The Centre Cannot Hold

Ben Frost - The Centre Cannot Hold
Critic Score
Based on 11 reviews
2017 Ratings: #177 / 887
User Score
Based on 45 ratings
September 29, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Mute / Label
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The 405
Frost has never like felt so powerful of a force on a studio album as he does here. He’s erected a monolith of monoliths.
Resident Advisor

The Centre Cannot Hold is a deeply unsettled record, driven by a quivering, unpredictable energy.


As its title suggests, The Centre Cannot Hold constantly seems on the verge of collapse, but it never descends into utter chaos. It gets abrasive and engulfing, but it isn't accurate to describe it as a noise album. Frost and his associates expertly harness levels of sheer energy, resulting in a brilliantly forceful, commanding work.

Drowned in Sound

If you’re looking for ease and comfort there’s a deluge of that available, but there are aren’t many records like The Centre Cannot Hold. Frost has achieved a thrillingly precarious balance whereby there is always the tiniest spark of light to glean amongst the relentless dirge.


Ben Frost again proves himself to be adept at juggling noise and melody, rhythm and drone, distortion and clarity on The Centre Cannot Hold, a record that sculpts comfort from chaos and tunnels through darkness back to light.


The Centre Cannot Hold displays a different facade of the artist than the ones presented in Aurora and By the Throat, yet at the same time, it glimmers with a similar energy and purpose. By projecting the state of reality into his music, Frost can transcend it and produce a work of art as a result.


Centre could be categorized as Frost’s first distinctly American record, and it’s a frightening, prophetic portrait that commands undivided attention.

Northern Transmissions
While heavy handed at times in composition, tone or sheer statement, the record is definitely a fun one for fans of the genre.
Crack Magazine

In general, his compositions feel like they’re warping into a sonic singularity, and the theme is continued on The Centre Cannot Hold.

Tiny Mix Tapes

Frost’s The Centre Cannot Hold doesn’t seem to be a political album in the strict sense of the word. It’s more akin to a journal of the individual’s emotions amidst this state of the world. Constantly on the edge between sadness and rage, its disillusionment becomes anger, brought on by the feeling of helplessness in the face of global violence.

Australian-born, Iceland-based electronic producer Ben Frost's "The Centre Cannot Hold" is a deep, uncompromisingly political record entrenched in noise, anxiety, violence, beauty, peace, and unease. With the title taken from Irish poet W.B. Yeats's "The Second Coming," – "Turning and turning in the widening gyre/The falcon cannot hear the falconer;/Things falls apart; the centre cannot hold/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world" – Frost's discordant ... read more
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Year End Lists


Track List

  1. Threshold of Faith
  2. A Sharp Blow In Passing
  3. Trauma Theory
  4. A Single Hellfire Missile Costs $100,000
  5. Eurydice's Heel
  6. Meg Ryan Eyez
  7. Ionia
  8. Healthcare
  9. All That You Love Will Be Eviscerated
  10. Entropy In Blue
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Added on: August 8, 2017