Algaion - _General Enmity_
(Wounded Love, 1997)
by: Drew Snow (6 out of 10)
Wow... what a total change. Gone are the days of the Algaion we once knew, the one that put together high-speed forays into melodic yet still somewhat atypical black metal. Instead, on _General Enmity_, the band, led by Marten Bjorkman and Mathias Kamijo, take a turn towards power metal, with a lot of doomy influences, and some plain metal parts. _GE_ is the definition of a hit and miss album. Melodic, energetic tracks like "No Will Without Fire", "Indifference Beyond Misanthropy", and "The Angel of Decease" are excellent, and show the developments towards power metal that Algaion has taken. But other songs such as "Mangod Hold the Sceptre" and the title track really don't do much except hang around, seemingly without direction and purpose. One of the main caveats of the album are the vocals: to be blunt, they -suck-. Totally emotionless, hollow screaming / talking / shouting (it sounds like there's some overdubbing), the vocal work is monotone and just sounds detached and uninterested. Another drawback has to be the riffing. At times slicing away through quick riffs with ease and vigor, they all too often fall into generic crunch-riffing and, I suppose, "doom influenced" riffs; you know, the ones where they hit a note and let the distortion go for a few seconds, play a nother note, on and on, etc. Boring. Whatever you do, don't get _General Enmity _ expecting to hear a melodic black metal tour-de-force, as there is little to no black metal to be found on this disc. While I guess it's honorable that Algaion took a leap outside the norm and did their own thing, it would've been a lot more enjoyable to listen to if it had been more concentrated and better developed.

(article published 17/11/1997)

11/17/1997 D Schinzel Algaion: Questions From the Temple of Pain
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