LOCH VOSTOK – From These Waters

LOCH VOSTOK – From These Waters

Swedish extreme progressive metal back again to tear limbs and expand minds- Loch Vostok return for their sixth studio album "From These Waters" and haven’t lost any sense of finesse or adventurous, anything goes attitude to these 10 tracks. Opener "Like Poison to the Stars" has a series of pummeling riffs and spider web guitar licks against a Soilwork-like thrash meets blasting death tempo background, while the title track is more controlled, mid-tempo progressive metal bliss, very cool melodies during the chorus and compact in a tidy 3:18 arrangement.

Overall I feel a lot of these tracks have that crazy energy that made acts like Strapping Young Lad and "Slaughter of the Soul" period At the Gates household names – only put through a bit of the progressive textures and time changes that Loch Vostok are well known for. Check out "Fighting Fire with Blood" as the back and forth death/clean vocal match goes toe to toe with the aggressive riffing and clean interludes – or the rhythmic punch throughout "And the Storm Spread Its Wings" as the organ/keyboard accompaniment weaves in and out along with haunting, more ethereal background vocals. Another vicious winner "Me Forgotten" runs the gamut from extreme blast beats in one measure, and then almost cinematic doom the next, Teddy Möller ripping his larynx out one minute then transforming into clean ecstasy effortlessly.

Many who profess a love of progressive metal and its many sub-genres or classifications fail to take into consideration that advanced musicianship and pure technical ability do not mean squat if you can’t create some semblance of hooks and grooves for listener retention. Loch Vostok understand this principle, and as a result construct an album that is challenging but mutually satisfying with each successive pass. I’d say this is one of their heavier full-lengths to date, as "From These Waters" pumps up your adrenaline while giving your brain matter a workout too.