LOCUS CONTROL is a Belgian instrumental formation, formed several years ago (2005). I saw them at work at Metal Against Child Cancer in 2009, where they opened the fest. I also found them very surprising, but unfortunately the guys didn’t have a CD out then. I saw the name pass here and there only a few times, but four years later, Stefaan (bass) and co. are back and with a full-length: “Àttavita”, released in February 2013. But preceding this release, it seems the band released a mini-CD “287”, containing 3 tracks.
But onto the new release, “Àttavita”. It contains six songs, totalling a playtime of about 40 minutes. “Six Degrees” (no, nothing to do with the DREAM THEATER album ;)) takes off with a catchy midtempo rhythm, leading to pounding Rock! And variety is key here, as the drums clearly demonstrate. It can go from ballsy rocking to something firmer, or even slower, or melodic. Around halfway there’s a bass solo/break, in a Jazzy fashion. It could have used a bit more volume, à la Cliff Curton (see e.g. “For Whom The Bell Tolls”, “Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)”, …). Afterwards, it’s back to melodic Rock. And so the waves continue, all ending with a bang!
“Snowdon Alt. 900 Ft” is the longest track, over 10 and a half minutes. It begins with a clean intro, to which drums are added, and speech. This builds up until Rock is due. The tempo remains low, but the mood of the music isn’t that happy. But there’s more action up ahead, as the drums provide the kick in the rear. Nice twin leads precede the full-on groovy Rock. Excellent! There’s also a certain rhythmic piece later on that reminded me of METALLICA’s “Orion”, only LOCUS CONTROL play it slower. But it’s Funky, somehow, and I like it. The ballad-like, melodic part afterwards sounds a bit out of place, I must say. Especially after the METALLICA influence. All ends with a touch of Jazzy Rock.
“Ten To One” is one of the simpler songs on this release. It’s Funky, and also contains speech. Little by little the distortion is let out, transforming the song into a midtempo Rocker. The atmospheric Funk with speech returns, to make the link with simple, straight-forward Rock. Time for an acoustic interlude then, “Neon”. This is guitars only. And then… ready, set, go! “Sodium” is unleashed with full force. Hard Rock! With a light Progressive touch. Over halfway the leadwork is the center of attention. Jazz is the direction to end.
Last but not least, there’s “Douzaine Tranches De Vie”. At first, an acoustic intro, sounding a little Southern, even when distortion sets in. There’s of course attention for clean parts and soft leads, to break the stream a little. Because the power does come back, with very nice grooving. And somehow I had to think of METALLICA again, of their “Death Magnetic” album. No Jazz this time, but as it started with acoustic music, so it ends. All in all, definitely one of the better tracks here, if not the best.
After 4 years LOCUS CONTROL put out a very entertaining debut album, “Àttavita”. It contains catchy songs, enough variety overall, and very important: the production makes the instruments, the music sound very pure, very real. I do have one negative remark, so to speak: no vocals. Not that they’re needed, but sometimes they could be of use. This triviality aside, I can only recommend this album to anyone into instrumental Rock/Metal.
- Six Degrees
- Snowdon Alt. 900 Ft
- Ten To One
- Douzaine Tranches De Vie
Koen Biesbrouck – guitar
Babak Mohammad – guitar
Stefaan Bonte – bass
Ben Mussely – drums, samples