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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Xentrix

For Whose Advantage?

Review by Gary Hill

If which act becomes famous was based on talent, these guys should have been huge. For my money, they were one of the best thrash bands of the time when they came out. I'm just happy their old albums are getting these new reissues. This album from 1990 includes all the songs from an EP that was released the next year as bonuses. It also has a great booklet packed with information and pictures. If you've not gotten into these guys and dig thrash, stop waiting, pick up these reissues. If you are a big fan, I bet you already have them and know how cool they are.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Questions
They waste no time bringing the fierce thrash. This is mean, furious and so cool. The bombast doesn't let up, and the song really makes for a great opener.
For Whose Advantage?

There are some soundbites that seem like they could be from a movie at the start of this. The cut works out to an arrangement that's every bit as fierce as the opener, but more melodic. The guitar work on this has so much style. The tune pounds and drives with smoking hot thrash.

The Human Condition

This feels even meaner. It's a bit more on the raw side, too. That's not a complaint. It serves the song well. It is another screaming hot thrash stomper. The bass on this is so cool. The guitar solo on this is particularly strong. The seemingly abrupt closing on this serves it well.

False Ideals
There is an almost proggy angle to the thrashing riff that brings this into being. This is another screaming hot thrash stomper as it gets into the song proper.
The Bitter End
I love the swirling guitar riffing the start of this. That eventually gives way to more pounding, driving thrash. This has some cool twists and turns and really elevates to stand very tall on the disc. It's one of the most dynamic and diverse things here, really making good use of its nearly five-and-a-half-minute running time.
New Beginnings
Less than a minute-and-a-half long, this is an intricate and beautiful acoustic guitar solo.
Desperate Remedies
The opening of this includes some sound-effects of someone approaching and opening a door. Then we here some music. That gets run backwards before band launch out into the stomping hot tune for real. This isn't any kind of seismic shift, but rather another powerhouse thrasher.
Kept In The Dark
A fast paced bass line is upfront as the rhythm section starts this. Sharp lines of guitar come over the top as this transitions toward a full thrash arrangement.
Black Embrace
Even faster and fiercer, this thing really rocks with thrashy goodness. It's another powerhouse screamer. The guitar soloing is positively on fire here.
Bonus Tracks:
                    
Running White Faced City Boy

Here we get a fierce, thrashing cover of an Ian Gillan tune. It works well.

Pure Thought
There is a sense of proggy mystery and drama in the mix as this number gets underway. It works out to more of a pure thrash thing for the song proper. It definitely has some melodic rock vibes in some ways, though. There are some killer instrumental passages in the middle of this thing, too.
Shadows Of Doubt
Intricate acoustic guitar brings a gentleness as this starts. It works upward gradually from there remaining melodic and on the subtler, but so tasty side for a time. Then the thrashing sounds rise up to join that mix as the evolution continues. It eventually pounds out from there. This still remains a little more understated than some of the others. It definitely has an old-school thrash vibe at play. This is one of the more dynamic numbers here. At over six-minutes long, it's also the second longest song on the disc.
Live at Preston Polytechnic, December 10th, 1990
                  
Balance Of Power

Screaming hot, the sound on this is a little raw, but not to the point of taking away from the song. In fact, if anything, it adds a certain charm that suits the music. The extended instrumental section is absolutely incendiary.

Kept In The Dark
Driving and rather raw, this is high energy and very tasty in this live telling. The drumming on this is so intense.
Crimes
Here we get another killer slab of live thrash. It's unrelenting and so strong.
Ghostbusters
I loved the fact that these guys covered the "Ghostbusters" theme song when I heard the studio version, so it's no surprise that I am also enamored with this live take.
 
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