February 26th, 2013
Release length: 29:15
The audio to this recording sounds top notch for the style, though it can be a bit barren in the background. It doesn’t necessarily hurt the final product, but it is something you can pick up on. Aside that issue, the guitars have a mid-range distortion that’s rich, but a bit twangy, giving the environment a twisted atmosphere. The bass is a little diluted in the mix, but still discernable enough with its deep tuning. The drums have some tight snares with cymbals that are a bit distant and echoed, and a sharp click to the bass kicks. Then there’s the vocals which are the loudest of all. There’s some obvious layering of guttural and rhasps that create a natural effect similar to what you might hear on a modern Behemoth album.
The material on Contra Rationem is a mixtue of catchy, sometimes slower paced Death Metal, as well as a good deal of blast beat fueled intensity that is nicely regulated. The latter largely makes up the start of the effort, finding a great deal of intensity on “Thou Shalt Bleed for the Lord thy God,” mixing some mid-tempo verses that often have a subtle groove with blasting drumming here and there against some faster riffs that carry a bit of a Black Metal touch. That groove can also be found on “Feast of the Cross,” one of the most infectious headbanging mandates this one hs to offer. This is thanks to the varied slower and blast beat paces, and commanding drum performances laced with some Middle Eastern sounding leads in some spots. Much of this also explains “Antinomium,” another intense track with a commanding and enewrgetic approach against a restrained speed that throws back to the early days of Death Metal with ease.
But, the blackened touch is something that still sticks out at times, such as during “Crown of Bones.” After an introduction of fire and what sounds like hooves galloping, you’re greeted with heavy riffs at a fast pace to mesh with the blasting passages. However, the further in you get, you’ll happen on slower areas that have some sharper chords that ring of Black Metal appeal, casting a whole new atmosphere over the already brutal tone of the song. “Damnatio Memoriae” throws some sharper guitar work at the listener with some more Middle Eastern tinged chords, though only for a brief time before the chaotic Death Metal erupts once more. There are some mid-tempo sections that are as catchy as “Antinomium” offered up, and even a slower passage that offers a grim tone to the madness. In the end, it’s a well varied song that really sticks out.
Centurian are definitely back in full force. Contra Rationem is a solid, hard hitting Death Metal assault, perfectly laced with a vibrant Black Metal influence. It’s been about twelve years since their last effort, and this one definitely makes up for the time lost. If you’ve been a fan of the group’s past efforts, there’s no denying this is the album you have been waiting for, and if you never heard of them before, now is definitely the time to experiencw the fury that is Centurian.
01. Thou Shalt Bleed for the Lord thy God – 2:20
02. Crown of Bones – 3:14
03. Feast of the Cross – 5:09
04. Judas Among Twelve – 2:53
05. Antinomium – 4:09
06. The will of the Torch – 3:34
07. Sin Upon Man – 2:29
08. Damnatio Memoriae – 4:24
09. Adversus – 3:03
|Initial Pressing Score: 9.5/10