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Review: Algaion - Exthros

Label: Pulverised Records
Year released: 2010
Duration: 40:57
Tracks: 11
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: February 10, 2011
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating

Rated 3.71/5 (74.29%) (7 Votes)

A strange little album here from Sweden's Algaion, and it sees the band return for their third opus, though this is the first time we've crossed paths. The strangeness comes from the fusion of styles represented here, as they are quite polar opposite, and they make an unusual pairing. Extreme though it is, there is much more melody here than with the majority of bands crawling from the Black Metal scene; in fact the only things about Exthros that are culled from that style are the drums (blast beats galore) and the vocals, which are well-performed but limited screams with the same intensity found in bands such as Blut Aus Nord. Musically, this is closer to Prog-Power than anything else (yes, you heard me) with the guitar work being very melodic and harmony-driven, producing melodies that are sad and mournful, but also too clean and dexterous to come from the Dimmu school. They are almost full on Power Metal in places (and no small wonder; their axeman is no other than Mathias Kamijo, who is currently playing in Morifade).

Under a clear production, Exthros comes close to sounding like a lot of things, though the mix of Power and Black Metal is a little uneven. Thankfully, they don't sound like Children Of Bodom. Actually, when they slow things down a bit, they bear a certain resemblance to Drudkh, and in the faster sections one can hear the strains of the Gothenburg scene, particularly latter period At The Gates. This album can be hard to get into because of its multifaceted nature, but it's one to experience if you're looking for something that challenges generic expectations.

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