Loch Vostok - DystopiumLoch Vostok (ViciSolum Productions) is a Swedish progressive metal band from Uppsala, Sweden. This was enough for me to take a look at it [Tjena grannar!] because, well, there aren’t a ton of metal bands from Uppsala, really. Not that they don’t exist or anything, but they’re just few and far between and most of them aren’t playing progressive metal. Apparently these guys, who I’ve never heard before mind you, formed in 2001 and Dystopium is their fourth record. And yeah, for fans of progressive metal, Swedish death metal and more modern sounding metal might really dig this disc. 

So, normally when I do these, I try to find records that are really the creme de la creme that we’ve simply just missed. This record isn’t quite there. But it is really solid progressive and/or power metal record with some death metal influences that sound quite Gothenburgy. With a vocalist who sounds like.. well, kind of every Swedish progressive or power metal vocalist ever, they deftly wander between Dark Tranquillity or Scar Symmetry kind of melodic riffing and choruses and more traditional prog/power sound. Tracks like the ripper of an opener “A Mission Undivine” Loch Vostok 2011even hint at an almost black metal influence at times before settling into riffing that is reminiscent of Nevermore or maybe a bit of Symphony X.

These guys also have a slower speed to them as well, and that’s a bit of where I lose them a bit. “Navigator” is kind of a mid-paced rocker/borderline ballad that has some good melodies, but it so unabashedly 80s hair band that I have a bit of trouble with it. The other issue I have with these guys is that the lyrics get a bit ESL and/or preachy at times. I get that it’s tough to write good metal lyrics, particularly in progressive metal and in another language, but sometimes the lyrics here are just, well.. bad. Not good. Obra. But these moments are mostly few and far between, honestly. And really, I’ve heard worse and even the best bands (*cough* Pain of Salvation *cough*) have shitty lyrics sometimes. It really only kills one song for me, “Taste the Flame” which just.. stinks.

With the notable exception of “Taste the Flame” though, this record is really great. It’s got some great songs, some excellent ideas and lots of awesome choruses. I personally love the tracks “Disconnection,” “A Mission Undivine” and “Repeat Offender” and the album feels a little front heavy, but there are some good moments on the back end as well. Overall it’s something worth checking out for fans of progressive metal, melodic death metal fans and all the fanboys of modern Swedish metal who love poppy, catchy tunes and aren’t expecting these guys to be rocking Liquid Tension Experiment chops when one talks about being “progressive”. Did I narrow that down too much? Just check the shit out.

 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=697382206 Félix Feu Arsenault

    Good review as always. This band ain’t bad, but i feel like it’s a little mix of alot of band/genre. Mostly what stop me from appreciating them. I’ve heard some rift/passage that reminds me of other band like Arsis (beginning of “In The Wake of Humanity”), scar symmetry (most of “A Mission Undivine”), Soilwork (the beginning rift of “Repeat Offender” could easily go in The Panic Broadcast haha”). Vocal performance goes from symphony X, to thunderstone, to alot of other band.

  • http://twitter.com/DeathMetalSwede Kuno

    A brilliant album that I included in my “Top 10 Albums of 2011″. My initial review of it when it got out wasn’t really that good, but that album sure grew on me.

    • http://www.angrymetalguy.com Angry Metal Guy

      Yeah, man. I like this Teddy Möller guy. Now if only he’d let me correct his lyrics before he published them. 

  • Anonymous

    Listened to the lead single and really got into it. Looks like it’s time to head to my friendly neighborhood record store!*

    *Yeah, I’m as surprised as you all are that there’s still an open record shop anywhere.

  • Anonymous

    wow. up until this review i really enjoyed this site.
    how do you NOT know Teddy Moller (Mayadome, FKU, and now Wuthering Heights)??????

    Appearances

    In selection:

    1996: Mayadome – Paranormal Activity (Drums, Producer)1997: Strapping Young Lad – City (Saxophone, Credited as Septic Ted)1999: Mayadome – Near Life Experience (Drums, Producer)1999: F.K.Ãœ. – Metal Moshing Mad (Drums actually played by Theo Savidis, but Teddy joined F.K.Ãœ. before the release)2002: Nocturnal Rites – Shadowland – (Backing Vocals)2004: Loch Vostok – Dark Logic (Guitar, Lead Vocals, Producer)2004: Various, The power of the cross (Banjo, Lead Chanting, Oink Sounds, Producer)2005: F.K.Ãœ. – Sometimes They Come Back To Mosh (Drums, Co-Writer)2005: Searing I – Bloodshred (Producer)2006: Loch Vostok – Destruction Time Again! (Guitar, Lead Vocals, Producer)2006: Wuthering Heights – The Shadow Cabinet (Bass, Co-Recording Engineer)2006: In Grey – Liyah (Backing Vocals, Co-Writer)2007: Flagellation – Incinerate Disintegrate (Lead Vocals, Shred Guitar)2007: Anima Morte – Face The Sea of Darkness (Drums)2009: F.K.Ãœ.. – “Where Moshers Dwell” (Drums, Co-Writer)2009: Loch Vostok – Reveal No Secrets (Guitar, Lead Vocals, Producer)2010: Anima Morte – Anima Morte / Hooded Menace – Split 7″ pic. (Drums)2010: Wuthering Heights – Salt (Bass, Co-Recording Engineer, Mixer)2011: Loch Vostok – Dystopium (Guitar, Lead Vocals, Producer)

    you’re welcome.

    • http://www.angrymetalguy.com Angry Metal Guy

      “OMG! You mean like you haven’t heard EVERYTHING! I loved this site until I realized that you were fallibly human!”

      There, I corrected your entry. It would be rude for me to edit it directly, but you’re free to. 

      • http://Angrymetalguy.com Steel Druhm

        Shit, I used to listen to Mayadome and Wuthering Heights a lot in the early 200s and the name didn’t ring a bell for me. Guess I’m an ignorant poser.

  • http://metalbandcamp.com MaxR

    You can stream the album at their Bandcamp: 
    http://lochvostok.bandcamp.com/album/dystopium

  • http://www.facebook.com/potticus Emily Potter

    Mega rez time! 

    If people are diggin their prog metal, these guys are touring Europe in the autumn supporting Leprous.

    That is gonna be one bad ass show.

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