Review Summary: You don’t know me more than I know myself.
I listened to That Which Feeds On Life
on recommendation from a dear friend. I didn’t realize it would instantaneously become one of my standout records of 2023.
The debut from the Connecticut-based band, Centralya, has the sort of dynamic that harmonizes different details and quirks from across the “heavy” landscape and focuses them into one adrenaline-fueling, heart-wrenching, mesmerizing experience. It crackles with the electricity of the fiercest metalcore acts, spellbindingly utilizes melody and ambience, and then throws down with the heaviest of them.
From the very first moments of “Red Limousine (Night of Lust),” the raw emotion of the album starts bleeding and doesn’t stop. As the album lyrically explores the themes of loss, addiction, loneliness and hatred, the music is written to capture those emotions. It hurts
, it’s angry
, it seesaws from melancholy to aggressive and it never seems superficial. The weight of the album can be felt from the beginning all the way to the very end, and it is this element that truly elevates this album above its peers.
From a musical standpoint, the album contains elements of post-hardcore and nu-metalcore fused together. Noodling guitars, punk styled verses are juxtaposed against breakneck riffs and some absolutely nasty breakdowns. The vocals are a standout in that whether clean or harsh, all of it has a raw, undoctored feel that adds to the emotional weight of the record.
Sure there are some odd mixing issues here and there. Yes, “It Takes Too Long To Become Familiar, But It Takes Even Longer To Forget” (a droning interlude containing samples and different voice recordings) is far longer than it needs to be. Even my distaste at that though was softened by the end. It’s such a different way to wrap up an album like this, and it leads into the eponymous closer, which is quite possibly the best track on the record.
I wish I had more to say, but honestly I don’t. The record left me speechless on first listen and after my third time through, I’m still trying to find the words.