Centurian – Contra Rationem (Listenable Records)Wednesday, 8th May 2013
No matter how you dress it up, generic death metal is just that – generic death metal. Look no further than the last few Nile records to see that no matter how cool the theme, it can’t distract from the substance. Or lack of it, in some cases. Unfortunately, there’s a ton of bland death metal out there, and the amount of it doesn’t seem to have an end.
Which brings us to Centurian. Having released their last album 12 years ago, the members of the band spread out to other projects such as Nox. Now, they’ve decided to re-form and release their third full-length, titled Contra Rationem. The band’s reputation for quality death metal is quite high, so one had at least some hope for a pleasurable listen.
Unfortunately, this ended up being more of the same old, same old. Overall, this album rounds out to be a third rate Morbid Angel copy that sounds a lot muddier and more monotonous. That may sound a tad harsh, however, this has all been done – and done much better – so many times that it makes one irate. Unrelenting blast beats with little variation, and only a few interesting riffs amongst a load of repetitive nonsense. No more, please.
Unfortunately, this album stands out like a penguin in Antarctica. There’s nothing new to see here, and it’s not even done to a level where one can praise the tightness and proficiency. In a nutshell, this is average at its very best. There are some redeeming moments, like the opening riff in “Feast of the Cross” and some good lead moments in “The Will of the Torch”. However, most of it blends together and feels like a bunch of heavy distortion and blast beats with no rhyme or reason.
For those who want something heavy just for the sake of it, or simply like cookie cutter death metal, Centurian may be for you. For everybody else, this is nothing special and one can spend their time and money on much more worthy endeavors. Like the new Aeon album, for example. That’s the difference between really solid death metal, and pedestrian output like Contra Rationem.