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Ordog : Life is too Short For Learning to Live

Ordog's new opus takes the band to a newer level

I was very excited when I received 'Life Is Too Short For Learning To Live', the latest effort by Finnish funeral doomster Ordog. I have no qualms about admitting that I really loved 2006's 'Crow And The Storm', released by Ostra Records, so maybe my expectations were a touch higher than they should have been. But, don't worry, this not leading where you think it is. 'Life Is Too Short...' is pretty good indeed.

Recorded and mixed at the Nest of Metal by Ordog's guitarist and bass player Valtteri Isometsä, and released by Violent Journey Records, the album comprises seven tracks, some of which are instrumental interludes. Unlike most funeral bands, Ordog's style is much more varied, with some up-tempo compositions. Jussi Harju, the keyboard player featured on the previous demo 'III', gives an extra dimension and depth to the sound. I must confess that 'III' was far too monotonous for my taste, with claustrophobic arrangements, akin to Skepticism's.

With 'Life Is Too Short...', Ordog have chosen generally a less monothematic approach. The album opens with the slow 'Death’s Cold Embrace', a keyboard-based, cavernous instrumental, which flows into the up-tempo 'Live Fast, Die Slow', punctuated by a hard, monotonous guitar riff and clean and death vocals. It reminds me of Funeral's 'As The Light Does The Shadow', luckily without Forsmo's whiny vocals. 'Drown In Yourself' is an electronic interlude which leads to 'Chapelle Ardente'. This is where things get interesting and truly depressing. The tempo drops, the distorted guitar kicks in, the drums hit you in the head and the contorted, reverberating, 11 minute long melody drains the will to live from you. 'Learning To Live', on the other hand, is a Ulver-like little number, with soft vocals and a gentle melody.

Soaring, piano-lead melody, fluid and insistent guitar play, grunts, distorted, screamed and clean funereal vocals... the monumental 19 minute 'Pokol' has everything you wish for in a funeral track. This is possibly the best track ever written by Ordog and where 'Life Is Too Short...' takes 'Crow And The Storm' song-writing to the next level, in a tortured landscape of depression, sadness and suicide. Fittingly, the track ends with satanic laughs. The journey comes to conclusion with 'Innocent', a calm instrumental, underlined by dreamy keyboards and acoustic guitar, which then develops in a full blown orchestral track. Maybe Ordog are trying to forget the pain? No, not really. "Cast your charms, Inebriate my soul, Yet I know you will Crush me again..." recites Aleksi Martikainen. I thought so...

[note by reviewer: though Kimmo Huhtala is credited as the bass player on the album, all bass tracks are played by Valtteri Isometsä.]

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Death's Cold Embrace
2. Live fast, Die Slow
3. Drown In Yourself
4. Chapelle Ardente *
5. Learning To Live
6. Pokol **
7. Innocence

Translation from French:
4. Temporary mortuary

Translation from Polish:
6. Hell/massacre

Duration : Approx. 47 minutes.

Visit the Ordog bandpage.

Reviewed on 07-04-2009 by Giovanni Guarnieri
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