Image © 2001
Black Flames Productions
(11 April 2001) The debut album by Poland's melodic heavenly vocals
band Centuria is entitled Dreams and Feelings (Dion Fortune Records (Germany)
BN 564 / Black Flames (Poland) BFCD 004 / SPV 085-58312, 2000). Lead vocalist Anna
Wojtkowiak provides the central texture to the album with solo and layered English
lyrics and vocalise soaring above the richly arranged keyboard instrumentals. The
band is also comprised of D.a.n.y (drums, percussion, samples) and Jaroslaw Baran
(keyboards, guitar, samples). The album is distributed in America by Projekt and
drew our immediate attention from first listen.
From the news release, "Centuria is a new and extremely interesting
band that breavely explores dimensions of music and sound that were relatively
unknown before. A sense of taste, that you have never met before, inspired by
many kinds of music, let the young beginners compose an unusual record, unique in
sounds, deeply emotional, sensual and original. [Taken from the lyrics of the
second track "Tristia",] Dreams and Feelings is a well chosen title.
Centuria means the music of your soul; there is no room for metal agressiveness
here, although some associations with Fula, The Gathering or Liv Kristine occur
to the listener immediately. You can find here, a feeling flawless beauty,
fragility, sweetness and inspiration. This is truly unusual music--Heavenly
Goth--which has a certain something. The band has existed merely for a year
and a half and this debut album was recorded in their own studio and produce
The album opens with the upbeat and higly melodic track "Bewitched,"
in wich Anna's vocals draw the listener into the rest of the recording. The
rhythmic keyboard introduction of "Tristia" immedately reminded us of Fula
(review), however, this track opens into a
lushly arranged vocal masterpiece. Crisp percussion underscores arrangement
of the solo verses and multi-tracked choruses while rhythmic keyboard scales,
reminiscent of the introduction compliment the metal-edged instrumental bridges.
Evocatively sung, the lyricless "Forgetfulness," rich with soaring vocalise,
demonstrates Anna's range, power and virtuosity as well as the instrumentalists'
skills across a broader range of genres from new age to heavy metal. In
contrast, the sweetly sung track "Fabella" is a well arranged upbeat and
highly accessible pop-oriented tune. Lush with layers of harmony vocals,
Anna's stunning solos break through now and again further enticing the
Unlike the tracks that precede it, "Omen" is an agressive
metal-edged, but highly rhythmic track, with contrasting layers of sweet
vocalise alternating with an almost-spoken lyric. Tender keyboard textures
add to gentle lead vocal line of the atmospheric track "Apocalypse" before
the agressive second part of the track develops into its full splendour
illustrating Centuria's musical virtuosity. "The Awakening" is the album's
one gentle--almost lullaby--ballad. Sung sweetly over a symponic
keyboard-based arrangement, it illustrates the softest side of Anna's
We especially enjoyed the way that Anna's lead vocal broke through the
instrumentals of the lush symphonic arrangements of "Heaven and ..."
Listeners will fully appreciate her talent as Anna's lead soars to the
highest notes--reminscent of Annie Haslam--on the album. The album
draws to a close with the short but progressively-arranged "Dytyramb."
A blend of orchestral rock and classical keyboard-based arrangements are
complimented by Anna's stunning vocalise.
Centuria's album Dreams and Feelings is indeed a
tremendous band with enormous international potential. The album is
readily available from Projekt
and we fully expect broader availablility as critical acclaim continues
to build. Certainly worth a trans-Atlantic journey, Centuria's debut
album is a must listen!