Formed in that fateful, fiery year of 1993, Sweden’s ALGAION took a counter direction to their contemporaries. Right from the start, with their self-titled demo in ’93 and the following year’s Heosphoros Ho Proi Anatellon demo, the duo of Mårten Björkman and Mathias Kamijo created a strikingly different black metal sound that had far more in common with the emergent Greek scene led by the likes of Rotting Christ, Thou Art Lord, and Necromantia. But it was ALGAION’s debut album, Oimai Algeiou, where that sound truly crystallized and etched itself into the hallowed halls of black metal legendry.
Released in 1995 by the pivotal Full Moon Productions, Oimai Algeiu was underground black metal for underground black metallers. Not kowtowing to increasingly trendy Scandinavian sounds, no “romance” or gothic or vampires, and definitely no mosh nor no fun: ALGAION here created a surging and windswept landscape on which to paint dark desires and honor that Hellenic pantheon. It was a raw landscape, to be sure, but one contemporaneous with their Greek brethren and duly emitting a perhaps-colder atmosphere than the duskiness usually associated with that scene. However, above all, it was the songwriting itself which put Oimai Algeiou amongst that hallowed company, pulsing with a simple-yet-sublime melodicism and never-forgotten heavy metal spirit, all dusted with just the right amount of melancholy and the subtlest hint of synth.
Although ALGAION would continue thereafter with a similar but more-polished sound, Oimai Algeiou inarguably stands as the perfect snapshot of a truly special time. Out of print for decades and only ever released on CD, this reissue of Oimai Algeiou features remastering by Devo Andersson at Endarker Studios and will be henceforth available on all formats. The past is forever alive!
Regain Records, SWEDEN 2022.