Vere kutse kohustab

by Loits

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With their second album, “Vere kutse kohustab,” released in 2004, Loits further defined their musical identity, which the band describes as “Militant Flak ‘N’ Roll”—a hybrid of black metal and rock ‘n’ roll with reference to anti-aircraft artillery fire, evoking the band’s historical and military interests. The photo accompanying the album depicts the five members of the band completely dressed in WWII-era Estonian military uniforms. (The only exception is female keyboardist Karje, who wears a military nurse’s uniform.) Though the uniforms may appear similar to those worn by the Germans, this was because, in an effort to preserve their independence from the Soviet Union, the Estonian resistance was briefly aligned with Germany. An explanation of this complex and tortured history is provided in the liner notes. As the band has said, this album “is dedicated to those young men who might have been wearing a wrong uniform but fought against the right enemy.” More conceptually focused than the band’s esoteric debut album, “Vere kutse kohustab” is steeped in the odor of blood and gunpowder, capturing the essence of battle beneath the soot-stained skies of Estonia. Loits’ influences on this album are less obvious. The early Norwegian sound forms a foundation—comparisons to Enslaved, Satyricon, and Fluerty are justifiable—but Loits’ expansive palette and advanced musicianship allow for radical deviations from any formula. At times, Loits incorporate a more raw, elemental approach, drawing upon the influence of Motörhead and Estonian punk pioneers J.M.K.E., while at other points on the album the band’s approach is abstract and atmospheric. “Vere kutse kohustab” is a finely tuned expression of Loits’ intentions. Musically and lyrically, the album is visionary, summoning with every song the spirit of fallen warriors fighting for their homeland. The drama of war—the glory of conquest, the horror and sorrow, all of the adrenaline-drenched sensations of combat—find complete expression on “Vere kutse kohustab” in a way that few, if any, bands have managed to achieve.

- J. Campbell


released October 31, 2019


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