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Must album

We end our string of reviews detailing Estonian metal bands with Loits’ recent release, Must Album. If you are even remotely familiar with the Baltic area, then Loits should be mentioned along with the well-known Skyforger and Obtest. If you are not acquainted with Loits, Faithful Reader, their history is brief, but rather interesting. Must Album is their third outing, after humble beginnings as an above average Pagan black metal band. After the band’s second album was released, they endured sharp criticism and accusations from fickle fans that began claiming Loits was part of the NSBM movement. It ends up, however, all these accusations stemmed from band photos depicting the members dressed in World War II German uniforms. A history lesson this is not, so go read up. The fact remains that Loits is not NSMB, so you sensitive types can relax.

This writer is very familiar with Loits, having heard both previous albums. The truth remains, though, that neither one of those albums truly had any staying power and were soon collecting dust. Vere kutse kohustab was a decent Pagan black metal release with folk touches. The main problem yours truly had with it was the lack of authentic atmosphere of World War II, the band’s theme.

Loits still plays a form of black metal with some rock thrown in, though. However, the folk and epic feel on previous albums is all but gone. Now we get a darker, more sinister Loits. For the most part it works. The band plays at all tempos, keeping the songs interesting and making up for a lack of the mystical. If a comparison can be made, this sounds like a watered down version of Enslaved’s latest outputs. The vocals are well done, being either deep, clean vocals or a low black metal rasp. Of course, the lyrics are sung in their native tongue. The biggest difference between Must Album and the Loits of old is the darker feel of the album. Gone is the triumphant, replaced by a brooding darkness and hopelessness. Granted, it does give the band’s sound more poignancy. If you are looking for battlefield heroics and marches to honorable deaths, look elsewhere.

It honestly is difficult to criticize a band like Loits. Their hearts are in the right places, and this writer can honestly say they have released their best album to date. Unfortunately, this is one band that has eluded this writer’s grasp, and continues to do so. If you do enjoy a fairly different take on the black metal blueprint, give Must Album a shot.

Author: Wayward_Son
Zine: Ultimate Metal

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