Review 2175 : Loch Vostok – Opus Ferox II – Mark of the Beast – English

A new step for Loch Vostok.

Three years after their last album, the band comprising Teddy Möller (guitar/saturated vocals), Niklas Kupper (guitar/vocals), Patrik Janson (bass, The Murder of My Sweet), Jonas Radehorn (vocals, The Citadel) and recently William Parkstam (drums, Recusant, ex-Diatryma, ex-Farsoth) unveil their ninth album, Opus Ferox II – Mark of the Beast, still released by ViciSolum Productions.

Distant Assistance‘s groovy, aggressive riffs are immediately joined by relatively upbeat keyboards, followed by powerful clean vocal parts and more threatening saturated ones. The mood becomes even more motivating during the choruses, darkening during the mysterious break, before the band returns to calm with the opening moments of Cult Status, which nevertheless become more imposing when saturation is added to the mix. The sound also gives way to a few more airy parts in the background, but virulent eruptions are the order of the day before The Great Wide Open takes over, transforming the sound into an eventful march led by musicians as precise as they are effective, whether in their Prog roots or Power Metal influences. The band adopts futuristic tones with Children of Science, which confirms their ability to create catchy jerky riffs while incorporating spikes of fury, then it’s with Senses, a fairly long track, that they switch to more haunting tones, but also to unexpected and intense changes of pace. Keyboards dominate the introduction to Drastic Measures, and they’re present throughout this strangely joyful and energetic composition, then it’s with wilder but equally worked riffs that Rebel Command hits us, allowing simplicity only for brief moments between the scary parts and the overpowering screams. Modern ambience returns with Just Like That, where the band lets a dry groove lead its guitars to join the usual palm-mutes and create a rather reassuring atmosphere, then it’s an ominous dissonance that comes to haunt Lords of the Inanimate, cutting through its heavier, catchier parts. The album comes to a close with Ancient Body Switching Ritual, where the band skilfully adds a few heavy influences to its stirring, sometimes dark base, while remaining highly coherent right up to the last second.

Opus Ferox II – Mark of the Beast isn’t just the second part of a logical sequel, it’s a real outlet for Loch Vostok. More aggressive than its predecessor, the album remains rooted in Progressive Metal, and is a real treat for technicians!


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