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Vere Kutse Kohustab

When you hear a band describe themselves as patriotic Estonian heathen/black metal (a.k.a "flak 'n roll"), you immediately take notice. Are they some sort of militant right-wing faction? Coming from an exotic eastern European country, is their music as bleak as a decaying Belarussian ghost town? And finally... is there a chance in hell that I'm actually going to enjoy the album?

To answer these respective questions:

Not in the least. No, but it's not spring picnic music either. Yes, this album is indeed a good listen.

To issue an odd comparison, Loits remind me of a groovy Marduk at half the speed. The guitar sound is white hot and comprised of open chords. Raw and simple. The drums are snug in the 4/4 pocket, accentuating certain arrangements with double bass, random fills and the occasional tempo change. The vocals depart from Marduk's sound, employing a slow, sinister croak instead of an all out banshee scream.

Now, what do they do with this sound that makes them "patriotic" or "black"? As it turns out, the album is a tribute to fallen Estonian soldiers who were embroiled in bitter conflict when the Third Reich went to war with neighbor Russia. Neither was a popular side for the Estonian people, though at the time, communism was seen as a bigger threat. Sure enough, Estonian guerilla soldiers continued fighting against Soviet occupation after WWII and into the early 1950s. It's a dark and sad history that lends itself well to Loits's black approach.

The band's aptly tagged "flak 'n roll" sound evokes the hardnosed, "fuck-all" sentiment that must have prevailed among the country's men at that time. "Vere Kutse Kohustab" roils and rages over twelve tracks that plant the Estonian flag firmly in the rotten soil of both black metal and rock and roll territories.

Author: Keefe
Zine: Deadtide

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