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Centaurus - 1978 Centaurus

ARTIST: Centaurus
ALBUM: Centaurus
SERIAL: 61549
YEAR: 1978


LINEUP: Louis Merlino - vocals * Nick Paine - guitars, effects * Nick Costello - bass * Joey Belfiore - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 In The Mood * 02 The Lych Way * 03 The Rocker * 04 On The Sands * 05 If I Build My World For You * 06 You Shake Me * 07 To The Wireless * 08 The Maiden Song * 09 Cold Emotion

Centaurus were a Los Angeles based quartet playing in a progressive near heavy pomp style, with definite Led Zeppelin and Touch influences. It is not as if Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are given the copycat treatment - far from it. It is just a reference point. Merlino actually sounds closer to Glenn Hughes more than anything else, while Nick Paine's guitar dabblings veer too close to the experimental. In fact, on the back cover, there is mention of a Special Effects Guitar Tracking Unit - credited to the the guitarist. WTF this all means is beyond me!

The Songs
The album is a contrast of late seventies prog./pomp rock workouts, mixed in with a series of instrumentals centered around Nick Paine's guitar dabbles (and special effects tracking unit too no doubt!). Paine even puts in a dedication to Jimmy Page, such is the connection to Zep. The resulting output is a mish-mash, from the promising hard rock opener 'In The Mood' at one end, where Merlino gives his vocals the optimum workout, to the album closer 'Cold Emotion' - an excellent track, probably the best on the album. I would've hoped that the remainder of the album could've sounded as good as the opening and ending tracks, because this is what I will always remember Centaurus by. Unfortunately the guitar dabbles (namely 'The Lych Way', 'On The Sands' and 'To The Wireless') are all too frequent, and hardly compelling listening. The other songs meander and don't grab the listener by the ears. The ballad 'The Maiden Song' is melodic, but not particularly interesting.

In Summary
Not surprisingly, the band only released the one album. Life beyond Centaurus saw Merlino venture out to New York and join melodic rockers Beggars And Thieves while Costello crossed the border to join Canadian rockers Toronto. What quite happened to Paine is unsure. Perhaps he is still tweaking his antique tracking unit? An interesting excursion, but far from compulsory listening.

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#1 | rostoned on June 01 2008 14:07:47
Over rated. A very primitive production and recording, a poor man's Zeppelin or better an average Zep tribute band. this is the typical case of a disc collected/famous because it's rare, not because it's good!
#2 | reyno-roxx on July 20 2008 21:58:51
I think this gets slagged off a bit unfairly. Agreed, the production is a bit limp, but it has its moments. 'Cold Emotion' is a great track.
#3 | KelvHellrazer on March 16 2013 14:32:46
Merlino turned up on everyones lps doin backgrounds and Derek Oliver bumped into Nick Paine at the old Marquee

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