Back in 2006, Centinex, a long-time favorite of the Swedish death metal scene that formed all the way back in 1990, called it a day. Scheduled to play one final show in May of 2006, Centinex cancelled, and went their separate ways. After the band’s demise, the band Demonical was formed, featuring bass player Martin Schulman, drummer Ronnie Bergerståhl, and vocalist Johan Jansson. However, fans got a pleasant surprise when, in January of this year, it was announced that Centinex were reforming, albeit with an altered line-up. Returning members included bassist Martin, former drummer Kennet Englund, and Demonical vocalist Sverker Widgren, who would also be playing guitar.
Inevitably, when a band reforms one of the most burning questions is “will they record some new material,” and that answer omes in the form of Redeeming The Filth, Centinex’s first studio offering in 9 years. “When Bodies Are Deformed” shows that Centinex are back with a vengeance; right from the get go the listener is pummeled with brutal, thrashy riffing, pounding drums, deep bass, and current guttural death growls. The pace rarely lets up, and I’m reminded of Massacre’s comeback release from earlier this year, Back From Beyond; both albums are unabashedly old-school in their approach, and yet both manage to show the kids these days that old dogs don’t NEED to learn new tricks. The sound on Redeeming The Filth is similar to the early Florida death metal scene, influenced by bands like Obituary, Death, and Morbid Angel, as well as fellow Swedish bands Unleashed and Grave (incidentally, former Centinex drummer Ronnie Bergerståhl joined Grave in 2006). The song structures and riffs aren’t overly complicated, but with as much energy as these songs have, the truth is that they don’t need to be super technical. Even mid-paced tracks like “Unrestrained” and “Rotting Below” are absolutely savage, despite their simplicity. As much as I enjoy getting my head spun by some insanely technical guitar work, it’s also refreshing to get pounded flat by some good old no-frills, no bullshit death metal.
Production on Redeeming The Filth is handled by Ronnie Björnström, whom you might recognize as a guitarist in fellow Swedish death-mongers Aeon. Ronnie’s touch is pure magic on this record, and shows the man’s considerable ability behind the switchboard. Making Centinex sound refreshed and revitalized, whilst allowing them to have their own voice, Ronnie has managed to marry the old-school style with the new school’s sense of production values. The volume level of each instrument is spot-on, giving each member of the band equal footing in the mix, allowing each to shine without overpowering any other member. “Moist Purple Skin” is an absolutely vicious track that showcases an somewhat thrash oriented death metal sound, but thanks to the modern production style, manages to sound as relevant and vital to the modern death metal scene as any of the newer bands out there.
If you like your death metal fast, heavy, and relentless, Centinex’s Redeeming The Filth is certainly your cup of tea (maybe a horn-full of mead would be a more appropriate drink) and will surely receive plenty of heavy rotation in my own listening sessions. While I could have done with a few solos here or there, it’s good to see Centinex back to kicking ass and taking names.