ViciSolum Productions (2012)
It’s always exciting when one of your favorite bands that release consistent, high quality and thought provoking metal like Sweden’s Loch Vostok return to push your excitement even further. “V: The Doctrine Decoded” is their fifth studio full length, coming off the strength of 2011’s “Dystopium” that received numerous high marks in magazines and webzines in Europe and abroad. Guitarist/ vocalist Teddy Moller always believes the primary intention of the five-piece musically is to possess an open-minded viewpoint when it came to their style- all influential aspects open to inspection or incorporation. So be prepared, as each Loch Vostok record inherently will differ from the previous one.
Take the opener “Seeker”- on the surface a progressive metal arrangement featuring killer Evergrey-like vocals and trade off keyboard/ guitar riff segments- while careening headlong into verse spurts of blast beat and black metal scream proportions. The follow up “A Tale of Two Kings” opens with ear piercing high screams that would make King Diamond proud and an organ chord sequence that blends church ethics with Ken Hensley and Jon Lord spirit before morphing it a mid-tempo power number in the Tad Morose meets latter day Powerwolf class. The shred-tastic axe skills from Teddy and fellow guitarist Niklas Kupper include reference points from all the schooled greats- you will drop your jaw at their finger speed and precision during “Syndrome of Self” and “Ravenous” to name two of my favorites.
The jazzy meets Neil Peart drum moves from Lawrence Dinamarca propel the heavier “Twilight of The Dogs”- the vocals running the gamut from Burton C. Bell atmosphere to straight out Swedish death growls while the guitars do a slight Djent/progressive dance against the rhythm section. By the time you hit the 7 minute closer “Beyond the Obvious” with its interplanetary guitar lines and equally versatile melodies/ screams, you’ll want to return to the beginning and take this in again.
Loch Vostok appeal most to progressive metal fans, but I can see pockets of melodic death and fusion people also digging “V: The Doctrine Decoded”. Aren’t you tired of Dream Theater clones by now? Seek adventure, seek the limitless and Loch Vostok will reward with a cornucopia of sounds, riffs and ideas to take in.
Rating: 5.5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe