Loch Vostok
From These Water

So this “extreme progressive metal’  movement is becoming I thing I see. The Great DiscordBlack Crown Initiate, Ne Obliviscaris, France’s Maladie, and this long running Swedish act named after a subterranean lake in Antarctica are delivering metal that switches on a dime between prog metal, thrash, technical death metal, symphonic metal, power metal and everything else under the metal umbrella.

These guys have actually been around since 2002 and have 5 prior albums under their belt, but they are new to me, and appear to be delivering their 6th album at a time when the style is in vogue. And if you’ve like those newer bands mentioned above, these veterans should appeal to you as they are cut from the same cloth. Throw some Disillusion (Back to Times of Splendor)  and some Solefald-ian clean croons in there as well for good measure and you have Loch Vostok‘s ambitious of a little over reaching sound.

And the end result is an album that’s sometimes good, but more often than not, just a little too much  albeit with an expectedly  polished production and lots of skill on display by the individual players. As you would expect from such a vast array of styles, the songs rarely sit in place or have time to sink in before shifting an morphing into something all together different. The vocals alone deliver about 5 different styles  from a high register rasp, deep grunt, operatic croon, power metal wail etc) and that’s often reflected in the music.

You get high octane, thrashing melodic death metal  (opener “Like Poison to the Stars”, the sturdy “Sentiment”) and big, shimmery, stuttering prog rock, (“I implode”,) to straight up heavy/power metal bordering on smooth AOR (“From the Waters”) and a semi ballad (the standout “Lost on Transmutance”). There’s lots of keyboards, lots of clean choruses, but just  enough bite and snarl to keep folks like interested such as the aforementioned opener “Fighting Fire with Blood” or the almost avant garde black metal (Ihsahn?)”Dead Sea Trolls”.

But with all the good comes tracks like “And the Storm Spread its Wings” or “Me Forgotten” and moments in almost the above track where the tangents just detract from the songs mostly some sort of bridge/ break or really sugary clean chorus that’s just a tad off. it’s just a bit too much despite impressive ambition but they are probably better off at delivering pure heavy metal/prog metal rather than trying to force more extreme elements into their sound.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 21st, 2015

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