Originally a doom metal proposition, The Committee has added and woven in a black metal breath and guitar enterprise to a sound which has begun drawing in attention and fascination within the metal world. The release of debut album Power Through Unity, with its chilling drone sculpted soundscapes around an equally cold tongue which licks and lashes the senses with blackened malevolence and abrasing persuasion, is sure to push the band into a stronger potent spotlight. It is not a release to ignite the most ferocious of passions but one with a menacing magnetism and certain craft which like a siren constantly calls attention back into its pestilential body.
Formed as a one man project in the winter of 2007 by vocalist/guitarist Igor Mortis, The Committee expanded into a quartet with the addition of guitarist Aristo Crassade, bassist Marc Abre, and drummer William Auruman before unveiling the four tracked Holodomor EP to strong interest amongst the metal underground and various internet sites and magazines. Based in Belgium with its members bred from roots set in Holland, France, Ukraine, and Russia, the band has a blend and mix within its fusion of black and doom which persistently captivates upon their first album. Released via Folter Records with songs themed by ‘history, occult manipulation of the mind and fascinating past events’, Power Through Unity is like an intensive ritual, a passage of rites to the heavy dark realms the band find their inspirations. Their motto says it all, “History is written by the victors, we are the voice of the dead”.
Opener Not Our Revolution makes a reserved entrance; an applauding ambience alongside an intriguing single guitar entices thoughts with decent potency before the drums call in the full slow scourge of sound, guitars and bass prowling the ears whilst vocal squalls roar from within the oppressive breath of the song. The lowly slung voice of the track drags its heart and intent deep into the imagination whilst an almost cavernous wall of riffs aided by sadistic rhythms cages and enthrals with a ruinous and deceptively varied persuasion. The track is as imposing as a tsunami but as patient as an ice age in its consumption of senses and emotions.
The strong start and intrusion is followed and matched by The Man of Steel, another track which is in no rush to devour but working at that aim from its first seconds with ravenous riffs and antagonistic rhythms plaguing ears. The melodic and sonic invention of the guitars merges drone and repetition within their invasively hued narratives laying a coaxing which as the drums and bass compel and intimidates with predacious efficiency. The threatening squall of sound envelops every inch of the senses and like the first track is dramatically bewitching.
It is probably fair to say that the tempestuous surface of songs carry a too similar a temptation across the release and needs a more intensive dive into the corruptive hum at times to discover their uniqueness, but the rewards are always waiting and in a track like By My Bare Hands offered in a more easily visible and digestible meal of caustic charm and icy toxicity. The Last Goodbye also casts out more open bait and like its predecessor opens on an intimate melodic touching of the imagination before being consumed by the brute force and intensity of a hungrily howling ravenous storm. The production of the album provides a little uncertainty in the appreciation of the release though, its touch at times smothering and defusing the underlying melodies and tempering elegance which ignites a song like this and the following Katherine’s Chant, but simultaneously its glacial feel fuels the bone-chilling temptation of the release which it is hard not to find a small passion for.
Through the insatiably pungent ruin of Katherine’s Chant and the even more rabid air of the closing title track, its appetite and mordant atmosphere the most voracious and eager on the release, Power Through Unity leaves the senses on an acerbic high and rigorously satisfied. The EP lacks enough diversity to truly ignite the passions and to be fussy that production issue does dull too much of the release’s success and sound to build a formidable stature for The Committee, but there is plenty to be drawn to often and with keen relish creating a strong and exciting first introduction certainly for us to a fiercely promising proposition.
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