Loch Vostok strikes me as a name that sounds a lot darker than it actually is--it's the name of a subterranean lake in Antarctica, according to the band's website.
Okay, yeah, I guess it's hard to get darker than something underground, but that's not exactly what I meant by dark...
But enough about the name, you want to know about the music. After several listens, this Swedish 5-piece strikes me as what you would get if you mashed up In Flames and Nevermore, and maybe a touch of insert-favorite-black-metal-band-here. The guitars range from the melodic fills and solos to the crushing riffs you'd expect from any Euro metal band worth its salt. The rhythm section as a whole is very tight and precise, as evidenced on the blastbeat sections at the end of "Rebound" or the beginning of "Destruction Time Again."
Vocalist Teddy Mφller moves effortlessly from clean, melodic vocals to a black metal-esque rasp; an interesting change-up from a lot of this style is that the melodic vocals might be the main focus rather than only used for a hooky chorus. The lyrics range from condemnation of humans destroying the planet--"Humanitix" proclaims "We are ticks, leeches and scavengers/We are scum"--to "Xerox Nation" insisting that you not get caught up in the everyday grind and "follow your own damn path."
This is one of those CDs I had to warm to. The first listen didn't do much for me, and I felt like it was going on forever. The more I've listened to it though, the more I've gotten into it--there are several cool riffs, like the intro on "Falself," lots of good hooks and breakdowns, and most importantly, there's a strong sense of having their own voice instead of just sounding like a mishmash of their influences. Pick this up, but maybe be prepared to listen to it a few times before you "get" it.