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Loch Vostok - Reveal No Secrets (6/10) - Sweden - 2009

Genre: Death Metal / Progressive Metal
Label: Nightmare Records
Playing time: 51:46
Band homepage: Loch Vostok

Tracklist:

  1. Loss Of Liberty
  2. Energy Taboo
  3. Dig Deeper
  4. Uncompassion
  5. Thirty Years
  6. Raiders Of The Lost Heart
  7. Blindfolds Off
  8. What Once Was
  9. Breakthru

I can assure you that this review was not a child of love, but one of labour – a lot of labour. For the longest time LOCH VOSTOK’s third effort “Reveal No Secrets” was like a book with seven seals to me, a blank page in front of me and no thoughts coming to me whatsoever, no matter how often I listened to it. Thankfully a few weeks did the trick and I managed to wiggle my mind into this concept album about the loss of liberty in society today, which apparently has been inspired by various conspiracy theories, so technically an interesting topic.

 

Being labeled as “Extreme Progressive Metal”, the Swedes’ music is so much harder to categorize and in the end also to describe than that, as they consciously defy the laws of Prog Metal by incorporating growls as well as clear vocals (both courtesy of guitarist Teddy Möller), as well as how they put together their songs. Opener “Loss Of Liberty” lures you in with powerful riffing and rhythm and immediate catchiness, delivering growls during the verse and then excellent clear singing during bridge and chorus and “Energy Taboo” continues the swift tempo with a piano interlude and furious solo embedded into a well laid out, dynamic song. So the first half of the album is promising (even the Dickinson-goes-distorted vocal approach of “Thirty Years”) and manages to capture my attention just like the first two efforts, but after that we experience a sudden and unexpected drop off in quality or at least in compatibility with me.

 

The songs add some more progressive character, which in my opinion does not really fit well, coinciding with the quality and dynamics of the compositions also taking a dip. From the beginning the clear vocals have been the shining light of LOCH VOSTOK and while the growls were adequate, they take a turn for the worse in the later stages of the album, not sounding convincing anymore and the songs begin to sound disjointed and lose much needed momentum, which in turn brings the album to a screeching halt after a more than promising beginning, which is sad, as the Swedes had proved before that they are more than capable to deliver full albums of equal quality.

 

In the end “Reveal No Secrets” is not a train-wreck, but shows a wounded band that definitely has quite some work ahead of them to recover from the second half of this album, where they either ran out of steam or lost direction. The first half is more than enjoyable and should appeal to a fairly wide listener-base, while the rest might just as well send them swatting at the skip and stop buttons. Inconsistent and in the end somewhat disappointing.

(Online February 20, 2010)

Alexander Melzer



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