Centuries – Taedium Vitae
Southern Lord Recordings
★★★★ (out of 5 stars)
Between the high visibility from emerging on Southern Lord Recordings and the sheer caliber of the music within, the swarming, massive debut LP by these West Palm Beach firestarters is possibly the most notable heavy release to rise from the tar beneath Florida’s sands this year.
For all their traditional hardcore fury, of which there’s an intimidating surplus, Centuries’ vision is a progressive one that manages to achieve remarkable range without falling victim to fusion impotence. At first blast, their black-crusted barrage comes like a full-on brute – dirty and savage. But then their colossally dire emotion rolls over like a lead wave. And, finally, their considerable instrumental depth reveals itself. The cumulative effect is an orchestrated maelstrom of educated complexity, unholy force and impressive atmosphere.
After the opening minute-and-a-half warning of drone, Taedium Vitae erupts like a skinning monsoon so sonically overwhelming. The roaring “Caeruleus” kicks things off with maximum thrust and powers through standouts like the ditch-digging “Pessum Ire,” the mountain-scaling “Metus,” the dread-marching “Egelidus” and the heroic “Grave Cordibus” until the final exhale at the end of the high-flying “Irrita.” Reinforcing the extremity of it all is rapid-fire, fuck-you tracking that doesn’t stall for even a suck of air between songs. It is a complete and unrelenting crush.
Centuries are part of the daring modern hardcore generation that’s heavier, more dimensional and hungry to throw open the horizon of heavy music. And with this national rollout, they make a very credible bid to stand at the head of the battalion. When genre-defying heavy bands are rushing to the fore – beyond their niche ’hoods – and claiming their place at the big table, this band and this album come along at exactly the right time. And, damn, just wait till you see them live.
** UPDATE: Centuries canceled this date. The show will go on with Downfall of Gaia, Black Table, Recreant and Dzaovits at 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, at the 13 (4822 S. Orange Ave.); $7