Sweden. Black metal. 90′s. That should be enough to at least spark some fucking excitement about Algaion.
As I’ve made abundantly clear on this blog, I fucking love Swedish metal, in particular 90′s era Swedish black metal with it’s furious drive, atmospheric overtones and that oh so sweet hyper melodic guitar work. All of these things Algaion has in spades on Oimai Algeiou.
I’ve spoken so much about Swedish black metal and the melodic aspects of the music that it’s hard to come up with ways to describe it or differentiate between the other bands that play this music so well. If you’re familiar with the melodic side of Swedish black metal, you’ll know what to expect from this album, however, I think the band has a firm grasp on the style and enough to be able to call them out amongst the horde. For starters, Mårten Björkman’s vocals are insanely killer. Fully in the black metal shrill-zone, but there’s an angry, screamed presence to them that makes them more immediate. As far as the guitars go, well, fucking melodic as hell. Crazy melodic, tremolo picking for the fucking win. Mathias Kamijo infusion of speed and melody is highly infectious.
If there’s one drawback to the album it’s that the drums are clearly coming from a drum machine. It’s not a big drawback from me but at times they sound just a little too precise. Too mechanical, but for the most part you’re lost in those guitars and the atmosphere of the album you don’t really notice.
The band followed this up with an EP, Vox Clamentis, which is also great and after that I guess they went more melodic death/black metal to less than favorable opinions, but at least they dropped this fucking thing on us first.