Locus Mortis - Voust
Black Metal
8 songs (43:15)
Release year: 2007
Reviewed by Goat

Consisting of members of the rather fantastic Blackened Funeral Doom outfit Urna, Locus Mortis wastes no time in kicking your head in with some furious Black Metal on second album Voust. Although the first and most obvious touchstone is Marduk due to the fact that the production makes the drums much louder than everything else, given time it becomes obvious that these Italians follow a more subtle path, or certainly attempt to.

What’s clear after many listens is that the album would be much better served if the drums were quieter overall. There’s a lot happening in the background, such as the melodic riffing and orchestration of Laschiate che Vengano a Me which slows down partway through into an especially melancholic melody, and although the drums (excellently played, without question) give it that ‘Tech-‘ feeling that fans of recent Deathspell Omega will love, personally this reviewer would have been happier if they were less prominent, backing the music instead of leading it.

It’s a shame, as Voust contains some of the best Black Metal released this year. The guitars are superb throughout (the spacey solo in Sonno Eterno is a personal highlight) with even the bass being audible, and there’s a lot of variation, making this one trip you won’t get bored with easily. Catchier blasts like Avvento prove that you can modernise Black Metal without losing an ounce of darkness, whilst the focused fury of other tracks such as Tempus Mortis give the band a real bite.

The title track is the overall highlight, starting with warm ambience and developing into a mass of Jazzy drum patterns, sounding almost as if they were programmed, which is testament either to the drummer’s playing skill or the programming skill of the band. Voust is certainly an album that rewards repeated listens and utter concentration, to such a point that if you’re not prepared to put the time and patience in you’re better off not bothering.

Although ultimately Locus Mortis loses marks because of the loud drums, it must be stated that with time it becomes less obvious, and that most people will probably love the band despite this. If you’re looking for melancholic Black Metal that doesn’t take the obvious route to the destination and isn’t afraid of a blast here and there, then you’d love Voust. Otherwise, although well above average, there’s something lacking which holds the band back from true greatness. A few tweaks here and there and Locus Mortis will be a name deserving of being shouted from the rooftops – until that day arrives, Voust is a more than worthy album for all Blackened aficionados.

Killing Songs :
Sonno Eterno, Avvento, Voust
Goat quoted 81 / 100
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