CENTURY - The Conquest Of Time
April 28, 2023, a month ago
Here's a brand new act that will definitely appeal to old school metal fans. Initially designed as just a duo (but augmented to a quartet on the recent US tour), Century hail from Stockholm, with an affinity for ‘80s England, albeit a (speed) updated sound. Catchy, clean sung anthems and some classic, twin lead guitar work: what's not to like. Sadly, small imports, minus any novelty/controversy often get overlooked. Don't let that happen again.
The full-length debut spans nine songs, ranging from 2:41 pre-release single "Breakthrough", to 6:40 finale "Servant Of The Iron Mask", although the latter is the only one eclipsing five minutes. Searing guitar and drum shuffle introduces "The Fighting Eagle" and the album takes flight. After the chorus, there's a spirited guitar break, while the smooth vocals occasional veer for the higher end, even before the concluding scream. "Black Revenant" adopts a more moderate tone, the lyrics more to the fore. In the latter third there is an airy, sedate instrumental section that fades out. Ultimately, it segues into more aggressive "Sinister Star", the prior slow down only heighten the contrasting styles. Plenty of riffing, little bit of echo on the voice and a punchy, sing-along chorus. This time the guitar break seems lifted from some of Jake E. Lee's work on Ozzy's solo album.
"Victim In Chains" recreates that early ‘80s British shuffle drum pattern and simplistic, but infectious guitar. The title track thumps to increase importance of drums, as the vocal pitch trills a bit higher, but still within the "normal" realm. Midway through, it switches tact, opting for an increase in speed (sans lyrics, which only reappear for two shot stanzas, right at the end). "Master Of Hell" clicks by effortlessly, seemingly never greater than half its 4:03 length. "Distant Mirror" walks a similar line to the aforementioned "Victims". Good stuff. Early favorite "Breakthrough" is the most exciting song I've heard in a couple of years: combining yesteryear with a fresh, young urgency. Spacey synth kicks off the mammoth (by comparison) closer, which is punctuated by a few more screams.
Early demos are still available on Bandcamp, so definitely check out those initial building blocks, as well.
Worthy addition to any/all collections. Highly recommended!