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Centurian (band)
As soon as my promo copy of Contra Rationem By Centurian arrived, I knew I had to put in for an interview, and quick. One of my favorite bands had resurfaced under a familiar name, and it would be an instant honor to get to speak with anyone in the group. Sure enough, I was given the chance ro shoot some questions over, and guitarist Rob Oorthuis took the time to get back to me. This is what he had to say…

First of all, how is everything going on your end? Hopefully everything is all well and good.

We are receiving the first reviews and interviews, people are really into our new record, we can’t complain. It’s good to be back, the time is right.

Now, Centurian disbanded back in 2002. What prompted you guys toreactivate and stick with it?

The nature of the new songs combined with Seth’s style of drumming made us decide to change back the name. As you might know, Seth replaced Bob Dussel (original Nox drummer) and as soon as we started to work on new songs for Nox, it dawned on us that our sound had shifted. Nox is based on speed mostly; the riffs are written to really fast non-stop blastbeats, whereas the new Centurian songs have more groove, more dynamics, including the speed. Also, the new songs are more clear, stripped from any unnecessary elements. The same can be said about Seth’s drumming; it’s very diverse, very clean, rich in its minimalism and accurate.

When you broke up you left behind two full-lengths and a demo. Do you or any of the others regret leaving the Centurian legacy at just that, or do you feel content with what you completed prior to calling it a day?

Personally, I never regret the decisions I make and I never look back on past ‘achievements’. I don’t even listen to my own albums. This does not mean that I don’t care about, it’s just that I’m always busy with looking forward, working on new things, be creative. As a matter of fact, I’m already working on songs and concepts for another new album. However, I have to admit that Centurian was a closed book, but not a finished book. In a way we are setting something straight by continuing the band and releasing new albums.

You have all gone on to work with other bands. Was it kind of hard for everyone to walk into Centurian and try to write another album similar to what you did in the past, or did you find yourself taking influence from your contributions in other bands when writing and recording Contra Rationem?

I have written all music for both Centurian and Nox since the beginning, ‘trying to write an album similar’ was not an issue. With Nox, I did expand my horizon musically, using some atmospheric pieces here and there with full chords. You’ll find some traces of that on ‘CR’ in songs like ‘Adversus’ and ‘Damnatio Memoriae’.

Would you say that the years of being inactive were still beneficial for the band, such as fnding a stronger following of fans or anythin along those lines?

Splits and line-up changes are set backs and always hurt a band, so I would not say it was beneficial. We can rely on a good amount of old fans for sure, which is great, but there’s alot of work to be done before we’re back on the map properly.

Centurian was previously signed to Listenable Records, and here you are again working with them. Are you guys working on a previous contract that was in place prior to disbanding, or is this a new agreement that was reached?

The contract with Listenable, back in 2002 when Centurian split up, vanished. With Nox we choose to get a new contract with Listenable somewhere in 2009. We are using that same contract, but with the name of Centurian on it, instead of Nox. My signature have not changed so…

It seems the original line-up has returned, but you brought in a new vocalist, Niels Adams. How is he working out for you? Do you find his voice and the leyered approach on Contra Rationem to be a better fit to the Centurian sound?

Niels is the perfect vocalist and frontman for Centurian. He sings very articulate, his range is broad, he is inexhaustible live and in the studio. Also, he understands the tricky timings in the music. Most of all, he’s pissed off.

With Seth writing most of the vocal lines and performing some backing vocals, we pretty much have the original approach towards the vocals backed up. Having Seth and Niels in one band is like a triple edged sword; the best of three worlds.

How long did it take Centurian to write and record the material for Contra Rationem? Were there any problems before or during your studio time?

We took 2 years to write and record the album. Recording ‘CR’ was a piece of cake and a very rewarding experience, our preparation payed off.

How about your tour plans. Will Centurian be hitting the road any time in support of Contra Rationem?

We are not that kind of band where a tour is booked before a record is even recorded. Of course we want to promote the album as good as we can, but under good conditions. We don’t (need to) have a living out of the band, so we try to pick out shows that we think could be memorable.

Will us over here in North America be able to catch you guys on stage? If not, why?

We’d love to play in the States, but it’s a big hassle financially and logistically.

Are there any other plans to promote the album, such as a music video or anything else?

I am actually working on photography as I did the album coverart and layout for example. Making film is on my list too, but I need to plunge into that a bit deeper. We might have an official video ready later this year. For now, people can check out lyric videos for ‘Judas among Twelve’ and ‘Feast of the Cross’.

So… Does this mean Centurian is here to stay? Hopefully we won’t see you guys splitting up again…

When Centurian splits up we must kill each other, so unless one of us is suicidal, we are here to stay until hell freezes over.

Anything else you want to mention before I let you go?

Believe nothing, dare all!

Centurian: Contra Rationem
Interview conducted thanks to Listenable Records via Clawhammer PR.