Call in the sub-genre police – I think this is black metal but they might insist it’s pagan metal or some other silly sub-categorization. At any rate, the spirit of Loits is definitely in black metal, but some of the tools they use to create their sound has led me, and will lead others, to some other name, I’m sure. Shit, the band’s own biography refers to the sound as “flak ‘n’ roll”. What the hell . . . ?
The first thing I can point to here is the middle-ground production. Neither raw and kVlt in the classic (and Moribund Cult) style, nor slick and grandiose like Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir, although it may be akin to what those bands sounded like before they sold out and became pop stars (as the kVltists would say). It’s like the knobs were set at a level where everything sounded fairly natural. I must say, it’s quite refreshing. What the hell – is that a flute I just heard on “Furor Aesticus”, or perhaps a recorder? Who the hell does this band think they are – Cruachan? But I digress…
Actually, I don’t; it’s those little unexpected twists that make Vere Kutse Kohustab, the band’s second full-length, enjoyable. Be it the odd wind instrument, the momentary keyboards, clean vocals, or Ye Olde Riffery, they do make you notice that this isn’t the same old shtick. Granted, there are plenty of your standard black metal elements here – the Shagrath-like vocals, the monotonous riff patterns, etc. For a fringe fan of the genre like myself though, somehow it all comes together to set them apart from the dozens of other bands of the ilk.
Here’s something else that will make the kVltists stand up and take notice – they sing in a language I don’t recognize and are from a country (Estonia) that I would never in a million years link to black metal, both of which make me wonder how this CD ended up at MetalReview in the first place. Uh oh . . . so after album closer “Raiugem Ruunideks” (the penultimate track, bringing all of their best qualities together), there is a bit of silence before – get this – a group sing-along accompanied by an accordion. I love it! Much respect to any metal band with the balls to do that and risk their credibility in the name of fun.
So yeah, Loits have produced a damn fine and fun album here. My only complaint really is that the songs seem longer than they really are, but it could just be the coffee coursing through my veins as I listen. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say if you like black metal as a genre but aren’t down with the elitist baggage that often comes with it, this album is for you, and anyone else that likes it when a band breaks genre rules.