The Dead Centuries Race Against Time review
Ottawa, Canada brings us another Prog Metal band, The Dead Centuries who recently unleashed their debut album Race Against Time and yes, I took a listen. Before I get into this though I need to clear something up.
I was a huge fan of Dream Theater's Images and Words and Awake. I wrote my first published novel to these albums. What I enjoyed most was the transition of moods in a single song and how, at any time, a song could be its own soundtrack. Therefore, I'm drawn to Prog Metal with this in mind. Often, they miss the mark. Even Dream Theater's front man, James LaBrie, missed the mark on some songs when his voice wouldn't stop.
This brings me to the 10 track instrumental album, Race Against Time. Freddy Lounds started me off with a bang but I did find that familiar, almost overdone Prog Metal vibe. I didn't hate it but if it kept going this way then I may have had to turn it off eventually.
Then, Gotham followed it and I was like, "all right, I can dig this," because it had a real rock vibe and less synth sounds and keyboards than I'm used to with this style. The highly touted, Reboot, came next and this song was on fire! Now, I think I might have a masterpiece here.
The album picked up momentum from there and didn't look back. I can't say that one stood out more beautifully than the rest. There were fun riffs, blistering solos, killer bass lines, but most importantly, the songs were memorable! I love this album! I do think that having no vocals is what made this shine, meaning nothing distracted from the brilliance of the music.
For those interested, they offer something interesting for the song Reboot here where you can watch the riff in action. You'll be glad you did - http://geargods.net/playthrough/the-dead-centuries-reboot-the-game-to-win-in-this-exclusive-guitar-playthrough/
On one end of the shovel
If you sit through or skip the first track (if you worry about another forgettable Prog Metal band) you'll be glad you stayed around as Race Against Time will give your ears more hard rock/subtle metal beauty than Prog Metal mediocrity. The riffs are fun, blistering and the selection of songs never get old or repetitive. There's definitely a kick ass mood to this album! I think the lack of vocals and being all instrumental is why it shines where many Prog Metal artists wane.
On the other end of the shovel
I actually found it difficult to find something not to like. Maybe if you don't enjoy instrumentals or need that high pitched male or female vocalist to get your Prog Metal rocks off you might be slightly disappointed here. But The Dead Centuries aren't out to be someone they're not, they're emphasizing their strengths which is incredible instrumentals and not overdone metal!
How deep can I dig this?
Although the first song was so-so the rest of the album bled me dry in a good way. This is why I love Prog Metal in the first place, because it gives me a series of moods in each song, like a collection of soundtracks. There was not a lot of overdone synths, keyboard repetition and, more importantly, a vocalist to throw the vibe off. I don't need a vocalist to enjoy music all the time. This album is for people who enjoy what instruments can do with the right author behind them, not needing to rely on a few chords to sustain a lyric and voice. For more reasons than I have time to state, I dig Race Against Time 9 out of 10 feet deep!