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Centvrion: V

A nation known more for their metal of power or progressive nature, Italy's Centvrion return after a ten year lay off 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 lay off. 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.

It has to be said that much though this band's approach is probably best described as retro, it really is quite refreshing to hear a band simply going for it in such an authentic manner. Many of the songs have clever intro's 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. 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.

The attack may well be tried and tested, and indeed, even from song to song things aren't exactly dripping with diversity, but what this outfit undoubtedly possess in spades is a verve and force in execution. 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. Arguably a really tough producer could have wrung an ever so slightly more natural performance in this stripped back setting from the hugely talented frontman and yet it is the honest approach he provides here that makes this song's strongest mark.

That said it is with their foot on the monitor and riffs gunning down all in their sights where 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.

Track Listing
1. Caesar's Speech To The Senate
2. The Legionary
3. Kommander
4. Non Omnis Moriar
5. Eye For An Eye
6. Sins Of The Nation
7. One Shot, One Kill
8. Days Of Mourning
9. War Red Skies
10. Parasite
11. Burnin' Pyres
12. Burnin' Pyres (Acoustic Version)

Added: March 13th 2016
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Centvrion on Facebook
Hits: 1408
Language: english

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