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label: Nuclear War Now
Following last year’s reissues of Loits’ first two full-length LPs, NWN! now presents the band’s “Furor Aesticus” compilation on vinyl for the first time. Originally self-released on CDr, in 2004, and repressed earlier this year on CD (with two bonus tracks) by Those Opposed Records, this record compiles Loits’ 7” trilogy. The material on these three EPs—“Legion Estland,” “Meeste Muusika,” and “Raiugem Ruunideks”—was recorded after the debut album, during the time leading up to the release of the monumental “Vere Kutse Kohustab” LP. Comprised of seven original tracks and one cover (by Estonian black metal contermporaries, Tharaphita), one can hear in these recordings the stylistic progression of the band between the first two albums, as Loits came to define their unique “Militant Flak ‘N’ Roll” style: a fusion of traditional black metal melody and aesthetics with the rebellious vigor of rock ‘n’ roll and punk. Like nearly all of the band’s output from the era, the songs here are suffused with fervent Estonian pride and recount, in historical terms, the resistance to Soviet occupation, extolling the virtues of war and lamenting the turmoil of combat. In addition to the songs collected from the EPs, this LP features the two bonus cover songs from the official CD edition. These tracks, on which Loits convincingly try their hands at stylistically disparate songs by legendary Estonian punk outfit, JMKE, and avant garde black metal pioneers, Ved Buens Ende, offer added insight into the converging streams of influence that gave rise to Loits’ sound.
For more than two decades, Loits has been producing some of the most meticulously crafted and unique black metal. Hailing from the tiny nation of Estonia in northeastern Europe, Loits draw upon the history of their proud people for inspiration, particularly the Estonian underground guerilla resistance movement—often referred to as “the Forest Brothers”—that struggled against Soviet occupation during and after WWII. With its 2001 debut full-length, “Ei kahetse midagi,” Loits carved out a distinct, idiosyncratic niche. Though originally self-released as a cassette, “Ei kahetse midagi” has gained greater attention through the years as the band’s stature has risen, resulting in more than 10 additional reissues on various formats. And for good reason. From the first track, this album is captivating, rich in texture and atmosphere, and operating with an intellectual depth and emotional valence far beyond many of the band’s peers. The eight tracks on this album are compositionally dynamic and epic in scope. Loits demonstrate a penchant for seamless shifts in mood—furious blast-beat driven riffs suffused with lilting melodies deftly adjoined with folkish passages and atmospheric segues. On this debut album, Loits draw influence from Norwegian pioneers like Satyricon, Ulver, and In The Woods, but add to that concoction eccentric elements of Masters Hammer and Ved Buens End. But Loits’ sound cannot be captured or described simply by comparison to other bands; there is something very singular about Loits, something deviant and peculiarly Estonian in their sound. Complementing the musical complexity on “Ei kahetse midagi” are the lyrics, laden with poetic expressions of the pride and sorrow of life and war. The band characterized the conceptual intent of the album as “reviving the bonds between modern day man’s courage and the ancient events that defined Estonian identity as an ethnos.” Indeed, though delivered in the band’s native Estonian language, the English translations provided in the liner notes demonstrate a remarkably literate and evocative approach to lyrical content that adds further depth to the profound impact of this album.