Censura – The Island
“…The rhythmic grooves, the breakdowns, the instrumentation; it all makes you want to move…” Mark Roche takes in the new Censura eepee.
Recently signed to Bieler Bros. Records, Censura have taken their first steps to aid Irish Metal. Following a recent Irish tour off the back of their newest EP The Island these guys promise that 2012 will hold bigger and better things. Mark Roche reviews Ireland’s most recent contribution to Metal with a unique twist.
As an introduction to Censura, Boom could not be better placed; a fantastic piece of ‘Drum n Bass’ driven Metal. At the beginning I was quite scared that this would be another generic ‘epic’ album with nothing fundamentally ground-breaking going on. I was quite surprised as I heard modulating synths roaming around the track; harmonising with vocals, bassist and producer Kal, provides the real substance in this song.
The dubstep interlude and exit are particularly impressive through headphones. Drummer [Devin’s] ability to blend his technique with the electronic stylings of dubstep is exceptional. The breakdown is probably the first indication that Censura have really created a unique sound. Jimmy’s vocals are strong and hold great intonation; his diversity shown, in his use of both guttural screams and quite beautiful harmonies. As a lyricist this album is a testament to his ability to write a hook that everyone remembers, Boom gives us “Our time, now, we will be heard!”
The Voice is Censura’s first single, which has been garnering lots of airplay on Scuzz with an impressively produced video [shot in The Burren, Co. Clare]. The rhythmic grooves, the breakdowns, the instrumentation; it all makes you want to move! It’s certainly the most impressive track on the album in my opinion. With an electro introduction the song turns into something almost frantic in its goal to be fast and loud and heavy as…a really heavy thing. Apologies for the pun but when you listen to The Island you will certainly hear influences of people like Devin Townsend and indeed in complete contrast, bands like Pendulum.
As samples swim between guitars it is clear that ‘less is more’ as each genre seems to complement each other, in the sort of melting pot that is, Censura. The interlude provides some sort of offbeat drumming that made me quite anxious but the fact that it made me feel anything at all is certainly noteworthy; thankfully Censura do not make bland, uninteresting music. The vocals are what excited me primarily, as a massive Lamb of God fan I kept comparing Jimmy to a young Randy Blythe circa Burn the Priest but this is not for me to say, he has a long way to travel before he can sell his wares as well as Randy does.
The Island opens with a percussive feel and continues as the same; reminiscent of some military march, Devin’s snare commands this track and his fellow musicians follow in-step. This track is the first real feel of a decent guitar riff and it is rather decent. Interlocking guitars and synths combat for prescience in a Prodigy-esque framework.
Again we see Jimmy’s prowess at delivering a hook; it’s at this stage of the record I ponder about the next Censura release. Singers like Jimmy are plagued by a curse sometimes where they have to question, “How long is my voice going to last if I keep screaming like this?”, one example being BFMV’s Matt Tuck. The reason I make this point is that The Island compliments Jimmy’s softer vocal performance and even promises possible directions to investigate in the future.
The penultimate track is Searching and Digging is also probably my favourite song from The Island. Censura combined have years of experience and so, my high expectancy is appeased when they deliver such striking consistency on their record. Perhaps my only justifiable reason to love this track over the others is its fusion of genres; as a song it is certainly the most diverse with beautiful subtleties. Technical instrumentation comes to the forefront as samples pepper the heavy tones with an uplifting audio message.
One of the most original riffs I’ve heard this year is showcased in We have to Hurry, effects and technique are plentiful; my favourite part is Dom strumming the taut strings below the bridge which shouldn’t sound as cool as it does. This track certainly closes the nineteen minute EP on a high note, a very high note…in fact it’s a ball-aching high note, as Jimmy pushes his range to breaking point. “That’s top of the mornin’ to ya folks, and Goodnight!” finishes what can only be called a teaser to what lies ahead for Censura.