Italian darkness are welcomed by your frostbitten soul." [Dave Ritz]

Link:
http://www.soundshock.com/index.php/...d-album-review
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 04:19 AM   #19 (permalink)
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OGEN's latest EP rated 4/5 by Jukebox:Metal webzine!

"Too few black metal bands have tried to combine the genre’s inherent epic scope with pure rock n’ roll bravado; fewer still have succeeded, and fewer still don’t number Abbath or Demonaz among their members. It’s refreshing, then, that total unknowns Ogen have presented us with a debut EP that hearkens back to the best work of Immortal and I, seamlessly stitching together a black metal patchwork that is equal parts mountainous might and heavy metal swagger. Clocking in at only 23 minutes, Black Metal Unbound is an ample but painfully brief slice of youthful energy that will hopefully be carried into the band’s first full-length experiment. On an album with only five songs total, three still stand out as evidence of the band’s impending greatness: Shattered Earth Volcano starts the ball rolling with a majestic black metal riff that it rides to pay dirt; Black Tusk Retaliation introduces clean vocals immediately reminiscent of Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk-era Emperor, and seven-and-a-half minute album closer A Steep Slope To Desolation represents the first time the band slows down and mellows out, albeit as a coda to the furious black metal riffage and screamed vocal hooks. For a debut effort, there’s shockingly little that needs ironed out in Ogen’s sound. If they can carry the momentum from this EP into an LP, a masterpiece is undoubtedly in their future." [Brad Sanders]

Link:
http://www.jukeboxmetal.com/2011/oge...metal-unbound/
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Old June 6th, 2011, 03:36 AM   #20 (permalink)
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OGEN’s debut EP is now available for streaming in its entirety at www.invisibleoranges.com (Note: the stream will only be available from June 6 until June 19).

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Old June 6th, 2011, 04:40 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Radio interview with OGEN's masterming Hartagga @ Metalwave Radio! (in Italian)

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Old June 6th, 2011, 04:57 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Song 'Black Tusk Retaliation' by OGEN featured in this week's episode of The Wyrd Ways Rock Show!

Link:
http://www.wyrdwaysrs.com/
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Old June 9th, 2011, 04:10 AM   #23 (permalink)
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New review of 'Black Metal Unbound' by Greek webzine Rock Overdose!

"Οι Ogen είναι μια Ιταλική black metal μπάντα με μόλις 1 χρόνο ζωής στα μουσικά δρώμενα.
Ουσιαστικά είναι το οne-man project του πολυοργανίστα Hartagga και το EP "Black Metal Unbound" είναι η πρώτη του δουλειά που
αποτελείται από 5 κομμάτια συνολικής διάρκειας 23 λεπτών.

Ο ιθύνων νους του σχήματος Hartagga ,περιγράφει την μουσική του σαν μια εναλλακτική προσέγγιση ατόφιου black metal με παγανιστική θεματολογία,
προσπαθώντας να υπερθεματίσει την σχέση του ανθρώπου με τα βουνά ,τα ομιχλώδη δάση, την φύση και την μεγαλοπρέπεια των Ιταλικών 'Αλπεων.
Λίγο πολύ, γνωστό το concept από τους Νορβηγούς που έχουν βγάλει πληθώρα δίσκων με κεντρικό άξονα το παγανιστικό στοιχείο.

Μπορεί όμως η θεματολογία να μην εντυπωσιάζει ιδιαίτερα, δεν ισχύει όμως το ίδιο για την καθαυτή μουσική που διόλου αδιάφορη είναι.
Καταιγισμός από riffs, καθαρόαιμες black metal συγχορδίες που παραπέμπουν στους Emperor ,ένα drumming που μυρίζει δίκαση ,οργισμένα τραχιά αλλά και καθαρά φωνητικά που αποπνέουν έναν αέρα υπεροχής, συντελούν στο να δημιουργείται μια majestic ατμόσφαιρα.

Η συνοχή και το πόσο προσεγμένο είναι το mini-album, δείχνουν αφενός ότι έχει γίνει πολύ καλή δουλειά και αφετέρου αναδεικνύουν το ταλέντο του Hartagga που φαίνεται ότι είναι ικανός για σπουδαία πράγματα

Οι συνθέσεις στο σύνολό τους,παρουσιάζουν όλες ενδιαφέρον αλλά τα "Shattered Earth Volcano" (συμμετέχει ο George Kosmas των ΒΕ'LAKOR) και "Crest Of The Forgotten" είναι τα πραγματικά διαμάντια.

Σαν πρώτη κυκλοφορία κερδίζει πολλούς πόντους και σίγουρα κερδίζει τις εντυπώσεις.
Κάτι τόσο καλό στο είδος ,είχα να ακούσω από το τελευταίο album των Watain.
Περιμένω το επόμενο full-length album τους που είμαι σίγουρος ότι θα έχει ενδιαφέρον.

YΓ. Το εξώφυλλο δεν μοιάζει υπερβολικά με το EP "Reverence" των Emperor ?" [Γιώργος Γούργαρης]

Link:
http://rockoverdose.gr/news_details.php?id=4182
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Old June 10th, 2011, 06:20 AM   #24 (permalink)
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'Black Metal Unbound' rated 8,5/10 by Pest Webzine!

"It always amazes me when I come across newly founded bands that, without a demo under belt, sign good deals with proffessional labels, and that's the case of Ogen, too. The project was founded last year and "Black Metal Unbound" is their debut release. Lucky guys, but now let's see why they were signed so fast. The EP contains 5 tracks lasting for 24 minutes, and the music Ogen proposes us here is an Atmospheric, Epic Black Metal very well executed, with catchy guitar leads, versatile vocal lines, cold atmospheres, and powerful rhythm section. The tracks are mostly melodic, but still containing a fair dose of aggression, fast rhythms, so to sum it up we're dealing here with a fairly technical cold and epic Black Metal that really deserved to be produced by a label. I think we'll hear more from this band in the future (well, if they keep on playing/recording...)" [Adrian]

Link:
http://pestwebzine.ucoz.com/index/june_2011/0-398
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Old June 10th, 2011, 10:19 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Interview with OGEN's mastermind Hartagga posted online by Behind The Veil webzine (Greece)!

1. First of all I’d like you to fill us in on what’s happening in the OGEN camp at the moment.

We've just released our debut miniCD, through Kolony Records and are just into the media-promotion of it, doing interviews, releasing press kit and stuff, in order to shed a bit of light on the band, which is, of course unknown to the vast majority of the metal audience.

2. Please point out the most important moments and experiences you’ve had with the band thus far, be them good or bad.

The most important moment so far has been the whole production cycle of the EP and the way the recording sessions went, having been really smooth and kind of a really natural process, fulfilling what we had in mind in terms of sound since day one.

3. Can you present “Black Metal Unbound” to our readers in a few words? Which are the album’s highlights and which its weak moments or elements, according to you?

“Black Metal Unbound” is – in my opinion – a fresh and hopefully convincing miniCD, consisting of 5 tracks of both raw black metal moments and atmospheric edges, sometimes avoiding speed for speed's sake and leaning towards a more complex sound, made of unusual chords progressions, clean, layered vocals, time signature changes and some acoustic bits. Its highlight is, I think, the song ''Crest of the Forgotten'', which somehow manages to embody all these elements without being pompous nor boringly long. As a weak element, I may think of some acoustic guitars that would have enriched even more certain parts.

4. The band consists of two members only. Why? Isn't there the need to add more people to the line up? Don't you think this way you might have more inspiration or explore new ideas?

The band basically was born as a solo project of mine, set to be an easy and immediate expression of a side of my musical tastes. Of course OGEN has so far relied on just one person's views and compositional skills, but I think that this very factor helps keep the project very coherent sound-wise.

5. Have you got any more songs ready? If yes, can you give us some information and a possible release date? Will it be an EP or a full length album next time for you?

Hopefully the next songs will appear on a full length album; there's already been some talk with the label about this option but it's too early to say anything more on this. Of course there are some musical sketches here and there, that I might describe as having a more defined identity and a will to explore some new musical realms, without losing the freshness of ''Black metal unbound''.

6. Why do you think you stand out from most atmospheric black metal bands out there? What do you believe you can offer to the metal scene?

I think OGEN is an honest project, really tight from both a musical and lyrical point of view; moreover I feel that the 'atmospheric' element within the songs is really intriguing and not born of a formula, being led by a very firm artistic approach.

7. What kind of procedure do you follow when you compose songs? Do you have to be in a certain state of mind in order to perform the songs as you want?

I usually get loads of inspiration by the very things which the lyrics talk about, like mountains, woods, and the Alpine environment. I usually try to depict these topics, giving prominence to the sense of wonder and awe that they can inspire. So writing a tune is not very much a mathematical operation, but the aftermath of an inspiration process.

8. Which song or songs do you think are the most ideal to represent the whole album’s essence?

Like I said, maybe ''Crest of the forgotten'', to which I may add ''Black Tusk Retaliation''.

9. Which are your sources of inspiration when it comes to the lyrics? Which are the main topics you deal with?

The main sources of inspiration are the very thematic foundation of the lyrics, being them the perennial struggle between man and nature and the fascination of elements the same age as the Earth, like, as I said, mountains,which I try to depict in all their features and as an ideal theater of heroic endeavors.

10. Why did you name the album “Black Metal Unbound”? What do you mean with the word unbound?

The term 'unbound' refers to the musical essence of the EP, which is for sure indebted with the early black metal sound, though at the same time contemplates some not so obvious musical elements which are primarily to be found in some chord progressions and guitar melodies that I think are the real 'trademark' of OGEN.

11. The cover artwork is a photo. Who took it and which place is it? Why did you decide to put a landscape photo as a cover artwork?

The cover artwork is a photo taken by a Russian guy Kolony Records' boss personally contacted in order to be granted the use of it for the EP. I really don't know which place it is but we soon like its simple, strong, ominous impact, and we sensed that a landscape photo perfectly fit the lyrical contents of the songs.

12. Have you got any plans for live shows? How are you promoting your work? What do you think of the use of the Internet? How helpful is it for a band?

We already played a gig prior to the release of the album and have some, still undefined live plans for late 2011. The promotion so far has mainly been made by doing interviews and sending regular press-releases, also submitting for reviews the album to as many magazines and webzines possible. The Internet is maybe leveling things a bit but still is a very powerful instrument for a completely unknown band like OGEN.

13. The music industry blames the Internet for the financial crisis they are in. Where do you stand on this matter?

It's no secret that the Internet made easy stealing something that the vast majority of people used to pay for back in the day. Now you are supposed to store on your computer as much music as you can, and smart is he who simply downloads it doing harm not only to record companies but, which is no way less important, to those who create music.

14. What kind of feelings and thoughts do you think your music creates to your listeners?

I think that OGEN's music is good for a resident trip to forgotten landscapes reminiscent of the sublime majesty of nature.

15. Is there a phrase that you think describes OGEN in the best possible way?

''Old legends I will seek no more, for I've become one out of them'' (which by the way is the backprint of the first run of T-shirts).

16. By the way what does OGEN mean? How did you choose your moniker?

It's a word which has the same meaning as the word 'ocean', I found it in a erudite book from the XVIIth century.

17. Thank you! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for the great interview! Just give OGEN a listen, I'm pretty sure you will find something worth your time. [Christine Parastatidou]

Link:
http://behindtheveil.freehostia.com/iogen.html
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