Centurion have been carving a path through Poland's underground with their ruthlessly fast, brutal Death Metal and challenging our minds with their blasphemous, death laden lyrics since 1998. One of the things I admire about Polish Metal bands is that many of them, like Centurion, are not afraid to express their views in their lyrics, despite the negative reaction it often receives in their homeland.
The defiantly titled 'Serve No One' is the band's follow up full length to their 2002 'Conquer And Rule'. This album has substantial line-up changes from the previous with Caesar now on vocals, Demon on drums, Blancha on bass and Bigos, the remaining original member and A D Gore, on guitars/backing vocals.
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This album has a lot to offer musically, typically Polish in style, no time wasted with intros, these guys get straight to the point opening suddenly at frantic speed with 'Total Terror', introducing to you the snarling vocals and chugging dirty guitar riffs that make up the backbone of this album.
The majority of the album is fast and in your face, 'Ego Ultimus', 'Sacrelidge', 'Desecration Of The Holy Kingdom' and 'Under the Black Banner' to name a few.
A couple of standout tracks for me were 'Gateways To Condemnation', with its hauntingly sinister, very atmospheric opening, with a bit of a groove going on in the last thirty seconds as the track winds to a conclusion. Another one I really enjoyed, and probably my favourite track was 'Thy Portal', slick, catchy, with a really sinister groove to it and very drawn, growling vocals. Excellent stuff indeed.
The final track and longest on the album, at four and a half minutes, 'No One To Serve', opens and proceeds in the same brutal vein as the rest of the album but about halfway through starts to become slower paced and slightly melodic, by these guys standard anyway, letting you down gently after the brutal, aural pummelling they have given you. An excellent end to the album.
The whole album is a concise twenty eight minutes long, the sound intense and full on end to end and I did enjoy it. I have heard a couple of tracks from 'Conquer And Rule' which I also liked and this latest offering is a definite progression in the right direction.
I thought the artwork on the cover was excellent and most fitting to the lyrical theme of the album. Skewered remains of corpses on a bleak landscape.
Recorded in Progresja Studio and engineered by PaweĊ Janos Grabowski. Mixed by Piotr Mittllof Kozieradzki (Riverside), mastering by Andy Blakk (Conquest Icon, Empheris). Out now on WydawnictwoMuzycznePsycho.