Loch Vostok

Reveal No Secrets

Written by: BL on 09/06/2009 15:45:36

Loch Vostok is a Swedish metal band who play a brand of melodic death while also dabbing in symphonic, progressive and power metal elements. As ambitious (and somewhat unoriginal) as that sounds, they manage to blend the styles with a certain degree of competence. "Reveal No Secrets" is their third full length for a band of nearly eight years and given the rather 'explosive' album cover (ahem) I was expecting relentless dual guitar riffing, harmonized solos and some cool keyboards, as you do with melodic death metal these days.

And the first track kicks off in just that way, a rather standard albeit catchy riff begins the proceedings. Backed up by a haunting synth work, I had my tongue wet with anticipation as things were good (but predictable). Until I was surprised to hear Teddy Möller's clean vocals in the chorus. Indeed his vocals has a greater range than the average vocalist in a band of this kind. The harsh elements are standard and are unnoticably bland, that mid range type of growl that you hear in every melodic death band (I keep thinking Insomnium as I listen). His cleans, ranging from mid to high pitched vibrato crooning, are far more suited to prog or power metal. I would say that it would have been nicely unique had it not been that his clean vocals are a little inconsistent in delivery. Sometimes there's power in his voice, while in others he sounds like he's wailing and struggling to stay in tune, unfortunately bringing a cringe to my face.

The inconsistent vocals actually sum up my feelings for this album on a whole. "Energy Taboo" has some catchy riffing, a fantastic solo passage with some rocking rhythm guitars and keyboards. But on other tracks such as "Thirty Years" and "Blindfolds Off" the riffs wander into mediocre territory where nothing interesting is really put across the table and the songs quickly become boring and unfocused. Frustrating when that former track follows onto the rather rifftastic "Raiders Of The Lost Heart" which uses some great mixed rhythms and some exotic harmonized guitar work at speed. Teddy and Niklas can certainly let rip when they choose to and the technicality in all areas is solid throughout (then again for a competent melodic death album I expect no less). The lead guitar has some really tuneful solos while the keyboards provide blistering arpegi-tastic runs up and down to compete for lead air time. I just wish that songs were this good the whole way through, because then these guys would be giving some of the more known named bands a run for their money.

But as it stands it's only a half decent album. The good bits are damn good but the rougher areas really need work. There is a lack of focus at times which is a real shame as had the quality of a tracks been at their best the whole way through this would have been a real keeper. Check it out if you like Melodic Death, but don't expect a complete package.

Download: Loss Of Liberty, Energy Taboo, Raiders Of The Lost Heart
For the fans of: Dark Tranquility, Soilwork, Omnium Gatherum
Listen: Myspace

Release date 29.05.2009
Silverwolf Productions

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