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The Twenty Committee - A Lifeblood Psalm CD (album) cover

A LIFEBLOOD PSALM

The Twenty Committee

 

Crossover Prog

3.83 | 54 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars The Twenty Committee's "Lifeblood Psalm" is a great debut for this American Crossover band.

The 'Intro' is spoken dialogue atmospherics merging into the Neal Morse like 'How Wonderful'. There is a strong melody and measured cadence with clear easy listening vocals from Geoffrey Langley. He is also terrific on keyboards. Also on vocals is Justin Carlton, who plays guitars, along with Steve Kostas. The rhythm is left up to Richmond Carlton on bass, and harp, and Joe Henderson plays drums.

'Her Voice' is a 10 minute mini epic with an extended lead break that soars heavenly, and features awesome speed picking and glorious string bends. It is a brilliant lead solo following a standard style opening song structure. The lead break really jolts the ear after such an easy listening vibe on the opening. Eventually the track settles down again into soft vocals and syncopated percussion. A wah-wah pedal is utilised to maximum effect in the next guitar outbreak and then some ELP style keyboard with that Hammond sound grinds the track to a conclusion.

'Airtight' is next, opening with Led Zeppelin style acoustics and string pads lending a symphonic feel. Very smooth vocals speak of soothing themes; "I'll be the one that sings you off to sleep in this fairy tale". It is a nice break from the mayhem previous and leads to the colossal finale epic.

'The Knowledge Enterprise' is in 5 parts, sliced up nicely into components that tell a story with Christian principles scattered throughout.

'Overture' opens proceedings with classical piano runs over an odd time sig augmented by soaring lead guitar, and outbreaks of metal riffing. The mood shifts remind me of Transatlantic or Dream Theater, heavy tension to the release of bright keyboards. The synth break is incredible as the metal guitar chugs some speed tempos.

'Conceivers and Deceivers' continues the epic with a song using a fractured time signature and crystalline vocals with lush harmonies. It moves along beautifully with chiming guitar and relentless keyboard runs.

'Tonight' settles into a slow moody melancholy with some grand violin sounds and a sparkling piano melody. The dreaminess in the tone is unmistakable as Langley sings of forsaken love, the search for truth, "I will be all you need in time you will see"? and "the walls that you built will fall down at your feet."

'With These Eyes' is the next part of the track, beginning with heavy staccato stabs of music, then it locks into a 4/4 standard pop feel. The faster tempo is bright, and the melody feels similar to previous songs, rather than its own song. It does have many breaks from heavy to light shades, but this segment is the most mainstream approach thus far. It even has some kitsch lyrics "starlight, starbright, first thing I burn tonight? and rise out of the ashes tonight." The lyrics are a bit clichéd here but the music makes up for this, especially the lead break that screams and later there is a nice bubbly effervescent synth solo.

'Finale' ends the album with some hyper piano and retro synth sounds, and one more verse to wrap it all up. Overall, The Twenty Committee offers some excellent music with a few tracks that really excel in terms of structure and musicianship, especially 'Her Voice' and parts of the epic 'The Knowledge Enterprise'. The band have the same Christian themes found amongst Neal Morse albums but are never overbearing. At times there is too much emphasis on the vocals that do not vary enough for my tastes. The music speaks for itself though and it is an uplifting style of music shining a light in the prog world.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |

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