Century – Red Giant

Century – a period of 100 years. A pretty unassuming and average sized word, yet at the same time massively heavy. After all, it contains more years than the average person is likely to see. It contains generations and more world events than you can shake a history book at and yet it sits there quiet like a mountain taking up one tenth of a millennium. Yeah, it’s a heavy word.

That’s why I thought it was an interesting name for a band. It’s not an in your face adrenaline soaked band name that declares you are going to get your ass kicked when you listen to this album. It’s one that demurely asks you to come in and see what the band has to offer…and then BAM it hits you over the head with a blackjack, drags you down to the basement and forces you to join the sweaty writhing crowd already moshing out to the music.

“Red Giant” is the third album from Century, the second on Prosthetic Records, and to me it sounds more…seasoned than their previous album, “Black Ocean.” A lot of people use the word mature to describe a band that sounds more comfortable and experienced than when it started out, but when I hear that I sometimes think to myself, “So they were immature before, and now they are mature?” So today I dusted off the thesaurus and looked for a word that I thought more appropriate and came up with “seasoned.” Now this is where you say “So before they were bland and now they taste better??” Sometimes you just can’t win with vocabulary.

What I was getting at is that first of all the sound quality is much cleaner on this album so that is a step forward. I also feel that the songs themselves are more multi-faceted than those on “Black Ocean.” For the most part the sound on “Black Ocean” was very single-minded in its intensity and it was like a freight train rolling over you. “Red Giant” mixes things up a little more and I think that makes for a more interesting listen. Century mastermind Carson Slovak seems to vary his vocal delivery a little more this time around. It’s mostly all pretty harsh still, but it’s not as monotone and the different vocal inflections he uses are a nice addition. And did I mention clean vocals? Yeah, there’s some of that as well this time around, but don’t worry, I didn’t feel it detracted at all from the bludgeoning. They just let you come up for air from time to time and catch your breath before laying into you again.

I like “Red Giant” and think it is definitely a step forward for Century. “Black Ocean” had Century labeled as metalcore, but I think with “Red Giant” they are becoming something more than that, and I’d like to see where this leads.