Centurian: Contra Rationem

Low-lying death metallers fail to rise for the occasion

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Returning with their first release in 12 years, the Dutch death metallers still appear firmly rooted in early 00’s stylistic fortes. Lying somewhere between Decapitated’s technical groove and Krisiun’s charging savagery, there’s plenty to like about Contra Rationem.

It’s furious, it’s grubby as hell and there’s a menacing waft of evil that waxes and wanes to subtly shift the mood. That said, for all the strong riffing and suitably horrible vocals (ably provided by Prostitute Disfigurement/ Nox growler Niels Adams), it lacks the spark to really thrill.

You can have plenty of fun with this, but the chances you’re still going to be listening to this in three months aren’t high, however enjoyable it may be while you’re with it. It needs to bury hooks in your mind to pull you back – through thrilling brutality, catchy bits, powerful groove and the like – but it can’t quite. Contra Rationem is enough to get the head waggling, but not to get the buttocks clenched, the fists pumping or the mind boggled.