The fifth full-length studio album by Italian Heavy/Power/Thrash Metal band.
A nation known more for their Metal of Power or Progressive nature, Italy's Centvrion return after a ten year layoff with their fifth traditional/NWOBHM inspired album, cunningly titled "V". Much has changed in the legions since 2005's "Invulnerable", with only guitarist Fabio Monti and bassist Gianluca Mandolesi enduring the band's decade long layoff. Joining at various times during that hiatus, the rest of the line-up is completed by guitarist Leonardo Postaccini, drummer Giovanni Pestolla and the real ace in the pack, singer Roberto "Robo" Cenci.
In a format heavier and powerful that we hear on Symphonic Power Metal, but without great efforts in using a instrumental technique, Centvrion have that same perfect balance between weight and aggressiveness we hear on bands as Accept and Drakkar, with a elegance permeating their heavy songs. The songs presents very good choruses, great parts with excellent guitar riffs, solid and heavy rhythmic kitchen, and powerful and excellent vocals (Roberto knows how to use his voice both on aggressive and low tunes, as on high pitched ones).
Their sound quality is fine, giving the right amount of weight they need, but having a clear insight. And it's enough for their songs take flight and take our ears and hearts by assault. All their ten songs (for "Caesar's Speech To The Senate" is an spoken intro, and "Burnin' Pyres" has two versions) are really precious, done with wisdom without losing that spontaneous feeling.
Many of the songs have clever intros where clips from films set the scene, but other than that there's no fluff or needless pomp such as choirs, strings or Himalayan nose flute orchestras masquerading as innovative. Instead, "One Shot, One Kill" bullets home through machine gun drums and an early Accept like snarl and snap, whereas "The Legionary" adds an air of Judas Priest to the mix. The thunderous and hooking "The Legionary" (a song with medium speed, good riffs and fantastic vocals, and what a wonderful chorus), the heavy "Non Omnis Moriar" (another song done in median speed, a heavy chorus and great work from bass and drums), "Eye For An Eye" (great song, another excellent chorus, and a bit more faster than the previous ones. And using a more aggressive high tunes on vocals), the burning catching power from "War Red Skies", and both versions for "Burnin’ Pyres", for each one of them have their own value.
Key to this Metallic success is Cenci, his vocals ranging from the bark of Udo to the scream of Halford, via a touch of mid ranged King Diamond and an urgency that wouldn't have been out of place in the Bay Area scene's 80s heyday. Add in an energetic twin guitar duo who bring real potency to the rampaging "Kommander" or "Nom Omnis Moria" and you're left with a real surprise package where this veteran Italian five piece serve up a real vintage hammering of UK/US Metal. However, changing pace in the middle of the album "Days Of Mourning" shows a delicacy of touch, beautiful acoustic guitar the basis from which Cenci eases through a heartfelt vocal.
Centvrion really hit home. That they do so ten times across V proves they are a band of real class who have taken the loss of more than half their number between albums in their stride. You may not know their name yet, but with this fifth album Centvrion have confidently and convincingly announced themselves back on the scene. Throw your hands in the air and wave the white flag, this lot ain't taking any prisoners!!
SG Records, 2015 (SGCD082). Made in Italy. First press.
1. Caesar's Speech to the Senate 01:12
2. The Legionary 04:11
3. Kommander 04:37
4. Non Omnis Moriar 04:55
5. One Shot, One Kill 04:22
6. Sins of the Nation 04:57
7. Eye for an Eye 04:51
8. Days of Mourning 05:01
9. War Red Skies 05:13
10. Parasite 05:43
11. Burnin' Pyres 05:28
12. Burnin' Pyres (acoustic version) 05:01
Total playing time: 55:08 min.