London band Centuries have conjured up a brutally heavy post-metalcore sound that swiftly pushes them into the higher echelons of the exciting British metal scene. The band combines contrasting styles, including savage vocals and huge riffs with melodic and electronic elements, in a sound they describe as “heavy, forward-thinking and thought-provoking.”
Centuries first started out when Nathan (guitar and vocals) started writing a few demos and ideas that he aimed to turn into a band in around 2015. Most of the band’s members met at the British Irish Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) in London and went through several lineup changes. But they eventually discovered vocalist Dan when he applied for the role by submitting an Architects cover that Nathan describes as “WILD.”
With Dan on board, the quartet released a debut EP in 2019. But the real coming of age for Centuries has been the evolution of their sound through a refreshing new writing style working with record producer George Lever, who’s worked with Sleep Token, Loathe and Holding Absence.
Dan told us: “George has been incredible to work with. From day one he made us think outside the box and really pushed our abilities. All of the development he has taken us through has transpired into further writing and thinking about the music we are making and the message it holds to us. It was the best decision we’ve made so far in our bands career.”
And Nathan added: “George has helped us cultivate ideas and hone the progression of our sound. Whilst developing a refreshing writing style to break the boundaries of the bands genre, George captured the best of each member and really pushed our abilities. We have strived to produce material ignoring peers and create a body of work devoid of timestamps and trends.”
The first single to come from this new approach is Godless, which was released on Friday. It opens up with light synth sounds that suddenly drop out, replaced by a huge wall of low-tuned darting guitars and searing synths supporting Dan’s brutal vocals “God forgive me, For I have sinned, I pray that you’re not real ‘cause, What god would let us live like this?”
It eventually drops into lighter instrumentals under the vocals “Ashes to ashes, Dust to dust, If there was a god, He’s forsaken us” then launches back into heavy guitars under a big scream then heavier versions of the same vocals. That feeds into huge low-tuned stabbing guitars under brutal vocals “We spend our lives on our knees, Praying to a god we cannot see.”
The instrumentals drop out then rolling drums support heavy screamed vocals before a really cool guitar riff builds up to a huge atmospheric section led by big vocals, guitars and synths. It ends on huge screams of “We’re heaven sent and hell bound, We’re godless, Fucking godless” over crushingly heavy guitars, before a light synthy outro brings it to an eerie conclusion.
On the new track, Dan tells us: “Godless dissects the very concept of religion and its impact on human behaviour. Religion has a lot to answer for but so does man. More importantly, if there is such a thing as a god, they must also take responsibility. World religions have power, money and control. Religion has dictated global actions, dominated law making, triggered war and covered for its lies and deceit. It has led to division, indoctrination and justification of heinous behaviour, segregation and hatred.”
To which Nathan added: “Following on from what Dan has said, Godless is about a relationship with a god, and a conversation with ‘him.’ We are all atheist but we also understand the power religion holds for many people and the benefits it can bring them. However religious fundamentalism is something we all need to be aware of because it affects us all. Godless is an onslaught on the senses, the listener is faced with crushing riffs, chilling vocals and thought-provoking lyrics. It’s our favourite song to date and the favourite lyrics I’ve written.” Check out this massive new track in the video here:
Godless follows on from Centuries’ 2019 EP Empty Vessels, which includes the savagely eerie title track that features Loathe’s Kadeem France and Eric Bickerstaffe. The first verse sees stabbing guitars, and high-pitched stabbing noises supporting huge screamed vocals, which are joined by a spinning distant synth sound. Clean vocals come in before more intense screams give way to a crushing section of driving guitars and brutal screams. Check it out in the video here:
But a personal favourite track on the EP is closing track Reset:Rebuild, which opens with stabbing guitars over rolling drums. That drops into faster guitars over brutal screams then drops the pace aagin with huge drawn-out screams. A spinning guitar lick supports a heavy chorus of “We are the cancer, We’re as good as dead, Rebuild, rebuild and start over again, This could be our sanctuary, sanctuary.”
It suddenly drives into faster guitars and huge screams over a stabbing synth sound, then a drawn-out synth sound and occasional stabs of guitar support massive screams. Check out this huge track in the video here:
On the sound Centuries have honed, Dan says: “We aim to bring together our various influences to define our own unique sound. Our new music certainly pushes us in ways were never thought possible as musicians and people can expect dynamic and contrasting styles, heavy riffs and vocals, melodic singing, electronic elements and our best production quality yet!”
You won’t be surprised to learn that the band take a lot of influence from Architects and Northlane. However, Nathan grew up in Milton Keynes and tells us his metal background was honed by the town’s scene, which included the likes of Heart of a Coward and FellSilent. As he says: I was always at the Craufurd Arms, soaking up the ‘Milton kleans’ and the progressive metal sound that emerged from that town. I have been obsessed with Architects since Hollow Crown, and Tom Searle has been a key influence for me instrumentally and lyrically, and absolute genius.”
And onw hat inspires them to write music, Nathan adds: “Like many people, music is our release from the world. It’s our channel to vent our anger and frustration at the way the world is ran and the atrocities that happen on a day to day basis. Writing love songs is cool but we’ve always wanted to push further into the realms of creating thought provoking music, challenging opinions and breaking down barriers in peoples minds. If people can listen to our music, enjoy the instrumental and take away something from our lyrics then that is job done!
And Dan says: “We’ve always strived to write about the social and political climate and be forward thinking. Our upcoming material is a progression sonically and lyrically and we feel that Godless represents a bridge to a new way of thinking and a new, more refined sound for Centuries.”
Centuries are yet another band to get us excited about the British metal scene, offering up a brutal concoction of metalcore goodness that fuses full-on brutality with electronic elements. There’s plenty more to come from the band as they continue to work with George Lever and write new music, so expect new releases later this year. And the band are also keen to play their first gig since the week before lockdown began in March 2020.
And Nathan adds: “We’re a fully independent and self-funded band so the support of people who enjoy what we are doing really does mean a lot to us. If you want to keep up with what we are up to, you can follow us on social media and we have a limited run official merch drop happening soon.”