Xentrix: Shattered Existence-80’s-1989.

Xentrix (pronounced “zen-tricks”) are an English thrash metal band from Preston, Lancashire, England.[1] The band were formed in 1984 under the name Sweet Vengeance.[1] They changed their name to Xentrix in 1988,[2] and released four albums – Shattered Existence (1989), For Whose Advantage? (1990), Kin (1992) and Scourge (1996) – before splitting up in 1997.[2] After briefly reuniting in 2005–2006, Xentrix reunited once again in 2013, and released their first album in 23 years, Bury the Pain, in 2019.[3] As part of the underground metal scene of the late 1980s and early-to-mid 1990s, Xentrix have been referred to as one of the “big four” of English thrash metal, along with Acid ReignOnslaught and Sabbat.[4][5]

Xentrix were called Sweet Vengeance from 1984 to 1988.[2] The band attracted attention with a five-star rating from Kerrang! magazine, and Roadrunner Records then contacted the band asking them why they had not been sent a copy, and arranged an audition with the band. After the audition, the band was signed to the label and recorded their first album Shattered Existence in the summer of 1989.[1] The band toured with Sabbat in support of the album.[6]

In 1990, the band faced a small bit of controversy/publicity surrounding the release of their cover of Ray Parker, Jr.‘s “Ghostbusters” theme, in which the original artwork for the single had an unauthorized use of the Ghostbusters logo (with the ghost flicking a V Sign).[1] The single was subsequently re-released using a different cover.[1]

The band also reached new heights when they opened for Bay Area thrash metal band Testament. Later that year they recorded their second album For Whose Advantage?,[1] which gained them yet more interest and their first music video for the album’s title track. Xentrix promoted For Whose Advantage? with a tour with Skyclad, and also played shows with bands like Slayer and Sepultura.[6]

In 1992, the band decided to take a different direction with their album Kin, adopting a more progressive power metal style with their music,[1] which was considered by many[who?] to be the band’s biggest mistake. Despite the critical acclaim, a video for “The Order of Chaos” was shot and received some airplay on MTV, and to promote the album, Xentrix went on tour with Tankard.[6]

After a hiatus and replacing Chris Astley with Simon Gordon and Andy Rudd on vocals and guitar respectively, Xentrix resurfaced in 1996 with their fourth album Scourge. The band broke up shortly after its release, citing the decline in popularity in the British metal scene as the reason.[6]

In 2005, Xentrix announced that they would be reuniting with its classic line-up for a small number of dates. They played a handful of shows in the UK in the spring of 2006, including one with then-recently reunited Onslaught and Evile.[7][8][9] Despite the positive response to those two shows, Xentrix announced that September that they had once again split up.[10]

On 4 February 2013, it was announced via Evile‘s Facebook page that a reunited Xentrix would be joining Kreator and Evile for a three-show UK tour in late April.[11] This was initially the full Shattered Existence lineup, but later in the year bassist Paul MacKenzie left, to be replaced by Chris Shires. On 15 February, the band announced that they had new material in the works.[12]

Select shows continued in early 2014, and at the Up The Hammers Festival in Athens, Greece on 8 March, they played new song “World of Mouth” for the first time, and included it in their set supporting Overkill on their UK tour, starting in London on 13 March. In October 2015, Xentrix embarked on a six-date UK tour with a reunited Acid Reign and Shrapnel.[13]

On 14 July 2017, it was announced that Xentrix had once again parted ways with Chris Astley and replaced him with Jay Walsh.[14]

On 27 March 2019, Xentrix announced Bury the Pain as the title of their first studio album in 23 years.[15] The album was released on 7 June 2019.[16][17]

In a June 2019 interview with Metal Crypt, guitarist Kristian Havard revealed that Xentrix had already begun writing the follow-up to Bury the Pain.[18] By March 2021, the band had written and demoed at least twelve songs for their new album.[19]

Discography:

Shattered ExistenceDemo1989 
Little Angels / The Almighty / Vain / XentrixSplit1989 
Shattered ExistenceFull-length1989
Ghost BustersSingle1990
For Whose Advantage?Full-length1990
Breaking Barriers Vol. 3Split1991 
Dilute to TasteEP1991
The Order of ChaosSingle1992
Songs of PainSplit1992 
KinFull-length1992
Demo 1994Demo1994 
ScourgeFull-length1996
Bury the PainFull-length2019
The Roadrunner AlbumsCompilation2020 
Dennis Gasser
Drums (1988-1997, 2005-2006, 2013-present)
See also: Hellfighter, ex-Sweet Vengeance
Kristian “Stan” Havard
Guitars (lead) (1988-1997, 2005-2006, 2013-present)
See also: Hellfighter, ex-Sweet Vengeance
Chris Shires
Bass (2013-present)
See also: HellfighterGone til Winter
Jay Walsh
Vocals, Guitars (2017-present)
See also: Bull-Riff Stampede, ex-Fourwaykill, ex-Blaze Bayley, ex-Zarcoma

Past Members:

Peter HillerBass
Dave CatchpoleDrums
John BrennanDrums
Sean OwensVocals
Dacaw HoughVocals
Paul “Macka” MacKenzieBass (1988-1997, 2005-2006, 2013)
Chris AstleyVocals, Guitars (1988-1995, 2005-2006, 2013-2015)
See also: ex-Sweet Vengeance
Andy RuddGuitars (1995-1997)
Simon GordonVocals (1995-1997)
See also: HellfighterKill II This, ex-City of God, ex-Thousand Points of Hate, ex-Sentinel
Songs
Side A
1.No Compromise03:04  Show lyrics
2.Balance of Power05:14  Show lyrics
3.Crimes05:39  Show lyrics
4.Back in the Real World04:00  Show lyrics
5.Dark Enemy04:08  Show lyrics
Side B
6.Bad Blood05:06  Show lyrics
7.Reasons for Destruction05:36  Show lyrics
8.Position of Security05:06  Show lyrics
9.Heaven Cent05:07  Show lyrics
 43:00 

1 Comment

  1. ThrashFanatic, January 22nd, 2018
    Written based on this version: 2006, CD, Metal Mind Productions (Limited edition, Digipak, Reissue, Remastered)

    The UK was and still is home to excellent thrash bands. Thrash acts such as Onslaught, Slammer, Toranaga, and Acid Reign were taking the United Kingdom by storm, and they all seemed to be the unstoppable forces to be reckoned with. One band however was about to totally revolutionize British thrash and that band was Xentrix from Preston, Lancashire, England. The main thing that set Xentrix apart from their fellow counterparts was that they had extremely strong riffs, amazing melodies, melodic vocals, and creative songwriting. They quickly were signed to Roadracer Records and released their debut record “Shattered Existence”, which I’ll be reviewing here…

    The uncompromising “No Compromise” kicks off this classic and it leaves one hell of an impression. The fast chugging riffs of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Chris Astley are some of the most well crafted in all of British thrash. His vocal style is like a hybrid of Testament’s Chuck Billy and Metallica’s James Hetfield, but he has a unique edge to his vocals. His rhythm playing is just as tight and on point as Hetfield’s and will leave you breathless. Paul “Macka” MacKenzie is a criminally underrated bassist and his bass is fairly audible if you listen very closely, preferably with headphones.

    Drummer Dennis Gasser does an amazing job on this record, his kick drum is highly audible which is a huge plus. You can hear every kick very clearly, and the drum production is crisp and overall flawless. Kristian “Stan” Havard’s solos are perfection, each note is played with such accuracy. His best solo is on “Crimes”, which is in my top 5 Xentrix songs and one of my favorite thrash songs ever. The 3rd riff from “Crimes” is ABSOLUTELY FUCKING DEVASTATING!!! Now THAT is how you write a true winner of a riff right there! The whole song is incredible, I simply can’t get enough of it.

    “Back In The Real World”, “Dark Enemy”, and “Bad Blood” are excellent follow up tracks, they have high quality riffs and they’re not filler, unlike other overrated albums. “Reasons For Destruction” is excellent, Macka’s bass is at it’s best here, with it being most audible near the beginning of the track when Astley speaks a few lines. Overall, it is a strong track. The last two tracks however is where it gets even better…

    “Position Of Security” has an absolutely awe-inspiring mini drum solo at the very beginning of the track. The riffs are awesome and Astley’s vocals are the most melodic on this particular track. The melody during the chorus is one of the best on the album, and the riff before the solo is perfect. This track is 10/10 for me. Last but certainly not least is the masterpiece “Heaven Cent”, which is easily one of the highlights along with “Crimes”, “Position Of Security”, and “Balance Of Power”. The main riff is sick, it is guaranteed to make you headbang or mosh in one way or another. The chorus is among one of the strongest too, and contains some strong lyrics…

    “Another day, another dollar,
    Another brain dead who will follow you.
    Do you know what we represent?
    No questions asked it’s heaven cent!”

    Those lyrics are pure gold, it goes to show just how talented Xentrix really are. The solo is awesome too, Stan downright shreds here. Dennis also goes hard here on the drums, with some killer kick drumming. It leaves me to wonder… How the hell can he do the kick drum so much without cramping up in his legs? I guess practice makes perfect. Anyways, this track is another masterpiece, and one hell of a way to close out this masterpiece of a record.

    So you’re probably wondering, why did I give this a 100%? Well, it comes down to the songwriting which Xentrix clearly mastered here. They would however turn into a technical/progressive thrash powerhouse, and released arguably one of the greatest albums of all time, which I’ll be reviewing next. To be continued…

    Highlights: “No Compromise”, “Balance Of Power”, “Crimes”, “Position Of Security”, and “Heaven Cent”

    Liked by 1 person

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