In The Name Of Nothing the debut from Glaswegian bruisers Centrilia was produced by Terry Date, if the name sounds familiar then just check out albums by Pantera, Deftones and Slayer to see his pedigree. It’s only fair to assume then that he knows a bit about heavy and Centrilia are heavy, brimming with aggression and a razor-sharp modern edge, they pack a mighty punch without sacrificing melody. As I’ve said this is their debut record and it comes after two previous EP’s and numerous live shows supporting big hitters like Rob Zombie, Soulfly, Crowbar, Decapitated and Arch Enemy, it’s probably one of the most versatile but heavy records of the year so far as Symptoms Of Betrayal gets us started as it builds from an almost silent beginning before harmonized riffs kick in and the Machine Head influence is writ-large both musically and vocally.
Big thick grooves are met with thrashier sounds and you get sucked into Centrilia’s world from the first moment as the riffs wash over you with punishing blast beats and fret slides added to the mix. Then we get Spitting Hairs, Splitting Teeth which owes more to Slipknot with as the drums play a prominent role, with MFH coming back on Imposters due to the clean Rob Flynnesque vocals. The record brings the heavy with every song even ducking between groove/metalcore heaviness and more progressive Tool-like furrows on the closing Tamam Shud. A strong debut record from Centrilia, In The Name Of Nothing is Vulgar Display of Scottish Power! 8/10
Disposable: Suffocator (Self Released) [Matt]
Suffocator is Edinburgh band Disposable’s second full length album and at its heart it’s thrash album, but it has a lot of crossover appeal with a hardcore edge, some death metal heaviness and lashings of groove neatly constructed into progressive compositions Arrive Alive, Leave Dead the second track on this record has groove driven thrash riffs, the bleed into a trade off solo section and then a breakdown at the end, before Sick To The Back Teeth explodes into an abrasive hardcore frenzy. It’s a bit Gojira, a bit LOG, with some Hatebreed to really get you moving, showing what a talent this band are as each song on this record rapidly shifts tone, leaving you not knowing what to expect, but banging your head regardless.
Having never seen the band live I can’t comment on whether they are this furious live but I’d like to think so as their music seems like it’s built for causing pits, due to the instrumental sections rarely letting up in their intensity or thick grooves. Disposable are William Robertson – bass/vocals (but basically barks), Oliver Wardell/Jack Batcharj- guitar and Liam Tucker – drums and this second album is a dense piece of metal from a band so early in their career. Ferocious riffs are paired with aggressive vocals on Faceless (though the cleans need work), but it’s hard to pick out just one song on this 8 track offering as they are all at such a high level, though I do have a little bit of soft spot for the closing title track which is a perfect heavy yet progressive song to end the album with. If experimental thrash metal that spans death, groove and hardcore are your bag then pick up a copy of Suffocator from Scots Disposable who are anything but. 8/10
Earth: Full Upon Her Burning Lips (Sargent House) [Paul H]
Whilst aware of Dylan Carson and his band Earth, it would be fair to say that I wasn’t familiar with much of the band’s work. Full Upon Her Burning Lips is Earth’s ninth album, coming five years after 2014’s Primitive And Deadly album. Since 2000, Carlson and fellow band members Adrienne Davies, Don McGreevy, Bill Herzog and Brett Netson have moved away from the previous ‘ambient metal’ noise which formed part of their earlier sound. This latest release consists several shorter tracks in its 62 minutes, although two tracks still clear the 11-minute hurdle with ease.
As with most ‘drone’ music, there is lengthy repetition in each of the tracks, drawn out passages and long notes. Earth do at least add drums and some jazz style fusion to their delivery, the upshot of which is an album that in the main moves with reasonable pace. Fully instrumental, the shorter tracks such as The Color Of Poison, The Mandrake’s Hymn and Maiden’s Catafalque appeal more although the winding, unhurried approach of 12-minute opener Datura’s Crimson Veil and She Rides An Air Of Malevolence are superb for total relaxation. I will admit to dozing gently on and off as this album was played, such is its sedative effect. Don’t play this when driving or operating heavy machinery; Full Upon Her Burning Lips will then be an album of some joy. 7/10
LICE: Woe Betide You (Seasons Of Mist Underground Activists) [Paul H]
Maintaining a rather shadowy profile, this release from avant-garde black metalists LICE is a curious one. At times crushingly heavy, other times ethereal and delicate, but always strangely captivating. The band comprises J (Teitanblood), Niklas Kvarforth (The Shining) and guitarist Kirill Krowli. Focusing on subject matter which includes: ‘the stunning beauty of decomposition, the nauseating stench of sex, the wisdom of the murderer’s knife, the mask behind the mirror, the endangered longevity of the well-intentioned sociopath and the soothing devastation of loneliness’, each track offers something different from its predecessor.
Opening instrumental Beyond Eternal Recurrence leads into the real opening track, Layers Of Dirt and from here on it’s a journey to the carnival bizarre as LICE career out of control, switching between gothic, alternative, industrial and black metal which all contains atmospheric creations of majestic proportions. It’s a little too nuts for me at times, the cacophony enhanced by the unique vocal delivery, which is surely based on inmates at the asylum, such is its haunting insanity. However, whilst it is definitely a little on the crazy side, tracks such as Roadkill and lengthy closing track And So The Ceaseless Murmur Of The World Came To An End contain some beautiful playing. Challenging and oh so interesting. Dare you take the plunge? 7/10