Everything about the sound of UK metallers Censored is heavy; from avalanche like rhythms and thunderously toned vocals to juggernaut riffs and guttural basslines, their music resonates through ears and bone as forcibly as it does the psyche. Squeezing their insatiable sound into four slabs of heavy metal, the band recently released their debut release, the 2014 Demo. It shows that the band plays metal unafraid to infuse healthy doses of hard and punk rock with just as potent mixes of thrash and stoner rock, into its sizeable provocation. The release is raw, uncompromising, and thoroughly enjoyable.
Formed in 1997 by vocalist Big Al and guitarist Paul C (better known as just PC and also founder of Beguiled and Dream Asylum), the Cumbria band, going on the quality of the songs alone on the demo, we assume had a healthy success. There is little background we can find for the band to be honest but we do know at some point Censored called it a day or went on a hiatus only to be resurrected in 2012 by the pair. Joined this time around by bassist Webby, formerly of Mindcrime and Transgression, and drummer Smurf, the band looks like staying around which on the evidence of their Demo is definitely a good thing.
First track, All In My Name instantly tells you all you need to know about the band. From the first touch of a wiry groove followed swiftly by imposing beats and swipes of cantankerous riffs , the band is pressurising and imposing on ears, their heavy presence inescapable from the off. It is a slow build leaving no room for respite which after a delicious wash of corrosive bass intensity, explodes into a feisty stride of thumping rhythms and caustic riffery. The instantly magnetic lure is increased in potency by the rich tones of Big Al and the increasingly dangerously seductive bass growl breathing down the song’s spine. The track continues to stride purposefully, every swipe from Smurf and abrasive torrent of riffing cast by PC inviting hostility, but veined with a just as appealing melodic acidity. Completed by the excellent vocal devilry of Big Al it is a mighty start and introduction to release and band.
It is just a teaser though as swiftly Carbine Thunder sets a greater incitement to greedily devour. With melodically howling guitar aligning with dark voiced bass bait and rhythmic jabbing, the song makes an intimidating and enthralling start. That potency is soon spread across a controlled but challenging in the face roar of sound and vocals, each element reined in with inventive prowess but dripping passion and energy. Prowling around senses and thoughts, the song is a masterful provocation which is as much belligerently punk as it is voraciously metal, whilst a blues rock spicing only adds to the infectious hue and pleasingly unpredictable nature of the encounter.
N.F.V. comes next, riding in on a swaggering groove through a muffled sonic breeze. From there a melodic bordering on folkish revelry plays with the imagination, before it all merges for a constantly evolving landscape of thrash bred urgency and slower but sizzling emotive ideation. At times the track leaps at the passions and in other moments wanders off from personal tastes, meaning it lacks the spark and strength to match its predecessors but still leaves a fully satisfying proposition to mull over and pick the rich bones from, like the punk endeavour which fuels the bass.
From that slight slip the EP re-ignites with closing track Demon Bones, a blaze of anthemic ingenuity and raw aggression which from its opening rolling thunder of beats and grizzled riffery enslaves ears and passions. Another addiction breeding enticing from Webby sets up fresh hunger in the appetite before the swing of Big Al’s vocals and those of PC’s grooves, invigorates further the wonderfully turbulent and sonically fiery storm twisting heavy metal into a new shade of pleasure.
Censored unleashes metal which nails its balls proudly to the table and roars with as much passion and mischievous enterprise as it can muster. It is raw and rough around the gills but the band’s first demo is an exciting hint of things to come.
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