Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 4/20/2005
Sadness, Loveless, Hopeless, Endless
posted on 5/2005 By:
Here’s some really interesting, left field doomy metal with a weirdo noise-pop Sonic Youth type sheen, a disc that I bought blindly on the recommendation of Hellride Music’s eminent Chris Barnes, and one that quite likely will stand as one of the stronger doom efforts of this year. Mention "doom metal" to any number of seasoned extreme music veterans and you will conjure one, or all, of the following possibilities: sparse, brutally harsh Tyranny and Thergothon styled oppressiveness, so called "funeral doom", Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus worshipping, bluesier fare, "classic doom", My Dying Bride/Paradise Lost-wannabe tripe, or the most depraved and perverse form currently boasting a fanbase of indie rock nerds and metalheads alike, drone. What probably doesn’t leap to mind when the word ‘’doom’’ is thrown around is a heady mixture of esoteric Pentagram-esque atmosphere, unsettling early Anathema type gloom, a colorful dynamism that is almost Floydian, nihilistic yet artful sludge that aligns them with the like-minded Rebreather, and swathes of swirling guitar noise that nods knowingly at Lush and the Jesus & Mary Chain. What results is some SERIOUSLY hypnotic yet dark-hearted and HEAVY music that even morose cardigan-donning artfucks would find hard to resist.
“Weaken”, the opening track, is (consciously?) more traditionally schooled doom than the rest of the material on offer here, the morbidly sluggish pace and overwhelmingly desolate feel recalling Candlemass circa Epicus Doomicus Metallicus while bassist/vocalist Todd Fabian’s vocals recall those employed on Sons Of Otis and Electric Wizard, not so much because of a similarity in tone or timbre but largely due to the distant, spaced-out flangey effect that is applied on them. 5 minutes into the track, we shift into a more upbeat groove that is somewhat reminiscent of mid-period Cathedral, a simplistic but highly insistent riff that urges frenzied nods. “Self” follows suit in similarly conventional fashion, the driving, pulsating feel of the bass-driven opening passage once again drawing favorable parallels to Cathedral. A spacey, almost Hawkwind feel permeates the proceedings here, accented by an angular, exploratory solo before a THUMPING, raw, almost Eyehategod/ Hawg Jaw boogie lays waste to your speakers. Both strong tracks, to be sure, but NOTHING in comparison to the positively ORGASMIC headfuck that is “Disbelief”.
Now I have absolutely no clue why there is such a drastic change in styles between the first two offerings and this astounding jewel of a track - perhaps they were recorded in different sessions, perhaps the song was spontaneously spawned off a particularly mindwarping hit of acid, but this song is fucking KILLER and single-handedly elevates Centrifuge from the competent, but standard doom on “Weaken” and “Self” and inducts them into the unhallowed ranks of Yob and Ufomammut. Todd’s vocals here are once again soaked in distortion, but they sound far more impassioned than on the prior two tracks, hitting highs that recall Mike Scheidt’s own Geddy Lee-esque wails, though not quite as distinctive. The band then moves into a fairly straightforward Weedeater type stomp before collapsing into a gloriously sparse, mercilessly cruel sludge passage of Iron Monkey type proportions. The squealing lead guitar line that dances atop the low end sewage here is BEAUTIFUL - a really elegant touch that sounds especially sophisticated juxtaposed with the unearthly bass. 04:06 into the track, and there you have it: the Thurston Moore guitar noise, incorporated flawlessly into an immaculately written track. Quite breathtaking, really.
“You Pray, You Lose” is a similarly left field proposition, building on squalls of echoing guitars and sturdy basslines before coagulating into a more coherent, elephantine groove, only to recline into a wall of sound, My Bloody Valentine type effect shortly after. This ebb and flow continues for about three minutes before Todd’s vocals are introduced into the mix, the riffs and general atmosphere of the track once again finding more in common with the Loveless record than Master of Reality. On this particular track, Centrifuge can be likened to Spacemen 3 on a really bad batch of shrooms covering Unsane songs, there is definitely an AmRep sensibility that bleeds into the doomy shoegazey invention here, not least prompted by the power trio formation and the throbbing, sinewy rhythm section. Somehow, Centrifuge manage to stray entirely from the doctrines of doom’s most revered forefathers and still manage to craft music that is foreboding and fascinatingly heavy. Strangely, the closer “Purge” has a weird ritualistic Breach kind of feel to it, beginning with a solitary bassline and mounting to an impending climax that never truly arrives, the band settling down to a lethargic, slouching groove outfitted with Todd’s curiously calming vocals, the refraining chords yielding more entrancing gusto with each repetition.
This is rather unlike any doom you’ve heard this year. Intricate, engaging, brilliantly conceived and executed, the latter three tracks of this record are worthy of the highest praise and deserving of your attention, at once drawing parallels to Electric Wizard, Ufomammut, Sons of Otis, Hawkwind, Paul Chain’s space rock excursions, the Jesus & Mary Chain, Neurosis and Rebreather. I didn’t care all that much for the first two tracks, and Todd’s harsh vocals aren’t always spot-on (clean vocals are a little TOO distorted in spots, harsh vocals are too weak and strained for my tastes, maybe have someone else do supporting vocals?), but otherwise there is so much promise in here that I am mystified as to why these guys are still unsigned. With a little more refinement in the songwriting department, these guys could very well be the next big thing. Somebody sign them, NOW!
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