A few months ago, I got sent an album by Serbian band Alogia, called Elegia Balcanica. I hadn't heard of the band before, and was surprised to learn that their guitarist Srdjan Brankovic is behind Expedition Delta, a musical project that involves or has involved quite a few renowned musicians, like Erik Norlander (Rocket Scientists), Rene Merkelbach (Ayreon) and Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery) that found a place in my music collection ages ago.
In Alogia, Srdjan plays together with his brother Miroslav (guitar), Vladimir Ranisavljevic (bass), Srdjan Golubica (drums), and vocalist Nikola Mijic.
Keyboards and synths are played by Vladimir Djedovic, who unfortunately had to leave the band after recording the album to pursue other activities.
These six musicians delivered an album with powerful metal that shows both great musicianship and a couple of very clear influences. Sometimes there's a hint of early '90s progressive metal, then power metal, and always two guitars and a keyboard ready to add some fast, whirling or mixed melodies over the metronomic rhythm guitar and drums. The high pitched vocals are well executed, although the Serbian lyrics may be a bit of a hurdle for an international audience.
On the album, this leads to a mixed variety of tracks. On tracks like Almagest, Callis Ad Astra and Galija we find rhythmic riffing that reminds of early 80s prog metal (Dream Theater) mixed with late 80s melodic keyboards and guitars (Halloween, Gamma Ray). In other places, the prog metal element disappears in favour of power metal, which is the case on Vreme je and the title track Elegia Balcanica.
Of a completely different nature are the tracks Us Tisini, which is slower and more keyboard heavy than the rest of the album and Intentionally Blind, a thrash metal bordering track. The latter is a worthy tribute to Death founder Chuck Shuldiner, who died of cancer in 2001.
Production wise, the album could have benefited from a slightly lighter mix. The bass is hard to be found, because the low end is dominated by drums, keyboard and rhtyhm guitar, and the drums sound a bit 'woody' in places.
Overall, this is a well executed power metal album, by a capable band, but with room for improvement. Given that this is the bands fourth album, and especially the previous two received good reviews, there is more to check out than just this one for who's really interested.