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Century Black Ocean

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Century - Black Ocean
01. Pantheon
02. Black Ocean
03. Erasure
04. Drug Mule
05. Equus
06. Rising Sun
07. Monolith
08. Daylight Algorithm
09. Dysgenics
10. Terror Starts at Home
Reviewed by: Nick   //   Published: 4/27/2008

Thanks to Century, the brainchild of former Armsbendback guitarist Carson Slovak, there might just be a little bit of hope left for metalcore in today's music scene. The group's Prosthetic Records debut, Black Ocean, certainly isn't enough to make up for the multitudes of stagnant copycats of copycats that have helped drive the final few nails into the genre's coffin, but the record's unapologetically straightforward song structures, blistering tempos, and dark themes display a great understanding for what the term metalcore did once encompass. While it's unlikely that the disc's musicianship or songwriting goals will turn too many heads, Black Ocean does excel by simply pumping out ten tracks that are heavy, energetic, and pissed off as hell. And that's what counts.

But Black Ocean is by no means a throwback metalcore record. The band's unrelenting intensity draws some similarities to a few of Scarlet's less frenzied moments, and their ability to inject subtle melodies into otherwise gritty compositions is a bit reminiscent of Shai Hulud. Breakdowns surface in most tracks, but they rarely rely on abrupt tempo changes and excessive repetition, thus steering away from many metalcore bands' source of monotony.

The record's title track provides an excellent example of the band's capable execution, as the track showcases quick, angular guitar leads, brief interjections of melody, and a massively dissonant midsection. "Terror Starts at Home" builds from walls of feedback into a cathartic anthem with screams of "But we'll never know selflessness / We'll never know loss / We are the same." "Monolith" offers recurring rock leads and fast metallic riffing to transition smoothly between soaring melody and jarring vehemence. And despite this record's great intensity and generally pissed off demeanor, Black Ocean's subtle melodic touches deliver a surprisingly memorable listening experience.

However, if there's one thing that this record lacks, it's dynamics. Straightforward song structures are certainly more than appropriate for Century's style, but a little more variation and a little less of a blindly balls-to-the-wall mentality would provide a slightly more engaging listening experience. It's almost hypocritical to tell a metal band to take it easy once in a while, but some moments of Black Ocean lose a bit of their edge because of a slight desensitization to the album's relentless, double bass-filled drumming and consistently loud output. A briefly subdued section of "Equus" and the quiet beginning of "Daylight Algorithm" hint that Century has some of the elements for more dynamic variations, but they aren't substantial enough to play an integral part in developing the album's overall flow.

Bottom Line: It's heavy. It's fast. It's angry. Century's Prosthetic Records debut, Black Ocean, thrives on straightforward song structures and subtle melodic touches to show that modern metalcore doesn't necessarily have to suck. A little more songwriting variation and dynamics would have helped round out the package, but it's a still a solid release.

Comments
trollboy_   posted 8/11/2009 2:33:46 PM
band is f*cking shit, singer is a f*cking pssy and this kind of music is going nowhere. it'll never make a difference in anyones life, and never will. all these asswipes, especially the "vocalist" should be shot in the f*cking head.
Nick_   posted 11/19/2008 3:48:31 AM
I just took a massive shit on this album.
smashy_   posted 5/16/2008 11:23:25 AM
GB2 THE FIRTZ GRAYD
totalvideo2_   posted 5/8/2008 12:58:08 AM
i agree with the real carsonslovak the reviewers on this site suck corporate dck for a site that dedecated to hardcore and metal the reviews are always distasteful, judging and opinionated hopefully all the employees of this company makes minimum wage... including it's maker/owner.
taylor_   posted 5/5/2008 11:07:53 AM
you're making me lol in publix

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