Centiment : Streets of Rage

Centiment CackBlabbathClassic video game music and metal collide head-on in what Centiment have created here. The ‘Streets of Rage’ title will cook up all sorts of noises from your memory bank and they’re lovingly recreated alongside some new-fangled technical metal crunch.

Tech metal and video games; if that doesn’t have the geek inside you pricking his ears and polishing his glasses in anticipation, then this probably isn’t one for you!

The intro to ‘S.O.S.’ starts things off with some classic blocky gaming music, almost like the album’s title screen if it were a game. Despite the fun sounds; the album covers some pretty serious subject matter with damning accounts of human kind as well as some lighter stuff. Not a plumber or a gold ring in sight, though.

Dave McPherson tackles the vocals with a wide range of approaches. A big Muse-like soaring vocal breaks down into some jagged Nu-metal rapping on ‘Defenders of Oasis’ and throughout the release his vocals weave between some straight ahead rock pipes and some throat-busting metal roars.

The electronic element means that the album sails close to the edge of the likes of dubstep and even dance in some places. Just when you think they’ve abandoned the riffs they appear again. Tech metal has been thrown around to describe Centiment but some of the riffs here could easily be compared to Killswitch Engage rather than Meshuggah.  It’s really just a metal album with a strong electronic element.

Having said that you can’t deny the tech flourishes in the crushing repetition on the likes ‘Hollow Grams’.  It’s a fast moving record however and whether it’s the vocals skipping between death growls and rap or Mark’s drums chugging away between machine like accuracy and a more traditional barrage; it’s a constantly morphing beast.

‘Streets of Rage’ is an intense journey. The gaming element isn’t just a gimmick that wears thin on the second listen. It is actually embedded into the music rather than just some Rob Zombie style horror clips thrown in between tracks to build up drama. You might also expect the electronic element to take away from the heaviness, but again, they work together to make a forceful blast. Coupled with Dave’s roar, it hits like an eight-wheeler.

The album oozes energy, God knows what they’ll be like live!