I first came across the band Citi via a MySpace “add” request we received from them — and from the first listen they spun my head around so hard, I felt like that possessed, bile-spewing chick in The Exorcist.
Initially, I was going to mention them briefly in the next episode of our “Miscellany” series, but I got so intrigued by the first few songs on their MySpace page that I downloaded and listened to their entire debut album (self-released last December), which they make available for free via a link on MySpace.
By devoting that much time, I took them out of the “Miscellany” category — and by getting completely skull-fucked by the music, I became convinced that I owed them a post.
From Bakersfield and Gonzales, California, Citi describe themselves (maybe with tongue in cheek) as “a melodic thrash death black progressive metal band.” There are a few genre labels that didn’t make it into that description, but not many.
But hey, I’m not going to argue with how Citi describes their music. It’s actually pretty accurate. Besides, since the inside of my cranium now feels like it’s been carpet-bombed by this music, I’m not prepared to argue about much of anything at the moment. I’m simply floored by this album. (more after the jump, including some tracks to stream . . .)
All nine songs on the Citi debut erupt with the force and pacing of some kind of high-caliber, über-fast minigun (the kind of munitions that fire 2,000 – 6,000 rounds per minute). The guitars, the bass, and the drums are all driven at lightening speed, but with head-spinning intricacy.
The riffing is particularly obliterating. It’s fast as rising daylight, but it also blazes to the beat of a hellish metronome that sets up a murderous groove.
As adrenaline-charged as the lead riffing is, the sound just fucking erupts when the single and dual-track guitar solos kick in. The shredding out-and-out burns like an acetylene torch with the gas opened all the way up, but it’s also emotionally gripping and at times sweepingly atmospheric.
Given this style of instrumentation, what would you expect from the vocals?
Take a wild guess.
If you guessed that the vocalist would sound like he’s shrieking as if his life depended on it, you would be right. He sounds as if his throat is turning inside out, like there is literally no tomorrow, like all must be left on the playing field.
Truly, all these dudes play and sing with complete abandon and utter devotion to the performance. If they can pull off anything like this in a live show, I would expect blood on the floor. And on the walls. And on the ceiling. Yet at the same time, the integration of the instruments is as tight as a vacuum seal.
Now as you’re trying to imagine all this, let’s add one more piece of mind-fuckery to the equation. Imagine this kind of blast-furnace music mixed and processed in a way that distorts and fuzzes-out every sound and causes the whole raucous assault to oscillate at about 200 beats per minute.
Seriously, the sound oscillates — it pulses — like a surging alternating current that’s about to blow the transformer to kingdom come.
Given the speed, the brutality, and the innervating power of the music, combined with the pulsating groove and the occasionally epic bursts of melody, I was reminded of bands like Decapitated, Fleshgod Apocalypse, The Faceless, Gorod, and Ulcerate.
Of course, Citi is unsigned, and you probably haven’t heard of them. They’re probably clawing like fiends to continue creating and playing. But they deserve more attention.
Listening to Citi is like being strapped into a whipping centrifuge, inside a blast furnace, while having complex algorithms downloaded into your brain.
I guess it’s obvious that I liked their album.
You do need to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate this. Y’know, the frame of mind that just wants to get blitzed.
Now it’s time to give you a taste of Citi’s attack. Here are links to not one, but two of our favorite tracks from their self-titled debut:
If you like what you hear, go get the rest of the band’s self-titled debut album via the download link on Citi’s MySpace page, which is here. According to their MySpace blog, they’re currently hard at work writing new material for a second album: “It will be a mixture of Swedish death metal mixed with black metal topped off with thrash with a hint of grind and groove, that will provide you with a complete dose of extreme metal for your listening pleasure.” Hell, that sounds good to me. Bring it on!
UPDATE: We’re still listening to this album and decided we needed to put up just one more song from it for visitors to check out. It’s another shudderingly catchy bit of mayhem, but it’s also got a cool melodic guitar interlude at about the 2:30 mark. Just too much fun not to include here.
FURTHER UPDATE: At the band’s invitation (see the Comments section below), we’re putting up the whole album for download on this site. We’re using the high-speed download service we pay for and that we’ve used in the past to download albums we like, with the permission of the bands. If you click on one of the links below, the download will start immediately and in no time you will have all the songs without wading through the front page of a download service like Rapidshare.
We’ve made the file available in two formats — .zip and .rar — in case you happen to have one type of compressed file extractor on your computer but not the other. The songs are the same in both files. Go for it.
Man, I owe you something for bringing up this band, they´re great (especially Feeding the Insane), I totally fell in love with the nice guitar work in the Interludes which adds athmosphere to the brutal rest. I thought I was dreaming as I heard the solos and for an unsigned band the quality of the songs is incredible.
Hey, you’re welcome. Thanks for the comment. Gotta say, I’m still revving through this album for about the 10th time. It really is a wicked ass-kicker.
Hey guys. James from CITI hera . just wanted to say thanx for the review. it’s people like u that make devoting our lifes to heavy metal that much easier and worth while. Much love from cali
Thanks man — and thank you and all your bandmates for such powerful music. Stay with it!
I will. I must say that we were surprised by this review there are so many good bands out there who probably deserve it more.lol
it’s really hard to write material that sounds original these days
and for us to get this kinda of feedback from people who know the scene well,
it really puts things in to perspective for us. We hope that u you will provide an other article for us
for sophomore realease.
Thanx a lot.
Guess it goes without saying that we’ ll be stoked to hear the next album for sure. Still listening to the first one, and decided to put up Future Into Nothingness as an update. If I don’t start listening to something else, all the songs will probably be up here by this time tomorrow. 🙂
Please put them all up as desired we want people to have it for free.
our influence is like soilwork darkane in flames meets behemoth decapitated and crionics emperor
and messhugah. lol
Done. See the “FURTHER UPDATE” at the end of the original post up above — and thanks.
Nice to have another outlet to get the album, and downloads from here are generally much faster than one can expect from download sites. Granted, it didn’t take too long to download from MediaFire, but having a direct download link without capped speeds (or at least, allowing for greater bandwidth) is a plus.
Putting both formats up might be overkill, though. As long as you aren’t using non-standard compression techniques (using Winzip for example), most other software (if not all) should be able to handle a zip file, including Windows’ built in functionality, Stuffit Expander, WinRAR, 7-Zip or any others that aren’t coming to mind right now.
That’s good to know. I could have gotten this up faster if I’d just stopped after creating and uploading the .zip file. As you know by now, the .rar was the original format of the download from Citi’s Rapidshare link. I’ll stick with zips in the future.
Okay, last technical comment. I already got the download before you put it up here, but others can benefit from having another spot to get the album – and I assume some already have.
Rar is normally better for compression if you need to save space, but I was able to get a smaller zip archive with only Windows XP’s built in functionality than what had been uploaded. Then again, this is only a bit under 40 MB of data to deal with. Despite the advantages of .rar, .7z or any other format, .zip is a standard that most should be able to work with.
I noticed the zip file I created on my Mac was no larger than the .rar, so I’m definitely sticking with that in the future.
Can we get the album in 320k instead of 192k ?
Cool to see that there’s still interest in this band after two years . . . but I’ve completely lost track of them. I will see if I can hunt them down. I used the only file formats I had when I put up the download.
Heard them on caprice technical death metal radio, one of the heaviest bands around psycroptic and others on that site! I hope the band ‘Punish’ releases their free album in 320k too, if you could get in touch with then, that would be awesome!
A massive, \m/ \m/ to ya’s.
At first listen, I wasn’t sure what to think. By your writeup, I thought these guys would sound like a clusterfuck with a minigun backdrop (why these big, powerful and fast guns are called “miniguns” is beyond me, unless it’s meant to mean they’re smaller than gatlings like the Vulcan). Fortunately, it didn’t turn out that way but there’s a lot to take in. Citi seems like a band that takes a few listens to start to figure out what they really have to offer.
But with another pass through these two songs, I started to find a bit more lurking in there aside from the last moments of “Feeding The Insane”, which sticks out as it is. And so, I decided to download the album to hear the rest. I had troubles with the MediaFire page, but it could be that I’m using Opera at the moment instead of IE8 or Firefox. Still, I finally got it to start downloading, which is going to take a while yet.
Hopefully when the download finishes and I have time to listen to the entire album a couple times, I’ll be able to form a better opinion. But so far, they’re worth checking out.
Glad you think they’re worth checking out. I agree with you — the more you listen the more you hear what’s going on, and the more technical you realize it is. And I don’t think the songs are all cookie-cutter clones of each other. There’s something distinctive about each one (like the interlude in the third one I just put up). I’ll be curious to get your take when you listen to the album as a whole.
And I had the same question about the word “minigun”, though I can’t believe you knew about the Vulcan. From the Font Of All Human Knowledge (a/k/a Wikipedia):
“The Minigun is a 7.62 mm, multi-barrel machine gun with a high rate of fire (2,000 to 6,000 rounds per minute) employing Gatling-style rotating barrels with an external power source. In popular culture, the term “minigun” has come to refer to any externally-powered Gatling gun of rifle caliber, though the term is sometimes used to refer to guns of similar rates of fire and configuration, regardless of power source and caliber. Specifically, minigun refers to a single weapon, originally produced by General Electric. The “mini” of the name is in comparison to designs that use a similar firing mechanism but larger shells, such as General Electric’s earlier 20 mm M61 Vulcan.”
Every track has me floored. Listening to Citi while driving would surely help me speed even more down the streets. Quality and tone is there! Music so vicious it makes me want to demolish everything in sight.
I think there’s actually a traffic law that prohibits the playing of this kind of music in a moving vehicle. 🙂
Serious! I would have lost my licence ages ago. I’ve just been reading all the awesome feed back on
Feeding the insane! awesome! I’m inspired to pick up my guitar again!
I just downloaded this album. when i listened to it reminded of all my favorite bands but with more dynamics and catchy riffs but with a raw emotion to it. Its amazing for an unsigned act. There is a lot of different styles going on here. I like how each song is different from each other yet the vocals keep it all together. The solo’s are very well placed a lot of passion behind them I would like to see an interview with these guys.
A very accurate summary, at least by my lights. I’m glad other people are diggin this as much as me.
That’s been my impression so far after one full listen, plus a couple repeats. Some elements don’t quite match the album as a whole, but it still all holds together and nothing really sounds out of place. Just a bit unexpected.
I think the unexpected makes this band i really didn’t know what was coming next after each riff usually
i can anticipate whats coming next but not here. For once that makes me happy
i dig music that i cant predict. i saw their comment for their influences it made since to me.
i can definitely hear all those influences here. like all of those bands in one.
there has been a lot comments i noticed for this band. haha kick ass i will spread this around
The song The Hate Narrows has a polish sound to it in the beginning.lol. The whole band has a European overtone to them. WTF! Arent this guys from california.lol
I’m with you. The first two bands that popped into me head as I listened to Citi (Decapitated and Fleshgod Apocalypse) are, respectively, from Poland and Italy.
Last comment from me today haha. these guys look really really young i noticed.lol. I definitely heae behemoth in the beginning on fault with like an arch enemy thrash riff i to a nice black metal chorus and darkane harmonies at the very end of the song. Sliver gots an aborted into feel into like a nevermore style riiff into a soilwork meshuggah groove into a strapping young lad part into a selpultura palm mute riif the solo reminds me of a jeff loomis style solo. Inception got that at the gates riff with a in flames style riff before the solo that sound michael romeo from symphony x. Forever Stained sounds like a mix of death melodic thrash with a side of yngwie sounding classical riff. Revive has an emperor feel at the beginning into an odd meter thrash riff. in to an aborted style death sceam. Into a groovy melodic face melting breakdown. The solos on revive are
jaw dropping the phrasing on it is outstanding. Future has an aborted style riff again into what reminds of a vader style riff that clashes into a meshuggah thrash beat?.lol. the solo is pretty cool love the harmonies. the clean guitar reminds of an old slayer song. the solo gots a bon jovi endingr to me into a groovy finish. Feeding the insane the intro is a cannible corpse style riif into a lamb of god style riff but with accents on the upstroke. into a classic stop and go riff. the black metal part is simply amasing. progressive part is like emperor meets between the buried me. The first solo is the vein decapitated with the second with like a darkane solo with like a keep of kalessin style underneath it.The Hate Narrow reminds of the polish scene a lot. Ambient keyboards with cool a crionics behemoth sounding riff into another behemoth riff lol next is a grindy thrash riff with a tail end groove passage back in to the brutal death metal part into an arch enemy sounding followed by a black dahlia part into a nice clean solo. I like the ending the most very dark and groovy.
Wow! You know your references! And all the extreme bands you identify happen to be favorites of mine. No wonder I like these dudes so much! Thanks for putting so much effort into that comment.
And yeah, they do look young — which makes this level of musical ability all the more impressive (and surprising).
Ravnos is James from Citi by the way, he’s acting as another person, just thought you should know.
^ Ass, your mom called, i let it go to voicemail.