Album: Bury The Pain
Release Date: 7th June, 2019
Label: Listenable Records
Review by John
23 years. More than half of my entire life to date. That’s how long the wait has been for new material from Xentrix, leading lights of the British underground thrash scene in the early 90s.
The wait is finally over as the Preston quartet unleash their fifth (and only the second without original frontman Chris Astley) album. But can they still cut it after all this time?
It doesn’t take long to find out that the answer is a hearty “Hell Yes!” and, as the title track thunders in and blows off over two decades worth of cobwebs, it’s as if they’ve never been away.
The massive void left by the departure of Astley was never going to be easy to fill but, in Bull-Riff Stampede’s Jay Walsh the band have, to quote the Grail Knight from Indiana Jones, “Chosen wisely”.
While sensibly resisting the urge to try and mimic Astley’s style, Walsh is close enough to appease long time fans, while at the same time stamping his indelible mark on the band.
Ten tracks. All unmistakably Xentrix, and with no let up in quality.
‘There Will Be Consequences’ has been part of the live set for a few years now and understandably so given that it could have slotted seamlessly into one of the band’s earlier releases. It serves as reminder that 2019 Xentrix are every bit the force they were in the 90s.
As if to prove that the old thrash staple of a delicate, flowing intro giving way to a burst of pure thrash fury never gets stale, ‘The Truth Lies Buried’ chooses exactly the right moment (led by some fine work by long time drummer Den Gasser) to unleash hell, while ‘The Red Mist Descends’ showcases just about everything that thrash should embody.
Given the overall high quality on offer here, it’s difficult to pick stand out tracks, but the unremitting chaos of ‘The One You Fear’ and the gloriously old school ‘World Of Mouth’ are certainly up there.
Add in some flawless production values from the legendary Andy Sneap and you have a recipe for a damn near perfect slice of metal pie.
As comebacks go, this is right up there with the best of them. It may have been a few years in the making and with a few hurdles to navigate along the way, but ‘Bury The Pain’ is the finest all out thrash album of the year so far.
In the early days of the band, the more lazy members of the metal press used to label them as the “British Metallica”. It’s fair to say that these days, that comparison flatters Metallica far more, given that they haven’t released anything as fresh and exciting as ‘Bury The Pain’ since way before Xentrix called it a day first time around.
If you only know of the band through their cover of a certain song from a popular 1984 movie then this is the perfect chance to find out exactly what you’ve been missing.
Pure thrash nirvana. Miss it at your peril.
9 out of 10
01. Bury The Pain
02. There Will Be Consequences
03. Bleeding Out
04. The Truth Lies Buried
05. Let The World Burn
06. The Red Mist Descends
07. World Of Mouth
08. Deathless & Divine
09. The One You Fear
10. Evil By Design