|Genre||Progressive Heavy Metal|
|Release Date||13 September 2019|
Labelling a band as “progressive heavy metal” is usually, in my experience, just a desperate effort of a prog band that has low production quality to appear more legitimate. Fortunately, that isn’t the case in Centurion’s self-titled debut. Instead, we get a solid traditional metal experience with all the flare, technicality, and versatility of a prog album. Right off the top, these Serbs prove that they aren’t just another lo-fi prog outfit by making an actual decent introductory track.
After a tasteful build in intensity, one thing becomes clear: Centurion is an insatiable riff-beast, ready to prey on the ears of all who are close enough to listen. Not only that, but we’re also attacked with an onslaught of powerful melodies, facemelting solos (especially in ‘Ruka Sudbine’ and ‘Virtuelno Ognjiste’. Holy fuck.), and drumming that never settles for satisfactory. Seriously. This is one damn impressive group of musicians who are as mighty as the badass warriors on their album cover.
If there’s one area that Centurion slightly suffers in, it’s the vocal department. While they certainly aren’t bad, there are a couple areas (mainly some the verses) where a bit more expression would go a long way. That being said, vocalist Miloš Marjanović has a great range and I don’t think there’s a single chorus I didn’t love. Aside from this, the runtime (which clocks in at more than 75 minutes) could be trimmed down a bit but, all things considered, these aren’t huge issues.
On the flip side, such a long runtime allows for a lot of potential variety, which we certainly get. There’s a good range of highs and lows, as well as tons of songs that have your usual prog changes, namely ‘Hodocasnik’ and the Mediterranean-flavoured ‘Janjicar’ (and, if we’re being completely honest here, every other song, too). There’s not a moment where I felt the transitions were bad, either, so bonus points there.
If you had no idea of these guys’s existence, like me about a month ago, then you owe it to yourself to check this album out. If you like your metal heavy, gritty, melodic, and dynamic, Centurion is right up your alley.
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