Centrifuge – Desolate

The whole aesthetic of Centrifuge really prepares you for a bludgeoning of terse, screeching sludge/funeral/drone doom when you put the CD in your stereo, so when you get a groovy, nominally melodic breed of sludge/stoner doom, it’s a rather surprising twist. Not that it’s bad; just not the sort of thing you would expect with the monochromatic cover art and song titles like ‘Absence’ and ‘Masked’ which speak to something a bit more grim and sparse. Instead, what you get is sludgy doom metal with clean vocals and a big rock influence throughout. The subwoofer should be turned up for this one.

So though it’s a great deal more Crowbar than Goatsblood, it’s not bad music. Clean production with a big, pendulous bass presence forms a base for surprisingly delicate clean vocals to hang over before being splintered by blackish screeching, with rhythmically oriented drums and strings aiding the movement of the music; these are the general ingredients. There are a few twists along the way to make it interesting: most notably, lengthy sections of instrumental toying which resemble a bleaker Pelican, and a more complex rhythm section than your average rock/metal group. A pinch of ambiance is present as well in the sterile, lifeless atmosphere (in a good way, really) of this album. The music is industrial insofar as being mechanical and somewhat heartless; the music here is very unemotional and cold.

For what it is, Centrifuge pulls off the technique well. It’s certainly a unique sound; the blend of industrial atmosphere with groovy rock/metal is certainly interesting and creative. I’m not sure whether the music is particularly enjoyable to listen to; all the instruments are well-played and the songwriting seems adequate, but I can’t shake the feeling that ‘Desolate’ works better as an atmospheric study than it does as a heavy metal album. I suppose it all comes down to taste: those that are seeking a balls-out heavy metal album would want to look elsewhere, but those who are interested in a more in-depth and unusual study of the genre might be interested in picking this one up.

So, with those words, go for it or not. It’s not precisely the sort of thing I like, but I can’t fault it for trying something quite different. Take a look.

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~ by noktorn on July 28, 2007.

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