Album Review – Centimani – Ægaeon
Posted by RiffRaff
I enjoy me some Death Metal here and there. The driving and groove based riffs a rhythm section that just pops. The guttural vocals get the blood pumping and all together it’s a style of music that really gets my adrenaline running at full speed. Unfortunately, it is a style of music I can take in small doses before the initial adrenaline rush wears off and it starts to bore me and everything starts to sound the same. A similar thing could be said about Black Metal. Chaotic and raw riffing and drumming combined with the alien vocal stylings intrigue me. The often occult lyrical themes mixed with synthesizer, piano, violin, or what-have-you soundscapes really create a mystical atmosphere which draws me to the music. But like Death Metal it’s a style that has its trappings that turn me off from listening to for extended periods of time. So, what if a band where to take the best elements of the 2 styles of music, combine them, and add a couple twists here and there? Would it hold my interest for multiple listening sessions? Many have tried, but few have truly succeeded and I’m happy to tell you that the band and album I’ll be talking about today is one of the few who have succeeded. Meet Centimani and their debut album Ægaeon.
This outfit residing under the Rocky Mountains in Colorado have a penchant for ancient Greek mythology and visceral metal. With their debut album they prove that they have the Death Metal chops to rock some groovy riffs and rhythms that will get your head banging and feet stomping. But why stop there, they toss in lots of influence of Black Metal into their music with machine gun blast beats and tremolo picking, and mystical soundscapes realized by some wonderful keyboards and live violin playing. And this is not a Death/Black Metal album that trades off the Death on one song in lieu for Black on the next. Each song, with the exception for the atmosphere building instrumental tracks, effortlessly blends the 2 styles together for a marriage made in Valhalla, with a couple flings with Thrash, Folk, and Doom metal 😉 .
On tracks like the stand out “Serpents Coil” you will hear both the drive of the pumping guitar riffs and bouncy rhythms as well as absolute chaos and a highly memorable keyboard section with a harpsichord effect which effortlessly blended into a great guitar solo section that I found myself going back to listen to multiple times over. Vocalist Kyle Francis flips between Death growls and Black screams to give the vocal section lots of variety and keep things interesting. “Fields of Karelia” is another high point of Ægaeon; the Death/Black combo is there with the punchy guitars and rhythms and astonishing and hectic drumming of Isaak Faulk as well as great little proggy and thrashy guitar riffs strewn throughout keeping things enthralling. The greatest point of the album comes in the 9 minute closer “Sacramentum”. This song will take you through many landscapes and emotions going from visceral to beautiful to harmonious to chaotic all without a clash or jar to be found throughout. This song is just about worth the album purchase alone.
The rest of the songs on the album are as unique and diverse as the two I mentioned and the haunting instrumental interlude “Flames of Gehenna” and intro track “Titanomachy” adding lots of depth and character (especially the violin parts on the intro) to the whole album. The only faults I can find on Ægaeon come in the form a couple missed opportunities to take an excellent song to the “holy f’n shit this is amazing level”. Some more atmosphere building keyboard work on “Thystean Banquet” would have sent that one over the edge. And while the album is superbly recorded and mixed, I thought that the vocals could have been turned up at some key moments to add a stronger punch when needed to drive the brutal feel home.
In the end this is an excellent album and up and coming band that truly deserves some attention. Ægaeon held my attention from start to finish and over multiple listens and will for many more. I am really looking forward to what Centimani will put forth in the future as their already excellent skill improves and their style grows. The album will be available in the very near future and I’ll keep you all updated on when you can get your hands on a copy, but for now, chalk Ægaeon up as an album that you are highly anticipating 😉
More info on Centimani can be found here:
Here’s a live video of Centimani performing “Fields of Karelia” off of Ægaeon and their video for “Ninth Empire” off their EP Usurping the Throne of Flesh”