Weird name, weird music? In the case of LOCH VOSTOK one can back this quite adventurous thesis up, for these Swedes are part of the category “hardly to be described with words”. Who hasn’t heard of the band so far, might know the name MAYADOME, a Swedish Progressive Metal band from the 90s, which had released two albums in 1996 and 1999 (I personally only know the debut “Paranormal Activity”). Their drummer Teddy Möller let LOCH VOSTOK arise from their remains and at the same time changed to vocals and guitar.
And in the core the song material of “Dark Logic” most probably is Progressive Metal, but who thinks of DREAM THEATER or FATES WARNING now, will soon stand corrected, because LOCH VOSTOK combine Prog with Death and some Black Metal eruptions (up to blast beats) and also completely denounce the guitars in some parts, if needed also all of that packed into one single song, the band’s self description of “extreme Prog Metal” is quite agreeable. With this the Swedes quite successfully limit their potential fan base, yet open themselves up to a smaller, yet more fervent following.
You definitely can’t listen to LOCH VOSTOK just in the background, for that the songs in the end are too complex and for a casual listener maybe also confusing. Part of that definitely is Teddy’s voice, because he sings, shouts, growls and screams that thoughts of PAIN OF SALVATION’s Daniel Gildenlöw come to mind here and there, giving the songs a myriad of different shades and emotions. Altogether you definitely will have to hear this album several times quite intensively to really find access to the compositions.
And as already mentioned, it is hard to impossible to really generalise the songs, therefore here only my three personal favourites: “Impressions“ – great structure, with very variable vocals and super catchy chorus, “Nothingness“ with its heavy riffing and rough vocals, followed by more powerful Prog, just to culminate in another extremely catchy and cleanly sung chorus and finally “Marrow”, which sets out calm, then rising in heaviness and progressiveness with the by now typical LOCH VOSTOK chorus. That the boys do not take themselves all too serious is shown by the closing bonus track “Jahepp”, which is a short, but painful Grindcore attack.
In terms of production I only have to say Dugout Studios, Prime Studios and for the mix Daniel Bergstrand, nuff said, eh? LOCH VOSTOK are original and progressive, but even for Progsters only partly digestible, but if you give it the time and attention, a good investment for sure! (Online March 12, 2005)