Xentrix blow the New Blood Stage apart

Bloodstock Open Air 2013 review

published: Tue 20th Aug 2013

Xentrix

Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th August 2013
Catton Hall, Walton-on-Trent, Derbyshire, DE12 8LN, England MAP
£125 weekend incl camping
daily capacity: 12000
last updated: Thu 1st Aug 2013

I think that if this band had been placed in the US around the time they launched their début album Shattered Existence in 1989, and possibly had a name that was easier for our overseas brethren to pronounce (pronounced Zen-Tricks) you would have seen them headlining Download, not Main Support at Bloodstock, not that I'm complaining because in my head and my music collection, they never went away... It's been my experience that timing is essentially everything in the music industry, and sadly for Xentrix, they clashed with the arrival of Grunge – and the UK thrash scene was overtaken by the Flannel Shirt wearers from Seattle.

Thrash however, never died. Not in the hearts of it's fans and not in the history books of music. Over the last couple of years, thrash has made a comeback and that momentum continues to increase with the return of Xentrix, Death Angel, Exodus and many many others over the last couple of years. The UK thrash God-fathers, the likes of Acid Reign, Sabbat, Re-Animator, Lawnmower Deth, Xentrix et al are all starting to resurface much to the delight of the older fans, like myself, but also have a brand-new fan base who are bringing a whole new breath of life into something some had said was Dead. This band amongst others are the inspiration to a new breed of thrash metal seen bursting onto the scene at festivals like Bloodstock. 

So, you see, I've waited a long time to see Xentrix. I've been waiting since 1989 to be precise. Due to a series of strange and interesting events, I've never had the chance. So understandably, I was a little excited. I was also not disappointed. For a band that's not really played in 20 years, you'd never have known it. After a little intro, Black Embrace brought the crowd of hardened Xentrix followers to life instantaneously. Faster, tighter, more Thrash than I've seen in one tent in a long time – whoever was left in the fields outside wasn't there for long. Balance of Power, Questions & Reasons for Destruction maintained the blistering pace before Shadows of Doubt, Back in the Real World, The Human Condition and the epic For Whose Advantage? Had more hair flying than a far eastern wig manufacturing sweatshop. Xentrix epitomise what is quintessentially British Thrash.

If you like everything that 80's Thrash ever brought to the table, this band should be right up your street. I don't quite know why this band simply weren't bigger than they deserved to be. Xentrix are pro's at this, and you can tell they love what they do. The pace they set themselves is staggering and all the while manage to maintain what in America they refer to as a “Shit Eating Grin” - an expression I never fully came to terms with while living there. Crimes is a track with more tempo and melody transitions than something you'd hear come from the likes of Tool, yet manages to maintain that purely thrash sound. For anyone who knows anything about this band they'd ask “What would a Xentrix show be without, possibly one of the greatest covers in Metal history, Ghostbusters” - it'd be a let down. Fortunately, Xentrix don't appear to know what that means, so with a phenomenal sing-along blending seamlessly into Dark Enemy and culminating in the Début Single and classic British Thrash Anthem No Compromise Xentrix exited the stage as conquerors, heroes, legends. A title they should have had in the late 80's. It's all good, they're back and I for one cannot wait to see them again (something I know I'll be doing in December).


review by: Will Tudor

photos by: Robert McGlade

Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th August 2013
Catton Hall, Walton-on-Trent, Derbyshire, DE12 8LN, England MAP
£125 weekend incl camping
daily capacity: 12000
last updated: Thu 1st Aug 2013


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