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Dynamic in both musical style and quality - 78%

stefan86, December 4th, 2013

Loch Vostok is surely an own breed of progressive metal, as the songs can range from a down tuned blast beat frenzy to fairly campy prog rock in a matter of seconds. A good description would be a less cheesy Evergrey with a giant dose of extremity on top. Teddy Möller's way of clean singing is quite similar to Tom Englund's, although he's more raspy. He also does a lot of screams during some of the more extreme parts, more so than on previous albums. His clean vocals are definitely evolving more and more in terms of both range and how much he dares to experiment with them in the songs. I've read complaints about the lack of range, but I prefer his raspy, down to earth delivery over Tom's musically schooled, often somewhat pretentious sounding voice.

A positive thing that's an ever present in Loch Vostok's music are the lyrics. They often revel in personal philosophy, humanity and society as a whole. The thoughts explored are interesting, although expressed in a blunter form than most lyrics of this type. Nevermore is an unavoidable reference point here, despite the fact that they fail to reach Warrel Dane's heights. Speaking of Nevermore, some of the down tuned, modern prog metal guitar lines on here definitely reminds me of their "Dead Heart in a Dead World" days, which isn't a bad thing. Once again they are not quite there quality wise, but it will definitely appeal to fans of that style. I'm assuming I don't need to mention the musicianship and production due to the genre tag and musicians involved, but I'll do it anyway: The playing is as tight as expected and the production is fat, deep and accentuates the heavy guitars and dynamic twists in a fine way.

My complaints are exactly the same as for the previous album "Dystopium", which I've spun quite a bit: The tracklist has a lot of highs and lows. "Seeker", "Twilight of the Dogs" and "Citizen Cain" are fine examples of progressive metal with a good eye for songwriting, while definitely not being lazy in terms of experimentation. However, The Devin Townsend meshs "Syndrome of Self" and "Claim the Throne" goes into total technical groove frenzy on both instruments and vocals which doesn't really excite my ears at all. The album's songwriting quality does dip towards the end, which is saddening since every song contains good parts.

This quality roller coaster is probably something that comes with the territory, since Loch Vostok isn't a band that has a typical formula, and probably won't ever have one. "V: The Doctrine Decoded" is a good album just like its predecessor "Dystopium", and worth grabbing since this musical style certainly isn't the most populated.