Side Effects Expected
posted on 4/2009 By:
I feel a little bit sorry for Germany’s Centaurus-A. After all they are German, play technical yet melodic death metal and released their debut within a month of Obscura’s critically acclaimed Cosmogenesis. Chances are Side Effects Expected is going to get overlooked.
Which is a crying shame, as the album is a damn fine album in its own right. It straddles melodic death metal with a highly confident, competent technical edge, and isn’t quite as obviously Death/Cynic/Atheist influenced as Obscura, instead culling from a more modern tone and a little more structured and straight forward than Obscura, though it’s still full of deft melodies, glittering bass play and a tense yet amicable brutality.
Armed with a pristine, tight production and band members that are supremely talented, Side Effects Expected slices and dices with copious blast beats and angular, scale shattering precision, but never falls into pure ‘broodle’ death metal territory and delivers enough melody, mid range vocals and dual harmonies to appeal to folks that enjoy the likes of The Forsaken and Detonation but still satiate fans of recent, expected tech death luminaries (Psycroptic, Decrepit Birth, etc) with its complexity.
This mix results in some stellar moments such as the blistering yet thoughtful last two minutes of opener “The Praying Mantis," econd track “Narcotic” with its bass refrain and killer solo at 2:33. “Drop Off” cranks up the intensity with an impressive opening salvo and busy pace, while the combo of “Morning Tremble” and killer melodic instrumental, “The Ease” show the band's more chaotic and melodic elements blending seamlessly with both having some supine solo work.
Admittedly, the second half of the album isn’t as attention grabbing because of the stellar first half, but there’s no lack of amazing material (more due to the style/genre, more than anything) as heard on the likes of the sheer tech assault of “Incident/Accident” and “Dripping Red Canvas”- a track that should have been displayed earlier in the album while the attention is still rapt. The band even slow things down a bit for “Arson” and close things out with the impressive “Resistance ‘Aint Futile,” if you stick around for it.
While Side Effects Expected is liable to unfortunately get snowed under the other high profile tech death albums of 2009, its variety and genre crossing traits should allow listeners to experience an absolutely top notch tech death album with a bit of restraint, variety and melody - a rare beast in today’s death metal, and all the more reason to seek this album out.
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