O.L.T.A.S. – Illusion of Control (2021)
O.L.T.A.S. (which stands for Our Light Tells A Story) is a doom metal band with some death metal influences from Friesland, the Netherlands. They have been around a while and released their first EP ‘Illusion of Control’ last year (2021). Since we weren’t back in action at that time, we will gladly give this album a listen now for these guys.
As far as I knew, Slechtvalk was the only Dutch Christian influenced metalband, but O.L.T.A.S. seems to be joining that short list. While the lyrics are pretty straight-forward and not evangelical, the band explicitly states they are driven by faith and their mission is to contribute to a collective change of consciousness from the inside. How can we not like that? What a positive message, and one not heard too often in the metal-world. Guessing the Christian metal-scene is even smaller than the regular metalscene in the Netherlands allready is, it’s no surprise Premnath Gonesh composed the instrumental opening track for Illusion of Control (aptly named ‘ The sound of Gonesh’).
O.L.T.A.S. state that even though they mainly play Doom metal, there are other influences as well. Embrace is allready a good example of that. Embrace is the first ‘real’ track of the album and starts of as a doom track with nice, low, drawn out vocal by vocalist Peter. Halfway through the song it builds up towards an oldschool riff that wouldn’t be out of place in for example Megadeth. Those buildups and changes mid-song are a thing we’ll see more of on this EP. The violin that’s used on this track adds another layer and ties in nicely with the emotional message of the song.
Underground Territory might be my favorite track of this EP. I love how it starts with the low bass and pounding drums, and after a 3-part intro buildup the song turns out to be the most death-metally track of the EP. It’s also the track that the band recorded a video for, and if you haven’t seen it, I recommend watching it before you listen to the track, because it adds so much to the message of the song. A change of consciousness as this bands’ mission, this video (and this song) delivers that message perfectly clear.
Back to more doomy tracks. Six Million Voices starts with some cello that adds to the emotional message of this track. The song is more impressive if you really listen to the lyrics, as it tells the story of the people that died during World War II. Luckily with the clear grunts by Peter, understanding the lyrics is an easy feat.
” Six million names to remember
Six million tears to cry”
Inside of Me is another emotional doomy track, and has one of the more interesting guitar riffs in my opinion. It starts of quite slow, but halfway through the song we have one of the changes I’ve mentioned earlier. But while the intro riff was quit interesting, from this up-tempo change, the chordprogressions feel a bit too straightforward and a dime a dozen for me.
Horizon in Blood starts of on the slower side as well. This track is much more consistent both in riffs, vocals as tempo. It’s basically the same beat throughout the whole song and while with other genres this might seem boring, for a Doom track I actually think that’s a good thing.
One thing I really love about O.L.T.A.S., is the really clear and understandable grunts of vocalist Peter Kempenaar. It’s not often that I get to listen to tracks and don’t need to look up the lyrics to know what the song is about. As far as songs go, I think Underground Territory and Six Million Voices are my favorites (for different reasons). Illusion of Control is a pleasant 23 minutes of music, but it doesn’t get really exciting yet. I love the positive message this band has though, so I’ll be looking out for more of their music as they develop their songs a bit more.
Want to know more about O.L.T.A.S.?
Follow them on Facebook or Instagram. Or check their page at metalfrom.nl here.