Loch Vostok – From These Waters (ViciSolum Productions)Tuesday, 7th April 2015
Strange how some bands can just escape your grasp for such a long time. Loch Vostok being the latest example of this, with From These Waters being the band’s sixth effort. Playing with a formula that seems to fall just outside the lines of an easy classification, they should find appeal with bands such as Soilwork, Scar Symmetry, or even Mnemic.
From These Waters ultimately has a familiar feeling to it, despite the fact that Loch Vostok tends to blur the lines a bit. There are modern elements, moments of progressive flourishes, melodic death metal and thrash, and even some bits of industrial and black metal influence. You can see the same shift in terms of the vocals, going from shouts and roars to clean vocals. All in all, it’s a pleasantly varied experience, with the album opening up with a strong one-two punch of “Like Poison to the Stars” and “I Implode.” From there, some of the highlights point to the more atmospheric “Me Forgotten,” which interjects some blackish moments into the mix, the modern touches of “Fighting Fire with Blood,” and the churning heaviness of “Sentiment.” If there is one setback to be found amid all this diversity, it’s that the clean vocals sometimes lack the needed power and come off as a bit flat (see “Dead Sea Trolls”).
Outside of some minor vocal issues, From These Waters leaves a solid impression. The band’s ability to flirt with a number of different stylistic approaches and retain a mark of fluidity may be in part due to their experience as a band but still deserves merit. If you enjoy the bands mentioned in the opening paragraph, chances are you’ll dig From These Waters.