Release Date: March 4th 2016
Roger Berzerk Fauske
Centipede are a heavy hitting stoner metal trio from Helsinki, Finland. Formed in 2011, they have released two well received EP's and a 7” split.
The band are no stranger to the live circuit, having toured their home country as well as a mini tour of the Baltics, so they are well set to hit the world with their first full length output.
'Drown' is the first one up and immediately the heavy riffs grab you by the throat and they are very early Sabbath-esque in the tone and delivery, but there is a lot more to the music than simply that.
Markus Nurminen's vocals are raw, throaty and although not at the front of the mix, they fill the space perfectly, leaving the guitar free to demolish all in its path and it does that very well indeed.
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'The Unspoken' carries on in the same vein but with more urgency and brashness from the guitar, a speeding bullet on occasion, superbly reined in by the vocals keeping everything under control. Don't be put off by the stoner tag, this is raw and powerful Heavy Metal as god intended it to be and they pull it off well.
Ville Pirhonen's bass is dirty thunder behind it all, not the cleanest sound but perfectly in keeping with the rest of the sound. The mid-section shifts down a gear but creates a darker sound before the engines roar again, taking it over the finish line for this mini epic.
'Frostbite' contrasts well with its predecessor, slower deliberating riffs combine with the rhythm section hammering out the pulse and the vocals this time sit on top, guitar a six stringed metronome keeping the song in check.
Another five minute plus song, broken up well with a fitting guitar solo, and so far definitely so good.
'Abyssal' is a different animal altogether. Coming in at two and a half minutes long and an instrumental to boot, it is quite a monumental track with slow, quiet but more than menacing beginnings, leading to raucous crashing of the other instruments with the original guitar line never ceasing, drilling itself into your cranial regions. Simple but very effective.
'Black Mead' boasts a more than cool bass line, hefty drumming and more archetypal Iommi-like riffs. Once the vocals kick in, it all shifts up a gear and it is time for your head to start shaking about, involuntarily or otherwise. A dynamite track, never letting up, melody changing tack between the vocal outbursts to great effect.
'Beacon Of The Profane' is another shorter one at just over two minutes and it is a wild one. Even within the short time available, there are more subtle changes of direction than a sat-nav with vertigo and again it is done with great aplomb.
'Midwinter Wolves' is different again, the speedy urgency giving way to a more measured and ferocious assault on your senses. Eero Wallenius's drumming is the backbone to the song, military-like precision rhythm banging out its instructions, riffs again crunching and cascading their way into your conscious, vocals taking on a more sinister mood, the ever present throaty voice taking on a new dimension with this one.
It gathers momentum but never shifts to full throttle and it doesn't need to, the restraint adding even more to it.
So to the closing track 'Sarnath' and it is another meaty, riff laden dose of Metal and some great duelling between guitar and vocals early on, rhythm section egging them on. It is a six minutes plus track so the first change comes in around the halfway mark and while not a total departure from its beginnings, it is different enough to breathe new life into it.
Some great rhythm from the guitar and nice lead work on top, the three of them striking for home, bludgeoning but with subtlety, taking no prisoners as it all fades out.
And with that the journey through Centipede's full length debut is at an end and I have to say it has been an enjoyable one. As I mentioned before, if stoner is not your thing then don't hold back from listening because of that – yes there are influences and styles from that direction but it is more a good Metal album and musically there is enough different material on offer to avoid the band being categorised under just one genre label.
They have taken bits from many places, mixed it all up with some original ideas and good songwriting, and very much put their own stamp on it, the vocals and instruments melding perfectly together - another winner from the Inverse stable.
Markus Nurminen: Guitar, vocals
Ville Pirhonen: Bass
Eero Wallenius: Drums