Written by: PP on 04/10/2009 15:12:28

It's been a while since I've been as blown away by an unknown band's disc as by Padova, Italy based Centrica's self-titled debut album. Opening track "Centrica Experience" may be eight and a half minutes long, but it's so wonderfully complex, difficult to grasp, yet so carefully constructed progressive rock/metal that one can't but stand jaw firmly in the ground in awe-inspiration while listening to it. The passages are some of the most original compositions I've heard, not to even mention the mind blowing level of technical prowess present in the instrumentation, permeated with changing time signatures and astonishingly beautiful musical landscapes. You'll quickly notice having spent half an hour spellbound by the disc before you even notice that there aren't any vocals on the record at all. The idea of having vocals over such astounding textures just doesn't ever strike the listener as relevant at all, which really says something about these compositions!

At first, bands like Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree come into mind when dissecting the band's influences, but soon you'll notice the funky keyboards that bring elements of Pink Floyd / Deep Purple type of psychedelia into the mix, especially on "Reality & Illusion". Or the Queen-inspired section from around 4:20 onwards on "Secret Vision", which crashes into Between The Buried And Me style instrumental masturbation shortly after. Think "Selkies: The Endless Obsession" here. What do you get when you (successfully) put together Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, Queen and Between The Buried And Me? I don't think I even need to answer that question. "DNA Part 1" changes the sound of the record somewhat, relying mostly on distortion, feedback and ambiance until acoustic guitar and classical piano are introduced at four minutes to the song. It kind of reminds me of Zombi's masterpiece "Spirit Animal".

Towards the end of the record, my initial 10/10 impression starts to fade out slightly because the songs aren't AS interesting or mind blowing as they were before, although still impressive in every way. I don't know if it's because they follow roughly the same format throughout the whole disc, or because the band simply ran out of breathtaking ideas at this point, which you really can't hold against them considering the sheer brilliance of the first 30 minutes of the disc. Few bands have been able to grab my attention so thoroughly and consistently throughout a whole album without me having at least some sort of knowledge to them beforehand. One thing worries me, though. The band's Myspace page states that they are looking for a singer on their next album. PLEASE PLEASE PELASE DON'T PUT A SINGER ON THIS STUFF, there's not a singer in the world who can do justice to songs like these, it will go horribly wrong. Instead, they should put out another album as good as "Centrica" without a singer, and great things should follow rather quickly if there's any justice in the world.

Download: Centrica Experience, Secret Vision
For the fans of: Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, Queen, Between The Buried And Me instrumental
Listen: Myspace

Release date 18.11.2008
Musea Records

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