Some bands are bound to have it harder than others. Continuing line-up changes, bad luck with labels and recording companies can make the road to success quite thorny. Many fold, not to be heard from again. Others continue to exist in the underground, having a local loyal following. The select few are not satisfied with the latter, regroup and make another stab at it. Swedish Centinex is obviously trying. Formed in 1990, the band has released a mixture of full-lengths, EPs, singles, participated in compilations, but they are hardly a household name outside of Sweden. As much as I am a fan of many varieties of Swedish metal I only heard of the band, but never had a chance to sample their works, even the later Hellbrigade, Diabolical Desolation and Decadence – Prophecies of Cosmic Chaos, the works that received better distribution. Candlelight is trying to change all that, having licensed earlier Centinex albums from the defunct Repulse. Label’s effort is one thing, the music on World Declension, however, speaks for itself and should be the door opener the band seeks.
I do not know the reason the album is split in two chapters Visions of Armageddon and Earth Inferno, but I, for one, happen to detect the differences. This album is indeed the tale of two parts. First five tracks are perfect symbiosis of old school Swedish death metal, Stockholm style, empowered with blasting production and modern metal edge. Centinex creates their individual sound by mixing old school riffery with modern brutality. The first three tracks, but especially Purgatory Overdrive and The Destroyer prove that Entombed influences have not been wasted. Verse riffs nicely transition into harmonized pounding choruses. Guitars may be downtuned a bit, and are very much punched up in the production.
The band does not operate only in “fast” and “faster” modes layering a few doom influenced passages with NYDM styled intro to As Legions Come. As ominous as the intro sounds, chugging breakdown does not seem out of place, and the well timed lead brings the urgency with its air raid guitar. Just about all solos on World Declension are well placed and add melody and spice without diluting the brutality of the record.
Johan Jansson is in command with his leather-throat delivery barking commands to the rest of the crew ala L-G Petrov (Entombed). All individual performances are strong, especially the rhythm section of the only remaining founding member bassist Martin Schulman (his bass is very prominent on a number of songs, most notably Purgatory Overdrive) and drummer Ronnie Bergerstal of the sadly disbanded Amaran.
The second part of the record somehow does not have the luster and the flair of the first five cuts. I feel that the old school edge became diluted with too much of an effort to bring modern brutal melodies to the forefront. Synthetic Sin Zero and Flesh is Fragile remind too much of what Arch Enemy and Hypocrisy would have done. Wretched Cut mimics Arch Enemy drum production outright. The closer Deconstruction Macabre rediscovers the more individual and original recipe of the Visions of Armageddon chapter while also giving birth to an excellent melodic solo.
Solid record, World Declension demonstrates that Centinex is not going to lay over and die the next time a band member leaves or the label kicks the bucket. If you work hard at it, bad luck is bound to change for the better. At least that is what I am telling myself all the time.
Killing Songs :
Purgatorial Overdrive, The Destroyer, As Legions Come, Deconstruction Macabre
|Alex quoted 76 / 100|
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