Fire up the flux capacitor, strap yourself into your DeLorean and put the pedal to the metal until you hit 88 mph; we’re going back to the 1990’s… Great Scott! In The Name Of Nothing is the debut album from Glaswegian thrash metalcore clan Centrilia and a surprising listen it proved to be. Surprising because this is not only the band’s first full album but also because they are not actually American, even though I was convinced they were. It’s professionally made, especially for a debut, has a huge clean sound which may in no small part be due to the fact it was mixed by the legendary Terry Date (Pantera, Deftones, Slayer). This is quite the coup for a relatively unknown band.
It’s instantly clear though that Centrilia’s sound is heavily indebted to some of the biggest names in 90’s heavy metal; they don’t so much wear their influences on their sleeve as scream them from the rooftops. While listening I did find myself playing a game of ‘Spot that Riff’. The opening track ‘Symptoms of Betrayal’ for instance will make you bounce up and down to its galloping groove, while gesticulating wildly with reckless abandon, air guitar in hand. Halfway through there’s a huge breakdown with a riff that sounds similar to Pantera’s ‘Use my Third Arm’, before I’d come to terms with this things speed up and morph into a riff that sounds not dissimilar to Marilyn Manson’s ‘The Beautiful People’. It’s a good start, but it just feels a tad familiar. They occasionally try to find their own identity amongst the staccato riffing and breakdowns (which will incite unison head banging), but there’s always one of those trademark Machine Head guitar ‘squeals’ just around the corner.
The tracks ‘Tamam Shud’ and ‘The Fool on the Hill’ offer a change in tempo, slower with a more melodic rock vibe, the latter throwing in some guitar solos and even a few “whoa whoas” in the mid-section. An ascending guitar riff then reaches for the sky before leading into a huge breakdown featuring crunchy guitars and double bass pedal pandemonium. When all’s said and done it’s the more energetic heads-down thrashers like ‘Those Possessed By Devils’ that are Centrilia’s stock in trade. I assume the ‘devils’ they were possessed by were Pantera, as the low slung bass riff during the intro sounds reminiscent of them in their Far Beyond Driven days. The vocals throughout the album are solid if a little forced, veering between shouting and clean, both styles hint of Cory Taylor in his Slipknot guise. The subject matter deals with the more serious issues of humanity and morality in the modern world.
I have no doubt there’s an audience for Centrilia’s music and In The Name Of Nothing shows promise. It has a big sound and fantastic production, but there’s no getting away from the fact that this is derivative and tends to take its cue from some of the finest bands in mainstream metal. Despite this Centrilia are going places, they have the experience of impressive support slots (Soulfly, Rob Zombie) under their belts, but it would be nice if on their next album they could develop their own sound and ideas a little more, rather than playing safe with a tried and tested formula. In The Name Of Nothing left me feeling underwhelmed, it isn’t reinventing the wheel (or the steel) and left me questioning whether it would be better to go back and listen to the original source material instead.
(5/10 James Jackson)