Centuries

Taedium Vitae

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Principals of the teeming Florida hardcore scene since 2008, West Palm Beach punk-metal agitators Centuries were ripe for the pickings when Southern Lord gobbled them up, hot off of a series of high-profile tours and well-received demos. At just over 20 minutes long, their debut long-player is more of a drive-by shooting than a full-on assault, but what the nine-track collection lacks in breadth it more than makes up for in viciousness. Lyrically, Taedium Vitae, which is Latin for "weariness or loathing of life," lives up to its moniker by reveling in familiar miseries, but it's delivered with enough white-hot rage that it never feels whiney. What begins with slow-burn, drone-fueled dread (the instrumental "Incipit Tragoedia") explodes into a raw, relentless howl (the malevolent "Caerlueus") that never lets up, offering up an endless volley of blistering D-beat/metalcore anti-anthems that revel in the breathless brevity of punk. Folded into each other like a live show, which allows the band's D.I.Y. nature to flex its muscles amidst whatever studio sheen manages to seep through the cracks during recording, standout cuts like the aforementioned "Caerlueus," the nightmarish "Egelidus," and the relentless closer "Irrita," the latter of which brings back the turgid, subterranean hum from the album intro to effectively seal the tomb shut, manage to both celebrate and elevate the genre's trappings with little regard for public opinion, retaining enough crusty punk swagger to render the occasional rote moment a non-event.

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