It is said that ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’, a fact few would disagree with but taking that spite one step further is the debut album from US hardcore band Centuries. Their first album Taedium Vitae, the Latin for weariness of life, is a ravaging sonic assault, an captivating abrasion that shows no mercy yet creates a compelling and understanding undertow to almost seduce the senses into its squalling presence. It is an uncomfortable listen at times, nine tracks across around twenty minutes of angst driven vocal antagonism with an equally uncompromising predatory hardcore surrounding the emotive charge, but with essences of melodic and extreme flavours coursing through the dark themes, there is a riveting and compelling lure setting the album ahead of most genre releases.
Snarling out of Florida, the young quartet have become a strong force in their local hardcore scene since forming 2008, and across the subsequent years began stirring up passions and areas further afield. Many tours across the US and Europe has entrenched their potency of sound and presence with a loyal and growing fanbase but now is the time for the band to set the rest of the world on alert, and the Southern Lord released Taedium Vitae the perfect fuse to that destructive explosion.
The brief awakening of sonic intimidation and ominous ambience Incipit Tragoedia opens up the album, the guitars sculpting the air with intensive design within a growing brooding atmosphere. As it flows into the following Caerlueus, senses cower from the suggested impending violence, a confrontation soon realised as the guitars chew upon the ear with rapacious yet controlled riffs and rhythms create a deceptive frame of striking rabidity, their punches seemingly restrained but resonating deep with full malevolence. It is a short maelstrom with the bass holding court pleasingly as it passes the vitriolic baton onto the excellent Pessum Ire, the new slice of sonic savagery and vocal chafing aligned to an underlying groove which entwines thoughts and emotions in its contagious toxicity.
The fluid emergence of Metus from its predecessor thrusts the listener into a darker carnivorous expanse of malicious beauty, the track a warring sonic scrub which is as visual in its scarring shadows as it is disturbingly entrancing and an ensnaring threat on emotions and psyche. As again barely the deep breath’s worth of time making up the song streams into next up Gelu, the album confirms it works as individual tracks and arguably even more powerfully and impressively as one blistering exacting angry storm. Punk infused and blackened in breath the song rages with torrential rancor, guitars and vocals a bitter fire in their individual predaciousness whilst the bass and drums crowd, batter, and devour any remaining atom of defiance.
The wonderful sonic irritant Egelidus gnaws at every inch of the listener next, slapping beats stalking the background of the exhausting aural pestilence to soften up further the already bruised and smarting senses to an inch of their resistance. This is soon exploited by firstly the tempestuous punk frenzy of Grave Cordibus and then the furious pandemonium of Servisse, both planting greater lingering seeds to pull passions back to the album time and time again.
Closed by the emotionally charged tempest of Irrita, Centuries has provided an album that takes senses, thoughts, and emotions on a harsh, often painful, and thoroughly invigorating condemnation. With only a surface scrapping that can at times bleed tracks into each other a slight issue, Taedium Vitae is a striking and thrilling experience which burns physically and mentally whilst casting a wash of pleasure and satisfaction which marks the band as the future of hardcore.
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