Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Band: Ogre

I've been continuing my trend of listening to mostly stoner rock/metal (except for the discography of Kiss I've been enjoying) with several new bands; among them Beaver, The Mushroom River Band, and Ogre. Out of these three Ogre is by far my favorite The Beaver album, 13eaver, was pretty bad).

Ogre is an interesting band that follows the stoner mantra of mixing doom, psychedelia and hard rock, but focuses a bit more on the doom. Most of their songs are long and a little on the slow side (but often have quicker intros or breaks), and their lyrics are either very deep or plain silly, I can't really be sure.
Reading what I've written above, Ogre sounds like just an average band. Like any stoner band out there, but they are not. I don't really know how to explain it, but I really enjoy this band - above many of their more known competitors.
The groups first release, and by far my favorite. This album is quickly becoming one of my favorites, and I might add it to the 'Best Albums' playlist (I'll write something about that project eventually). The first six songs (there are only seven), are groove-laden rock-outs. They are quick and you can really bob your head to them. The last song is a eleven minute straight on doom-fest. It is slow and heavy and not at all like the rest of the album, but it works so good. Even though the song is doom and slow, you can still hear and feel the groove section throughout. Easily one of the best albums I've heard in a while.
After an amazing debut album, I had high hopes for Seven Hells. Alas, I was left wanting more. This album is much more straight-forward then their first release (and way off from their third - read below). It is just hard rock stoner with really (really) mild doom references. The music is all tuned down, and extra distorted (even some of the vocals, which is odd). It doesn't hold any of the flair of their other albums. All of their songs are about the same tempo, and seem to follow a bit of a pattern, and overall I'm left a bit bored. That's not to say it's a bad album, I still enjoy a couple of songs, there are some sick solos within, and the music is still a bit groovy - you could turn this album on and have it as good background noise, but not much to listen intently to.
Their latest release, and I have to say I'm a bit disappointed. I'm not disappointed about the music, it is a concept album that is reminiscent to a heavy metal Pink Floyd. It's not as heavy as it's predecessor, but it has a good progressive element of moving back and forth from quick sections to slow sections, and some sections focus on minimalist works (long times with little or not 'music' per-se, but instead it's sounds without apparent time-signature). My main gripe is with the way they decided to package this deal - one thirty-seven minute song. You can hear the breaks within the movements, and obvious places where a new track could start, but no, it's all one song. It's annoying because there are some really good parts within it, but I don't want to listen twenty minutes to hear the three minutes I love. It's not like Rush's 2112, where the whole song is one cohesive thought, it seems to me a collaboration of thoughts jammed together.

So that's Ogre. Again, reading my review, the band sounds like the same old same old, but it's really not (well except for Seven Hells, that's pretty standard). Check out their debut album, Dawn of The Proto-Man, for some good groove stoner/doom, and their latest release, Plague of The Planet, if you feel adventurous.

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