Centuries – The Lights Of This Earth Are Blinding

It has been four and a half years since hardcore fury Centuries scorched this earth with their debut album Taedium Vitae, time we can say thanks to its successor which has not seen the band mellow a degree. In fact The Lights Of This Earth Are Blinding reveals the band’s sound has become even more sonically and emotionally irritable yet honed into a tempest of noise and intent as precise in its aim and impact as it is rousing in its nagging causticity.

The years between releases has also seen the 2008 formed band’s line-up evolve to now include members based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Nashville, Tennessee, and Manchester in the UK. Similarly the Centuries sound has grown and matured; its dark hardcore breeding embracing even richer crust and metal hues amidst bolder adventure. It is imposing, invasive, and persistently tormented; a harrowing and severely intense mix which also manages to be violently infectious and increasingly cathartic. Carrying a theme of constant self-doubt, “It follows how we choose to accept our loses and the reaction to life, as well as the journey we take to make peace with the demons we’ve made”, the air is a searing soundscape once more within their creative tempest just one more grievous, blacker, and inescapably compelling.

Recorded with by Kris Hilbert at Legitimate Business (Catharsis, Torch Runner, The Body) last year and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege (Integrity, Black Breath, Halshug), The Lights Of This Earth Are Blinding first scores the senses with its title track. Initial silence soon brews an electronic lure, its impending incursion quickly joined by vocal irritancy and a raw scarring of guitar. Just as swiftly it all unites in an insatiable charge, rhythms wildly yet precisely flung as acidic grooves tempt and abrase but an inhospitable surge as catchy and irresistible as it is punishing, and quite superb.

The outstanding start continues with Wooden Hands; it’s first coaxing an intimate acoustic melody, its second down an inviting line offering a furious expulsion of senses crippling beats, scavenging riffs, and vocal discontent. As the first, it has an instinctive infectiousness, an organic swing to a sonic chastisement which grips the imagination and manages to enhance rather than defuse the song’s vehemence.

Bygones is next up with barely two minutes of infernal confrontation. It is barbarous and unforgiving yet too has that contagious ability to tease and manipulate with virulent traits before Soil unleashes its own ruinous tirade. With a sludge thick weight but no less boisterous in its creative and physical mauling, the track prowls the listener, stalking their psyche before giving it a hellacious clubbing. As in all tracks though, the mayhem is finely sculpted and skilfully woven, every twist a fresh coercion into the heart of turbulence.

The following Bow Across A String sends a cascade of corrosion across the senses, every rhythm and riff putting them under duress but equally exciting them while each unpredictable turn in its caustic exploration has ears hooked and imagination challenged and aroused. Closing on the most excruciatingly intrusive yet addictive repetitious sonic yawn, the track leads into the meandering arms of The Climb. Its grooved vining wraps around the senses with ease as vocals scour their lining, muggy smog emerging to envelope the inviting bait and subsequently collude with equal potency with them as the track worms its nefarious way under the skin.

A delicious causticity of bass opens up The Endless Descent, its insidious grumble soon met by the raw throated assault of vocals and together triggering another highly addictive scourge of deliciously grooved bullying which only gets more captivating and debilitating by the second. That majestic ability to entangle extremes continues through the portentously shadowed May Love Be With You Always, its relentless rhythmic shuffle alone sheer captivation matched by the tapestry of guitar and groan of the menace brooding bass. The track is a maelstrom of sound and intent, a vortex of intensity which ebbs and flows but persistently pressures and pleasures as a host of flavours infuse its incursion.

A sepia toned clean vocal beckoning opens up Fury next, its dusty air shared by another mesmeric acoustic melody. It is an enthralling request for attention which boils up its emotions and air into a melancholically hazed wind and a proposition which bewitches before evolving into the rapacious climate of Nul Orietur. The outrage is a cyclone of suggestion and provocation, from the rolling enterprise of its rhythms and the inescapable snaring of its hooks and grooves to the scalding touch of its riffs and vocals, the album’s closer is another compelling assault to lead the album out on another major high.

With their debut Centuries made a major introduction to themselves, with The Lights Of This Earth Are Blinding they have uncaged one of the essential hardcore furies of this or any year.

The Lights Of This Earth Are Blinding is out now via Southern Lord Recordings and available @ https://centuriessl.bandcamp.com/album/the-lights-of-this-earth-are-blinding

https://www.facebook.com/centuriesfl

Pete RingMaster 31/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Centuries – Taedium Vitae

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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.

https://www.facebook.com/centuriesfl

8.5/10

RingMaster 05/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dark Dark Horse – Centuries

Dark Dark Horse

At times deeply mesmeric and perpetually evocative, Centuries the debut album from Dark Dark Horse is a release which wraps an emotive and imagination arm around senses and thoughts from start to finish. It is an entrancing and enticing collection of songs which maybe do not light burning fires in the passions but certainly stokes them into strong satisfaction.

Dark Dark Horse is the collaboration between producer Jamie Ward (Maybeshewill/ex Kyte) and vocalist James Stafford (kids in cars), two musicians from Leicestershire, UK combining their individual creativity and invention into something evocative and aurally descriptive. Initial songs from the pair found strong responses from fans and media whilst moving to the live arena the pair enlisted Joe Norledge and Robin Southby (Maybeshewill) to the band which soon found itself supporting the likes of Mono, The Twilight Sad, Clock Opera and Fossil Collective. Approached by Japanese label Rallye (Toro Y Moi, Au Revoir Simone, The Joy Formidable), the band released debut full length Centuries in Japan in 2010, but now via Function Records it has a UK release to trigger another enthused wave of deserved attention for band and release.

Opener Sharks instantly seduces the ear with electronic teases and the wonderfully expressive and riveting vocals of Stafford. It 582009_601833463174250_2083362697_nis tantalising introduction which explores the senses as the song permeates the now shimmering air above its magnetic temptation and rhythmic intrigue. As with all the songs its gait is dreamy, slow yet bursting with an enthused breath and evocative inducements which colour thoughts and imagination. The warm ambience cultured and caressing the listener from within the song adds to the sirenesque mystique of the track, something the album as a whole creates to inspire and spark emotions and reflections which one suspects will be individual to each immersing within its call.

The following Ethics and In A Lifetime Before bring their individual melodic and plaintive designs to caress the ear, the first with rhythmic enterprise within a swarming wind of suggestive melodic palette of vibrant sonic paint and the second through its almost music box like simplicity and elegance coaxed into brighter flames by the continuing to impress vocals of Stafford, whilst keys and electro scatter their own magnetic bait. Neither lives up to the heights of the first song but both leave the listener enveloped in their own thoughts and reflection driven aural summer.

Through the likes of the sparkling Spit out Regret, the bewitching and sonically hazy Southwest of Orion, and the enchanting Midnight Mass, a song which carries winds of melodic beauty expelling mini sonic crescendos of elegance, the album raises further pinnacles to admire and greedily feast upon whilst Mercury Nevada offers an expansive journey for thoughts and emotions through an atmospheric, slightly melancholic but tension free evocative and sultry tapestry. Arguably overlong but completely enthralling, the track evolves before the ear into a new and equally compelling musical narrative halfway through to leave its criticism of its length nothing more than being picky.

Every one of the ten songs on Centuries leave an impressive if not always lingering mark but there is never a moment when you wish to move swiftly on to another track, each a delightful and distinct trait of the overall character of the album, the closing title track the final piece of the sonic jigsaw and rounding off with skilfully sculpted melodic grandeur a release which sways and weaves a fresh and fascinating musical conversation and intimacy with mind and heart.

Though it did not send passions raging or flames coursing through the veins, Centuries is a release destined to find its worthy place in the soundtracks of many lives whilst Dark Dark Horse is a project destined to even greater triumphs and recognition.

https://www.facebook.com/darkdarkhorse

8/10

RingMaster 03/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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