It cannot be mere coincidence that plenty of the most striking and indeed enjoyable thrash bred encounters in recent times have come from bands which emerged in the genre’s youthful days, subsequently departed and have made potent returns in recent years. British thrashers Xentrix are another falling into that category and now lighting up the senses with a thrilling new proposition. Bury The Pain is the band’s fifth full-length, a release revelling in the many familiar throes of thrash metal but essences shaped in the band’s own inimitable character and imagination.
Formed by guitarist Chris Astley in 1985, Xentrix left their mark through their 1989 Roadrunner Records released debut album Shattered Existence, continuing to ingrain it upon the UK metal scene with following releases and a live force which saw them share stages with the likes of Testament, Sacred Reich, Annihilator, Sepultura, and Tankard. After three more well-received albums, the band went on hiatus before returning in 2013 and lighting up that year’s Bloodstock festival. With new vocalist/guitarist Jay Walsh leading the attack alongside the equally potent forces of guitarist Kristian Havard, bassist Chris Shires and drummer Dennis Gasser, Xentrix has again simply created another stirring strike upon the senses with Bury The Pain.
The album unleashes its title track first up, Bury the Pain luring attention with melodic wiring around a bubbling predation of sound. By the tempting chord rhythms brew their aggression, eventually sparking tides of rapacious riffs amidst their own voracious intent. Walsh’s equally tenacious tones steer the trespass, the song continuing to involve melodic and rousing enterprise within the virulent offensive.
It is a great start to the album swiftly matched and eclipsed by the fiery discontent of the outstanding There Will Be Consequences; an anthemic protagonist stirring up the spirit with its gang hollering and nagging dynamics. Accelerations in physical and vocal antipathy only add to its prowess and persuasion before Bleeding Out casts its own melodically woven web of enmity upon ears; a netting to creative and bodily irritability which is just as menacingly compelling.
Both The Truth Lies Buried and the following Let the World Burn tighten the grip of the album, the first emerging from elegant melodic intimation to ravage with control and imagination with its successor hen accosting the senses with a far more untamed demeanour and truculence for matching success and captivation. It is magnetism just as potent within The Red Mist Descends, another track rising from a classic melodic coaxing to uncage creative hostility and viral animosity. As suggested there is plenty within all tracks which is bred from familiar trash ingredients but as this trio epitomise alone, each launches individual and magnetically enterprising propositions.
It is dexterity and fertility just as open and strong within the predatory instincts of World of Mouth, the song a seriously nagging assault of pleasure, and similarly the addictively harassing exploits of Deathless and the Divine. Feral bordering on bestial, the latter leaves no tantalising stone of hostility unturned as not for the first or last time individual craft and imagination unite.
The final pairing of The One You Fear and Evil by Design provides a closure as striking as the album’s beginnings. The first is another which initially tempts with melodic radiance, this gentle caress the lure into a hellacious onslaught of sound and intent providing a multi-textured and flavoured tempest to indulge in. The closer in turn invades with animalistic nostrils flared and creative acrimony freed, savaging and seducing with matching rancour especially within its latter raptorial prowl.
It is a fine end to one mercilessly stirring release. Xentrix are heavier and more ruthless than ever before and at their most compelling with Bury The Pain laying down another mighty notch for British thrash metal.
Bury The Pain is available now through Listenable Records; available @ https://www.shop-listenable.net/en/268_xentrix and https://listenable-records.bandcamp.com/album/bury-the-pain
Pete RingMaster 25/06/2019
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