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Review: Ossian – Csak a jót

by Ivona Bogner

Ossian – Csak a jót

1. Csak a jót
2. Forgószínpad
3. Követ em vakon
4. A saját kezemben
5. Aki előre néz
6. Mennyit ad még
7. Te leszel a vad vihar
8. Akiről álmodtál
9. Köszöntés
10. Ami nyomot hagy
11. Egyensúly
12. Egy lélegzet
13. Ahol a szürkeség véget ér (live)
14. Hangzavarban a harmóniát (live)
15. Gyönyörű bolond (live)
16. Soha nem lehet (live)
17. A barát (live)
18. Ahányszor látlak (live)

Label: Hammer Records
Date: April 17, 2020

As a young metalhead, thirty years ago, it was completely pointless to me to listen any band if I didn’t understand the lyrics. That means – English only! As I grew up and I guess as I matured, I realized I was kind of a dumb kid. Metal has universal language, and we need no words to understand it. As my grandmother comes from Vojvodina where the most of population are Hungarians, and of course speak Hungarian, visiting my family during the holidays turned up to be very educational. No, I have never learnt Hungarian. But, I have learnt a lot of teenagers there were involved into metal and besides Alice Cooper, Testament or Antrax audio cassettes on their shelves, I have discovered several Hungarian bands. Still, after so many years (decades), Pokolgép remained my favorite Hungarian band. Ossian’s history is kind of intertwined with Pokolgép, so it has to be good, I thought.  Actually,  Ossian’s history begins in 1985, after Endre Paksi, who had been bass guitar player on “Ki Mi Tud” split, left Pokolgép. So, we can say, Pokolgép and Ossian remained one of the oldest and most influential Hungarian metal bands.

Endre Paksi it seems had turbulent history with Ossian, since he had left the band and came back again in 1998. So, we can say he is a backbone of Ossian. If I continue to write about Ossian’s history, I am afraid this review will turn into a three volumes book, so in short lines for the fans who haven’t discovered the band yet: in their over three decades long career, Ossian shared the stage with U.D.O., Pretty Maids, Helloween, Iron Maiden, released over twenty albums, Endre Peksi wrote over than 150 songs…

On April 17, 2020, Ossian released “Csak a jót” under the Hungarian Hammer Records.

The whole album is built on stable metal foundations: effective riffs, catchy choruses, memorable melodies. Besides twelve brand new songs, Ossian treated their fans with five live performances, recorded in September 2019, in legendary Barba Negra club (Budapest).

Album “Csak a jót” is opened by song “Csak a jót” that is followed by lyrics video.  True heavy rock, more than heavy metal. I was at high risk to consult google translate just to check out the lyric, but luckily at the speed of light I realized it would be a sacrilege. If they wanted do, they would write in English. End of story! The song itself is very cheerful with emphatic rhythms and catchy chorus. Simply, it is already a hymn!

After the first two cheerful  songs, “Követ em vakon” slows down a bit, but already the next one “A saját kezemben” accelerates and hooks you with its refrain.  A bit of aggression in vocal parts accents the dynamic of the mid tempo song. Another slow one and “Mennyit ad még” that has great vibe, than “Te leszel a vad vihar” with Iron Maiden similitude guitar, another sing along chorus with great tempo and melody. And, here is the end of chapter one, I would say. From this point, album goes into the different direction. I cannot ask myself if it simply could not be double album? There is enough material for one quality dual album. Part one would include the first seven songs, that, as already written, are led by the parole always look at the bright side of life. Part two would include the rest of the songs, that are obviously slowing down the tempo.

“Akiről álmodtál” with drum intro and Accept like melody slows down the entire album and  from this point the album, as I already wrote, changes its direction. In the sea of slow tempo songs, one instrumental stands out- “Egyensúly”.

From the thirteenth song, we have, as already mentioned, Ossian’s live performance at Barba Negra club, recorded on September 14, 2019. Here, you can clearly hear how the band is popular in Hungary. Somewhere I red that the album is already platinum, so what else can I say? Numbers don’t lie.

To summarize:

From the beginning to an end, and we have over than hour of material here, album flows smooth. The band does not experiment a lot, if it is even possible after all those years. Ossian it seems prefers to stay on safe ground. But, only if we superficially approach to the album. If we look back at previous two albums, we can notice that “Csak a jót” is more dynamic and fresh. The most important, even if you don’t understand the language, you won’t get bored while listening the album.  My impression is that this album is more diverse than previous one, but with risky song order. Some of us might be in danger just to give up listening this album after the first seven songs and don not give a chance to those slower ones. 

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