Picture of Xentrix

Shattered Existence

Xentrix - Shattered Existence ©1989 RC Records
1. No Compromise
2. Balance of Power
3. Crimes
4. Back in the Real World
5. Dark Enemy
6. Bad Blood
7. Reasons for Destruction
8. Position of Security
9. Heaven Cent

Xentrix was one of the many thrash bands that appeared in the late 80s at the height of the subgenre's popularity. Like many, Xentrix demonstrates competence and reasonable amounts of thrash metal credibility on their debut Shattered Existence. Their style was reminiscent of Metallica with Bay Area influence, despite being an English band. In fact, it's funny that England failed to produce very many thrash bands considering it was the New Wave of British Heavy Metal that inspired many of the thrash and speed metal bands in the first place. Perhaps warm ale put a damper on the country's ability to play chugga-chugga at high speeds.

Shattered Existence is an okay record, but it does tend to wear on as the band has little to add to thrash with their songwriting. Their singer, fortunately, does not wail at a super high pitch, so that is a bonus. Oddly, his voice occasionally reminds me of Peavy Wagner of Rage, except circa 1996 when he wasn't reaching for the stratospheric octaves anymore. Unless Xentrix had a time machine, it's doubtful that he was a direct influence. Or is one of the members of Xentrix also the mysterious Dr. Who? That would explain quite a few things. But if they had a time machine, they'd also be keenly aware this style of music had a very short lifespan ahead of it and they might have considered playing some black metal to gain serious worldwide cult credibility. They could have totally trumped Darkthrone and been infamous by now.

As you might surmise, Shattered Existence is standard thrash metal but it's quite hard to continue paying attention to it. Your mind may wander. Despite their competence and musicianship, it's essentially just another faceless entity in a field that was rapidly crowding.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 02/2010

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Ghost Busters EP

Xentrix - Ghost Busters EP ©1990 Roadracer
1. Ghost Busters
2. Nobody's Perfect
3. Interrogate

Xentrix's career was essentially nothing more than a competent, but ultimately uninspiring thrash metal band from England. While thrash reigned supreme in places such as the Bay Area and Germany, the United Kingdom's contribution to the style were somewhat paltry, particularly when so many of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands acted as major influences on the main players of the scene. Xentrix may have remained almost entirely overlooked had they not released this novelty EP. Ghost Busters is a rather amusing cover of the famous Ray Parker Jr. song from the blockbuster movie. In fact, it's rather memorable, especially in light of the rest of their recorded outfit. The EP includes a pair of other songs that serve to bridge their first two LPs. Each song is fairly decent thrash metal. It's okay stuff, but hardly anything to reassess your impression of thrash metal in general. Xentrix is one of those bands that can safely be overlooked by those wishing to only find the highlights of the scene, but also happen to be good enough to deserve more attention if you're into exploring the second tier thrash bands.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2009

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For Whose Advantage?

Xentrix - For Whose Advantage? ©1990 Roadracer
1. Questions
2. For Whose Advantage?
3. The Human Condition
4. False Ideals
5. The Bitter End
6. New Beginnings
7. Desperate Remedies
8. Kept in the Dark
9. Black Embrace
10. Running White Faced City Boy

Xentrix gained a slight bit of publicity with their novelty EP Ghost Busters, which led into their second full length release For Whose Advantage? Despite the boost in attention, Xentrix toiled away again essentially in obscurity while many other thrash bands were milking the last bit of the movement. They certainly were not about to be invited to join Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer on the Clash of the Titans tour. For Whose Advantage? can almost be seen as the prototypical second tier thrash record of the time. There is no doubting the musical abilities of the band members. In fact, these guys were quite adept and nimble for thrashers. Unlike some of the lesser speed metal bands, Xentrix sound as though they all knew how to play and play well. But despite their talent, For Whose Advantage? still comes across like a thrash band going through the motions and thoroughly unable to figure out ways to expand their sound or set themselves apart from the many other bands playing almost exactly the same thing. What should pass as energy is just hammering the point home that Xentrix was doing exactly what was expected of them, confining themselves strictly within a narrowed sound. The cover of Gillan's "White Faced City Boy" is the only track that doesn't stick to the formula for the obvious reason someone else wrote it.

Xentrix's failing is that although they possessed some decent musical ability, they rigidly adhered to the thrash metal conventions and orthodoxy. For Whose Advantage? lacks any sort of distinction to set Xentrix apart from the masses. While technically solid, it's an album that absolutely fails to capture my interest after a couple songs.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2010

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Xentrix - Kin ©1992 Roadracer
1. The Order of Chaos
2. A Friend To You
3. All Bleed Red
4. No More Time
5. Waiting
6. Come Tomorrow
7. Release
8. See Through You
9. Another Day

Having garnered essentially little significant status at the tail end of the thrash metal craze, Xentrix entered the uncertain post-Nirvana musical world with the same dilemma as many of their peers: what now? Xentrix had already demonstrated they were a competent but utterly and blatantly unremarkable thrash act, so it makes sense they would move their style into a more melodic and undistinguished style. Kin finds the British band slowing things down, eschewing the thrash orthodoxy and injecting such things as keyboards, moody songs and generally more melodic, midpaced songwriting. As one might expect, Kin thus becomes a decent, but otherwise forgettable recording. Kin actually seems like a bit more comfortable fit for this band. It also should be noted that while many of the second tier thrash bands moved into the groove metal that Pantera kickstarted, Xentrix ignored that for the melodic thing.

For most fans, there's just not enough meat on the Xentrix plate to satisfy. A 2006 reissue includes a B-side from the 1992 The Order of Chaos single plus three demo tracks from 1994. The B-side, "Reward", sounds very much like a cover song, though I can't track down any songwriting credits for it. Xentrix apparently was one of those bands who lacked strong songwriting skills, but were very good musicians who could really inject excitement into other people's songs. Perhaps they would have been better off digging up obscure rock songs and been a thrash metal cover act.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2010

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