There exists today a gross amount of genres (and sub-genres) of music. It is almost impossible to keep track of them all, much less attribute the most fitting of descriptor to the respective bands of particular genres. It used to be easy. Back before all the crossover and inbreeding of musical stylings. Rock was rock, heavy metal was heavy metal, thrash was thrash, and hardcore was just that… hardcore. Bands like Youth Of Today, Gorilla Biscuits, Burn, Bold, Inside Out, Judge, and many others played with heart, soul, energy, and conviction. Times have changed, but the spirit of true hardcore is still with us today. Florida's Centuries prove that. Their debut full-length, Taedium Vitae, is a short, sharp kick to the face (and groin); a take no prisoners album which will not be soon forgotten.
The album title and all the song titles are in Latin. Some might perceive this as being pretentious, others might view it as using intelligence to convey a deep message. Either way, I have decoded the various words for the benefit of the lazy, as well as for those who might be interested. The title, Taedium Vitae, translates to “Tired of Life”. The track list translates as follows:
1. Incipit Tragoedia — Tragedy Begins
2. Caeruleus — Blue
3. Gelu — Frost
4. Metus — Fears
5. Pessum Ire — Destroyed
6. Tabeo — Thaw
7. Grave Cordibus — Heavy Hearts
8. Servisse — Served
9. Irrita — Void
'Incipit Tragoedia' is fitting; a volume swell accompanied by distorted guitars and feedback. It is the proverbial calm before the storm, as it leads seamlessly into 'Caeruleus', and things are never quite the same. The track essentially explodes, releasing a manic energy from this young, determined band. That same ferocious energy is packed into the remaining tracks of the album. The only real reprieves occur in the form of breakdowns. Not your typical hardcore breakdowns, mind you; theirs are tasteful and serve the songs well. Centuries borrows a bit from black metal (dark lyrics and an intense, raspy vocal delivery), and d-beats abound, making Taedium Vitae a unique and satisfying listening experience.
If you are looking for a solid hardcore record (being very genre-specific), look no further. If you are looking for a solid record, period, Centuries has what you need. Taedium Vitae is loud, raucous, intelligent, and short. All in all, a great listen. In the end, that is all that matters, right? Here’s to hoping Centuries has a long career ahead of them. Pick them up. You will be glad you did.