One of the highlights of being a writer in a music magazine is definitely the pleasure of acquaintance with new bands and artists, either market-fresh or as a late arrival to your personal encyclopedia. In that manner, one of the primary ways of recognition is receiving promos from all sorts of labels throughout the world. Although I try to keep up, I’m not so sure that without the gloomy copy of their late album, I had the fine chance of listening to Loits. This lively Estonian gang designated their sounds as “Flak ‘n’ Roll”, winking to their own-testified and indeed audible black metal roots and at the same time to the groovy areas of late Entombed, somehow even to the sludgy faraway swamps of Eyehategod etc. This clear triple orientation, shifting between these fields with the straightforward leadership of way-to-go-heavy and dirt-driven guitars, works just great.
The album’s name reveals as their variation of one of the most known metal albums ever, as “must” in Estonian translates to “black”. However, unlike that mainstream outfit, Loits showcasing true energetic songs (even in the dawdling parts), performed with the burning edge of the urge of spreading their core and the most important, the music is filled with delightful sparks of originality and got something to say.
The opening song, “Emaraud”, is delivering -without any further introduction- a sheer dirty riff, as if it was born as a breed of Swedish string and Norwegian breath. Embossed with the dominance of the guitars, which enable to look into the essence of the band’s style. Without any doubt, the guitar work is the very highlight of this album, displaying diversity through its black-groove-swampy expressions. The vocals, courtesy of Lembetu, are brightly clean and roughly hoarse, with the right raw edges and could fit well in the various lands of the new-wave-of-black-metal and as the mouth of the elusive dark metal character. Moreover, the song presents cold samples that certainly don’t still the floodlight from the riffs that echoing the newly heritage from “Rebel Extravaganza” to Khold’s “Masterpiss of pain”, mashing together again but different (as the band injects other ingredients) the dirt and the suffering of black metal. By that, the result is being emphasized as a calling card of this quite-unique mix, indeed celebrated as fresh and proud, and with a broad musical sense dedicated to the vividness of creation. Though the music itself tends towards a grim picture of emotions. The groove cannot hide sorrow; it can only go with it hand by hand, adjusting the view of the complex of a soul and a complicated history. This album got its own soul; according to the band, the major themes dealing with the past of Estonia, the pride in their forefathers and so forth. This album aims for the concept of remembrance, where every song is a living picture of what was and maybe still is. Too bad I can’t understand Estonian, if only to clear this point. Furthermore, the artwork is eloquently magnificent and shows the forlorn past in a delicate way. The band members seem to take it with all the seriousness requested by the concept. They feature band shootings in black and white, dress as soldiers in the front (however, the band has nothing to do with any NS connections), or just a calmed ‘documentation’ of the day to day life in the Estonian streets. Therefore, one should relate to this album as a whole attempt to capture the orbits of remembrance.
The album suggests different tempos throughout this travel along the many faces of Estonia. For instance, the awesome “Veealune Valss” features slow and introverted tempo gathered into a sludge-touched piece. The previous song, “Ei Kaheste Midagi” is a tempered short song, full with anger and scorn and build of foundations of old-school black metal in the vein of early Bathory and Venom. The song stopped in the middle of the rush, just to clear the way for the agonized start of “Veealune Valss”. The name implies a sadder version of the waltz, lead by the bass guitar, for tiny moves, only to be broken to faster beats with majestic keyboard drippings. Another prominent song is the folk-oriented pearl “Surmarestoran”, with a leading role for a haunting accordion, smeared riffs and clean and hoarse singing. When everything ends, the solemn accordion is still there, chants quietly. The closure comes in the blackish “Öölaul”, high-tempered chase with chaotic drumming which fades into fueled soliloquy.
Loits successfully manifests another step in the black metal evolution ladder, where marriage within the narrow clans are long and gone, where groove and immortal and vital reminiscent of raw and stiff black metal are a united nation.
01 – Emaraud
02 – Soomusronglase Simis
03 – Suudelda Neidu
04 – Kiri Kaevikust
05 – Ei Kahetse Midagi
06 – Veealune Valss
07 – Peegli Ees
08 – Surmarestoran
09 – Öölaul