Album Review: Xentrix - Seven Words
Reviewed by Matthew Williams
We all know that the last few years hasn’t been easy for lots of people due to the Covid pandemic, but for British thrash kings Xentrix, it gave them time to experiment and try out new ideas for the follow up to their 2019 release 'Bury The Pain'.
And I can say one thing that is for certain, the wait for this record is fully justified, as new release 'Seven Words' mixed by legendary Andy Sneap, is bringing back thrash to the forefront of metal, as it’s a banger from start to finish. With the line-up consisting of Kristian Havard (guitar), Jay Walsh (vocals, guitar), Chris Shires (bass) and Dennis Gasser (drums) they have returned with a fistful of fresh, new tracks that wouldn’t look out of place in their illustrious past.
I give listeners one quick warning before playing this, make sure you do some warm up exercises on your neck, because once you start listening to these songs, you will be headbanging throughout. The gentle opening to the first song 'Behind the Walls of Treachery' lulls you into a false sense of security, as it kicks you full in face and explodes into life, picking up a relentless pace that doesn’t drop. Vocalist Jay Walsh is spitting out menacingly, whilst the riffs from Kristian Havard are slick and truly dominate the song.
Title track 'Seven Words' is where I begin to reminisce, as the band are in full thrash mode here, everything just clicks, with a stunning solo mid-way through, before the intensity is picked up further with the crushing 'Spit Coin', the rhythm section is incredibly tight, with Chris and Dennis, pushing the song along, allowing the vocals to flow confidently and the guitars working together harmoniously.
When I spoke to Kristian a few weeks ago he mentioned how they worked separately on ideas for the music and then came together at a studio in the West Midlands to work together, and this really helped the band creatively and push new boundaries, and the results are there for all to see. 'Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead', is an effortless, heavy, melodic chugging masterpiece, before the epic thrashness of “Reckless With a Smile” pummels you from the inside. The bass line is just sublime, and you sense that the foursome are really enjoying themselves and this is going to be an instant hit with fans.
'Ghost Tape Number 10' picks up the baton and continues with the audible assault on your senses with a crushing rhythm guitar section combining with some vicious solos demonstrating just how good Jay and Kristian are working in tandem, and this is evident again throughout 'My War', a song with heavy, melodic riffs, that is devouring all the competition around it.
If you think that the pace and relentless is going to drop off at any point, then think again, as 'Kill and Protect' is both remorseless and venomous and is my favourite song on the album. It will make people sit up and remember Xentrix, as this is them at their finest. A little change of direction half way through, allowing the hypnotic bass to be heard, before the killer solo blasts out and blows you away.
The penultimate song 'Anything But The Truth' an eerily atmospheric monolith of a song, with an angry, aggressive riff throughout, which will resonate with anyone that appreciates good quality thrash metal, before they end with a cover version of Alice Cooper’s 'Billion Dollar Babies'.
This is an awesome return for Xentrix and will certainly be in many peoples top ten albums of the year. It’s great to have them back and I can’t wait to hear these songs live as they are bruising slabs of thrash metal goodness.