Live Review: Xentrix – Preston

Live Review: Xentrix - Blitz Club, Preston
10th March 2023
Support: Solitary
Words: Neil Bolton

Local boys Solitary are charged with the task of warming up this Preston crowd before the arrival of the main event. A task these seasoned thrashers take on with skill and genuine excitement. The crowd is healthy and and up for it tonight. By the time Solitary get to their second number 'Keep Your Enemies Closer' every one is on the same page. Thrash Metal!

Solitary are a solid dependable thrash metal band and in Preston tonight it is very much welcome. Guitar solos reign high mixing with the scorching speed and chug of this bands decent catalogue. Tracks such as the recent 'I Will Not Tolerate' blend well with older tracks such as 'I See Nothing'.

Vocalist Richard Sherrington delivers banter with the crowd, and the whole band copes well and manages not to miss a beat when the lights go out for a very short while. The illumination returns revealing the grinning faces of the band accompanied by a large cheer from the crowd. The title track from 2008’s 'Requiem' closes tonight’s set forcing many heads, young and old, to bang in the audience.

When the music from the Terminator 2 replaces the generic pre-band music you know what’s about to happed. Lights dim, heads face forward and people swiftly complete their bar purchases in anticipation of Xentrix!

'Behind The Walls Of Treachery' slams out from the speakers and the pit opens. The riff of this track tickles the goose bumps, and the pit get larger. 'Balance of Power' then takes us all back to 1989 and it seems like every person in here knows every word. Glorious soloing causes members of the crowd to break out their own air guitars and join in.

By the time we get to 'Questions' bodies, beer and eye wear are strewn around the venue. New vocalist Jay Walsh fits perfectly into this band and delivers the lyrics while crouched in front of his mic like a man full of metal purpose. We return to the latest album with 'Reckless With a Smile' which flows seamlessly into 'Bury The Pain' a track that goes down as good as any of their older material. Something that can not always be said for all bands.

A couple more newer tracks are showcased then the familiar bass line intro for 'For Who’s Advantage' spouts forth from the fingers of Chris Shires. The pit is populated with members who certainly have not moshed for a longtime but the excited energy does not fail, although a lot of this energy is obviously fuelled by alcohol. Some clearly have not drank as much since the 90’s either. The familiar face of Kristian Havard, now covered with grey hair, still bangs head like a 16 year old. Backed by other long time member Dennis Gasser on drums, another veteran, full of energy and excitement, he smashes those drums with power and precision.

'Seven Words' is the last track from their latest thrash collection and it meets every expectation required for a thrash classic. Finally 'No Compromise'completes this short but very sweet set with the same energy the band and crowd began with.

Let me be clear, Xentrix are not a nostalgia act; they are a thrash metal force still providing music and performances to rival bands half their age. Now that having been said, I am aware of at least one audience member who felt the ravages of time the morning after. I regret nothing!

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