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Loits
Vere Kutse Kohustab

It was with some excitement that I opened the parcel from Ledo Takas, as I knew it contained the long awaited second album from Estonia's front line metal band Loits. Apparently the limited edition version is a site to behold but I can`t comment on that personally, since this promo version comes in a rather bland looking slipcase. Oh well!
Much of “Vere Kutse Kohustab” comprises of material that has previously been released on EP format (tracks 1, 5, 6, 10, 12). So I`ve already heard half the album before pressing 'play', but we'll take this album as it was meant to be taken – as a whole. In general, the music is less technical than “Ei Kahetse Midagi” but it`s also more experimental, for example in the use of accordion on “Finnish Boy”; and the dark rock styles of of “Oskar Ruut” contrast nicely with more rousing numbers such as “In Honour of Estland” and “Furor Aesticus”. Lembetu's vocals have much more variety to them, adding a more clean voice in addition to the usual black metal throat slashings. A highlight for me is the oratory vocal style used on “Battlestandard”, which is pure excellence and one of the best tracks on the album because of it.
Now, to the other side of the coin; the album is really let down due to the production, which is surprising as Loits always had a great sound previously. The guitars are dull and opaque; M. Divine's bass is pretty much inaudible; and the drums sound impotent and lack any real power, which detracts a lot from songs like the driving “Engraved into Runes”. Atso's performance is spot on, but this version just does not have the power and sense of purpose of the single version.
So Loits haven't really done anything wrong, it's just the crummy sound of this album that prevents me from giving it a higher mark. Beauty is not just on the inside, it needs to show through. But I guess all this will be better next time round, since the band will be recording in Eesti Studio, which so far has been used by the likes of Human Ground and will be a far better representation of Loits' work. As an aside, the multimedia section of the CD contains only a link to their website and a few photos, which is a bit of a waste considering how nicely presented it is.
All in all, a great album and one I'd recommend; but it feels as though Loits have somewhat had their wings clipped on this release. I'll give this an 8 and look forward to more releases from the Estonian war-machine in future. [8 / 10]

Author: Jamie Smith
Zine: Black Minds webzine
www.blackminds.tk

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