Some bands just have that “something” that seems to set them apart. Centuries would be one of those bands. No strangers to national and international tours, the Florida hardcore outfit have never been bound by their geography. And all this before they’ve even inked a record deal?
The band’s début, Taedium Vitae, on Southern Lord recordings is a chaotic mass of crust-tinged hardcore, blackened atmospheres, progressive aspirations and balls-to-the-wall ferocity. The instantaneous response is to compare them to the likes of Hessian, Comity and Converge, but Centuries are very much a band setting out to create their own legacy.
The album kicks off with the effects-laden ‘Incipit Tragoedia’ before unleashing the blistering ‘Caerulus’, which in turn melts into the sublime and dynamic ‘Gelu’. Centuries are pretty much relentless in their fast tempos, heavy distortion and bleak atmosphere and really don’t opt for much in the way of slowness or subtlety. But when they do, it really stands out, such as in the bride of ‘Pressum Ire’, the noisy instrumental ‘Tabeo’, or the end riff of the album’s closing track ‘Irrita’.
With only one song on the album breaking the three minute mark and the overall album clocking in at a mere 20 minutes in total, the band don’t outstay their welcome. Instead it has the raw intensity of a live performance in which they give the listener a short, sharp shock that leaves them only wanting more.
It would be nice to hear some variation in tempo over the course of the album. Not so much to take a respite from the ferocity, but rather to give the band a chance to explore some of the more subtle sides of their sound that inform the overall atmosphere of the album, which are really only hinted at here.
Nevertheless, this is a very strong début from the Floridians, and one that a label like Southern Lord would do well to push hard to get this band to the levels they are obviously aspiring to.