Review – Xentrix – Seven Words

Gareth reviews the upcoming new album by UK thrash legends Xentrix and tells us all about it in Seven Words…

There’s no need for an introduction to these UK legends, but for those of you that have either been sleeping for 30 years or living on a desert island, this is the bands 6th full length studio album, and their second since reforming, and follows on from the excellent ‘Bury the Pain’ from 2019. Stylistically, this follows on from said album and, you’ll be glad to hear, very much follows the sound that the first two albums had, that’s ‘Shattered Existence’ and ‘For Whose Advantage’ in case you need reminding.

“Behind the Walls of Treachery” starts with a melodic ‘false intro’ before the main event starts up, building with a twisting melody that shifts gears in a split second, and morphs into a veritable smorgasbord of riffs and pummelling rhythms, the middle section is an absolute tour de force, with some beautiful leads. The title track keeps things simple and is a real balls to the wall thrasher, the primary propulsion here are the drums and riffs, Dennis Gasser (drums) proving that he’s an absolute monster behind the kit with his pounding double bass drums and effortless but adroit fills. The lyrics are full of bile and anger and Jay Walsh (guitars/vocals) really spits them out with real aggression and feeling. Track number three is ‘Spit Coin’ and is one of my favourites, the band throttling back a little bit, and there’s a great throwback to the title-track of album number two. 

Seven Words Xentrix

‘Everybody Loves You When You’re Dead’ is another favourite, and is a bit different, lyrically it has some great self-deprecating humour, while musically it adds in some groove that fits the song’s atmosphere well. ‘Reckless with a Smile’ ups the tempo and utilizes some nice staccato rhythms and a chunky pre-chorus riff. The oddly titled ‘Ghost Tape Number 10’, tells the story of a psychological operations campaign, designed to intimidate and demoralize the North Vietnamese Army, created by the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, Ghost Tape #10 was one of many tapes engineered as part of “Operation: Wandering Soul” and is genuinely both fascinating and creepy in equal measure. ‘My War’ employs a cool guitar effect before heading off into thrash heaven, with some great basslines from Chris Shires. ‘Kill and Protect’ has this relentless beat and really punishes the listener, in a good way, with its persistent brutality. While last track proper ‘Anything but the Truth’ is a real min-epic with a beautiful acoustic guitar and strings intro, before a crushing build up to one of the best tracks of the album, Kristian (lead guitar) showing off his considerable skills to great effect, as he does over the whole album, and there’s some great riffs and a chorus begging to be chanted out at the live shows. There’s also a bonus track available on some formats, a fun and speedy run through of Alice Cooper’s ‘Million Dollar Babies’, with Jay doing a cracking Alice snarl

This a great addition to the Xentrix discography, the production is absolutely fantastic, it takes the sound of ‘Shattered’ and ‘Advantage’, and puts a modern spin on it and the mix from Andy Sneap is everything you’d expect. Is it up there with whose early albums, well like its predecessor, it probably falls just a bit short in overall consistency, although I for one certainly wouldn’t want to live off the difference, and certain tracks are undoubtedly on a par with the legacy material. The bottom line is this, it’s great to have them back and I’m really looking forward to hearing these new tracks side by side with the older material. There’s unquestionably ‘No Compromise’ here.

Okay so slightly more than Seven Words… Xentrix Seven Words is out on the 11th November from Listenable Records, go grab yourself a pre-order bundle

Are you ever playing Ghostbusters live again??

I wonder if these are the seven words…

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