Loits - Must Album
Nailboard Records
Black N'Roll
9 songs (43:32)
Release year: 2007
Nailboard Records
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Estonian Black Metal groovers Loits have avoided the relative acceptance that the similar-sounding Khold have received, partly due to their nationality, but partly due to their insistence on recognising countrymen who fought on the Nazi side against Soviet Russia during World War II. Strongly nationalistic yet without the actual dodgy politics, Loits’ position is still a tough one to swallow in these modern times where anything east of Germany looks automatically suspicious, yet it’s hard to stay open-minded from my own personal English viewpoint. Soviet Russia committed many terrible crimes, yet at the time they were our allies and instrumental in the defeat of Nazi Germany – Estonia may have been between a rock and a hard place, but any Jews around at the time would have faced a very easy choice, and many would not take Loits’ views kindly.

Despite that, as mentioned, the band themselves do not espouse any fascist or racist ideologies, and their music is firmly in the modern tradition. There’s not a trace of neopagan right-wing revivalism, the band instead rocking out and having a good time, albeit one with a truly melancholic air to it, not suggesting pride as much as mourning. Lyrics (translations of which are fortunately available) follow a murky, depressive tone, never mentioning actual fighting but focusing on the outcomes – funerals, laments and the general human cost of war, something all can agree on. Emeraud kicks things off with deep riffing and backing organs, vocalist Lembetu soon beginning to croak in front of a stomping riff. It pauses partway for deep, brassy bell tolls, before restarting with lighter, almost moaning vocals, surprisingly complex and several times more thought-out than Khold’s rather stripped-down sound.

Must Album (must what?) never really breaks from its base formula, but there’s a lot crammed in. Loits refer to their style as ‘flak n’roll’, the World War II setting for their blackened stomp coming through clearly without the sort of ‘war metal’ samples that others would choose. Instead, the band switch between traditional yet prog-tinged Black Metal on Soomusronglase Silmis (which describes a fateful train journey in Darkthrone-y grimness) and outright headbanging groove on Suudelda Neidu, which will rock any self-respecting Metalheads’ socks off. There’s plenty to keep you listening, from the Rush-ian synths that open Kiri Kaevikust before the track turns grumpy and almost Drudkhian, to the slow and sad Veealune Valss and the accordion of Surmarestoran. Of course, the ‘n’roll’ is catered for as much as the Black is, and the likes of Peegli Ees deserve airtime at your local WW2-themed rock bar as much as any Vreid track. This is only Loits’ second full length in fourteen years of existence – let’s hope the third is as good.

Killing Songs :
Emeraud, Soomusronglase Silmis, Suudelda Neidu, Kiri Kaevikust, Peegli Ees
Goat quoted 86 / 100
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