The Vostok - Lack of Instinct
(S/R – 2018)
French prog metal starlets the Vostok are not to be confused with the similarly named Lok Vostok, apart from the fact that I find this lot even more accessible.
Looping their coil around metal grunge, hardcore and progressive, then pulling it very tight indeed makes for an appealing bunch of musical flowers. Starting with the indie-attached-to-weights pull of 'Present and Past', the angry thrash-out you don't see coming with 'Black Frost', the switch of moods to the mellow progressive rock of 'City' makes you feel like you have two different bands under the same name playing on this one CD. Lead vocalist and guitarist Nicolas Kowalski applies both his duties effectively and professionally with fine technique symbolic of many a band on the continent, and comes with the voice equipped to suit all settings.
The punishing semi-screamcore rage of Negative Pole hasn't exactly been un-forecast already but it appears to be something these guys especially then frontman can glide into and out of without gluing the other parts together messily around it as a lot of other groups have sadly got away with. This weighty six-track debut comes as a hefty dip in the water that I for one wouldn't mind upgrading to a full splash next time around.
Tight instrument handling and a great multi-tonal display is Vostoks way of saying that instinct is something that many modern bands still certainly don't lack. Come get a taste.
By Dave Attrill