Dead Centre – Bound In Darkness

The European spelling of Dead Centre’s moniker in no way reflects the content of the music; instead, the three tracks that compose the band’s debut EP, ‘Bound In Darkness’, are pure, American brutal death metal all the way, much like other Floridian stalwarts Cystic Dysentery. Dead Centre differs from the Jacksonville band, though, with its less strictly modern sound and greater degree of variation. Dead Centre reminds me of a lot of the mid-’90s brutal death metal material like Deaden or Fleshgrind; brutal death metal with a dark atmosphere and very slight brushing of doom in the slower sections. The instrumentation is a bit more in the modern slam direction, without the agonizing, machinelike precision of a band like Fleshgrind, but the general sound hovers right around that ’96 area that you don’t hear much of these days.

The EP is brief but effective. Each of the three tracks uses a fairly similar pattern; frequently changing death/grind rhythms moving from midpaced, sludgy sections to fast, technical brutal death. A somewhat off-kilter sense of delivery is present, with no section ever continuing very long or establishing a groove that isn’t immediately broken by another rhythmic change. The riffing is pretty standard for this style, with lots of subtle pinch harmonics and atonal tremolo riffing. Vocals are a low, somewhat gurgling growl that fits the music well, and the drumming is a fill-laden brutal death style that also functions nicely in the music’s overall context. There does seem to be a bit of Suffocation-style atmosphere provided by the convoluted riffing style, with an audible darkness that you don’t hear emphasized too much in modern brutal death. A strange emphasis is placed on the dark, sludgy sections, with those parts seeming to form the centerpieces of the respective songs on ‘Bound In Darkness’. It gives the whole feel of the EP an interesting, sort of asymmetrical feel that you don’t hear in more popular artists.

While the material here isn’t changing lives, it’s a pretty cool little debut from this band. I like some of the twists they have on old ideas, and I can see them accentuating some of the odder elements that they possess in the future to carve out a very unique niche for themselves. It’s a pleasing listen for any fan of older brutal death metal, as well as everyone in the pretty tight-knit Floridian metal scene, so I’d recommend all those that file into the above categories give ‘Bound In Darkness’ a look. I’m interested in hearing what comes out of Dead Centre in the future, as this is a strong debut with a lot of promise and talent behind it.

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~ by noktorn on November 7, 2007.

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