Sons of Alpha Centauri are an instrumental metal band from Kent. They released their self-titled album back in 2007, featuring groovy influences ranging from Kyuss and Black Sabbath. These were present on the aforementioned debut, channelling their heavy sound with atmospheric synths and lead guitars. It was an example of strong and fluid musicianship, making for an enjoyable listen. Over a decade later, the band is back with a new album, ‘Continuum’, so it will be interesting to see whether they have expanded on their sound
Aaron Harris of the influential post-metal band ISIS produced the album. In comparison to their debut, it is darker and more introspective, with basslines influenced by post-punk. There are elements that work very well and others that ultimately fall short.
After a dark intro comes ‘Jupiter.’ It is characterised by a heavy riff, but the raw production fails to ignite the atmosphere. It contains a synth in the background, providing an interesting effect, however, this works better on ‘Solar Noise’. The production is a crushing assault of guitars, packing an emotional punch.
As the album goes on, the emotional impact gets stronger. ‘Interstellar’ is a near seven-minute epic. It starts with a slow build up of strings but then transforms itself into a meandering rocky riff, picking up the pace for the remainder of the track with fluid drumming, demonstrating the band’s strong chemistry. Up next, the Pink Floyd-esque ‘Orbiting Jupiter’ is reminiscent of an interlude, and feels dull on the whole, however the creative playing towards the end redeem it slightly.
The last track, ‘Return Voyage’ combines all the great bits on the album: a pummeling riff, the synths sitting nicely in the background, and a massive doom riff where the interplay of both guitars fit superbly. It’s a strong climax to a somewhat patchy album, but when Sons of Alpha Centauri are firing, they deliver an intense experience, which fans of both doom and prog metal can appreciate.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos