Side Effects Expected

Listenable Records have scored big with Germany’s Centaurus-A, as their debut LP Side Effects Expected is a tour de force of modern tech death. Much like the recent Obscura release, Centaurus-A are well versed in how to wrap all their impressive tech wizardry into actual songs that are simultaneously heavy, thrashy, melodic, memorable and mind numbing.

The album opens with “The Praying Mantis”, a groove laden romp laced with short bursts of blasts, bits of melody and multiple searing solos. Groove is certainly something they don’t shy away from, as it’s present in nearly every song, but mostly in smaller doses, alternating with noodley, techy parts and stellar solo sections – “Drop Off” is probably the best example of this. “Narcotic” has an excellent break early on that shows off some superb bass work. A fantastic lead melody crops up in the beginning and near the end of “Morning Tremble” amongst the more choppy and stuttering riffing, though it’s short lived on both occasions. However, they play around with it some more on the brief follow up instrumental “The Ease”, which more or less acts as an outro piece to the song. “Incident/Accident” is probably the albums most intense cut, in terms of both heaviness and full on tech spazz out, but it still packs some groove into the mix. In contrast, the next song, “Arson”, is the most straight forward of the bunch with a slower pace and stripped back, simpler riff work, but once again some awesome solo action and a ton of death metal groovy goodness. “Dripping Red Canvas” is one of albums highlights, as they toy around with all their various elements, sampling some arpeggios, killer groove, stellar solos, multiple time changes and all out thrash fits.

Those who were mesmerized by last years Diminishing Between Worlds from Decrepit Birth and the recent Cosmogenesis from Obscura would do good by looking into this as well, because I’d be lying to say Side Effects Expected isn’t on or nearly on the same level as those two stellar releases.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
April 9th, 2009


  1. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    Great release – perfect blend for me of tech, melody and brutality. Great songwriting.

  2. Commented by: Bleed Mercury

    I like this much better than Obscura, mostly for the previously mentioned ability to write actual songs. Obscura is lacking too much in that department for my taste.

  3. Commented by: ceno

    I have yet to get round to this one. Cool review, Larry.

  4. Commented by: Reignman35

    Very solid album… Liked it a lot better than Obscura…

  5. Commented by: Tim

    This is good, one of the better techdeath albums I’ve heard in a while.

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