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Review: Centaurus-A - Side Effects Expected
Side Effects Expected

Label: Listenable Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 43:25
Tracks: 10
Genre: Death/Thrash


Review online: February 20, 2009
Reviewed by: Jason Cominetto
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.75/5 (95%) (4 Votes)

Centaurus-A can't decide whether they're Technical Death, Thrash, or Melodic Death, and while in most cases an identity crisis like this would mean doom for a band, Centaurus-A manage to use this inconsistency in sound to create a unique album full of great tracks. Their decision to not take their sound in completely one direction gives their music a more diverse and unexpected feel than other bands.

The opening track, "Praying Mantis," is an absolute killer that starts the album off with a bang and is probably the heaviest song on the album. It has sort of an industrial feel, and definitely shows the band at their fastest and most proficient: this is the track that everyone should definitely check out. Towards the end of the song the band switches up the brutal and fast-tempo riffing with a slower, melodic spoken section with guitar solos and harmonies reminiscent of The Haunted, but jumps right back into the chaos they created, sounding even heavier than before. It is this section that give Centaurus-A their more Melodic Death sound, which is implemented even further and better on other tracks on Side Effects Expected.

One of the things I noticed in "Praying Mantis" was the drummer, Patrick Schröder. He is an absolute beast on the skins and destroys just about every song on this release with his speed and precision.

As mentioned before, Centarus-A take detours into different genres many times on this album, and while "Praying Mantis" sets up the basic sound for the rest of the album, there are many tracks that represent different types of metal.

"Morning Tremble" sounds like what In Flames should sound like now, and shows the best of Centarus-A's ventures into Melodic Death Metal. This is also the track that shows the guitarists at their very best, whether they're setting up melodic harmonies for each other or soloing their asses off. Another great track with a more Melodic Death sound is "The Ease," which can be considered an interlude, yet is a song with just as much musical prowess and melodic and technical proficiency as the rest of the album.

Many other tracks on the album dabble in different genres as well, but they overall share the same basic feel, and while this may not seem like much it is actually quite a difficult thing to do and the fact that Centaurus-A can do this — establish a unique sound while trying their hand at many different genres — is reason enough for any person to check this album out. Every song is great in its own aspect, and should provide any fan of Melodic Death, Technical Death, or Thrash a few listens.

More about Centaurus-A...
Interview with Centaurus-A on March 7, 2009 (Interviewed by Jason Cominetto)
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