Flawed, certainly. But nowhere near as bad as many fans would lead you to believe. In fact, "Octagon", while not one of Bathory's best, is still a damned fine album and better than 9 out of 10 albums released in 1996. I think Quorthon was going for an 'industrial', contemporary sound...but, as usual, didn't have the budget to do it the right way. If he'd had the finances "Octagon" could easily have been a masterpiece. The songs, except for that bizarre Kiss cover, are substantial; his guitar work in particular is savage and very hot. He didn't want to return completely to the savagery of the first few Bathory albums which is why his vocals are a cross between his early style and the Viking approach of the later albums. So he came off, as a singer, somewhat stifled and unsatisfying. But thats really a minor complaint as far as I'm concerned. Bathory is incapable of doing poor work. "Octagon", I believe, is a great cd that in time will grow on the listener, as it did me, and thus is an excellent investment.