"The Last Neanderthal"

By Dr. Abner Mality

If you gave an artist the assignment of coming up with the ugliest cover art imaginable, "The Last Neanderthal" might be a possible result. Man, this is really awful. I know they are trying to go for the early 70's underground look, but even in that era, this would have reeked.

Many bands named Ogre that I know of. I'm still looking for the rare album by the old Chicago band of the late 70's. This is not them but they are actually not a million miles away in style from what I remember of the Chicago Ogre. They are trying for the vintage metal vibe as so many uncounted bands are these days, but they miss the mark. "Nine Princes In Amber" (inspired by the Zelazny sci-fi epics) is quite agreeable as the opening cut....not original, but it's got a nice powerful thrust to it and the vocals fit. NWOBHM fans should dig. That's Ogre's best shot, though. An album of tracks like this would have been pretty cool, but they revert to retro-doom and 70's blues jams pretty quickly. "Bad Trip" features a guitar solo that reminds me of Saint Vitus' Dave Chandler...Vitus is a big influence here...but not equalling those heights. "Sons of Sisyphus" is boring crap and the vocals fall off a cliff. At this point, Ogre lost my interest big time.

The rest of it is overlong pastiche of lumbering, too long doom and half-ass 70's jamming. An incredibly loud and screaming guitar solo wakes me up at the end of "The Hermit", just in time to say goodbye. Vocals on this track sound like a bad rip on Ozzy.

I wanted Ogre to succeed, but I'm guessing sales of this will be lucky to reach a mediocre baseball player's batting average.