Release DetailsLABEL Prosthetic
RELEASED ON 4/29/2008
posted on 5/2008 By:
To be honest, even with all the big name releases set to drop in 2008, Century’s second album, Black Ocean was actually one of my very most anticipated releases of the year. Partly because I really enjoyed the band's Tribunal Records debut, Faith & Failure and partly due to the fact the album has been completed and promoted by the band for some time now. Black Ocean, now finally released on fitting label Prosthetic Records, had some big expectations.
Let’s just say I’m satisfied with Black Ocean. Not blown away mind you and that’s mostly due to Carson Slovak’s (Armsbendback) vocals which have dropped the almost Jan C (Gorefest) sounding roar which gave the band a unique, gruffer tone than most of their angular hardcore/post rock contemporaries. However, the mountainously craggy yet beautiful, layered riffage that makes the band stand apart from most of their peers is still present in spades.
Actually, for those new to the band, musically Century is quite hard to explain. They are hefty, emotional and expansive but not in a languid post rock way as they have a more urgent and angular gait to their style, but it’s never hardcore-ish or overly burly and dissonant. It’s this blustery and groovy yet vibrant and evocative mix of Mastodon, Isis and Misery Signals that’s hard to define, but enjoyable on all levels.
The songs themselves are generally a rumbling, semi techy, angular lope (“Pantheon”, “Equus”, “Black Ocean”, “Erasure”) with a shimmery post rock gloss (“Rising Sun”, “Monolith”, “Daylight Algorithm”) and are delivered with a thick, robust guitar tone and Slovak’s pained barks. On paper it does not sound that creative or unique, but in practice it comes across of this sort of post-rock-prog-core that pulls you in with its hefty elegance but never gets into pure tech metal overkill or wanes into wandering ambience or lengthy segues.
I’ll admit though, I slightly prefer Faith & Failure as it had a few more immediately impactful songs (i.e. “Obsolescence”, “Kingsnake”, “The Last Neighborhood in America”, “The Fate of Arbogast”) and Black Ocean is far more of a grower with more depth and textures, but ultimately is a rewarding listen.
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