Longtime Swedish Death Metal masters CENTINEX return with new album Doomsday Rituals on July 8 via Agonia Records. The follow-up to 2014’s Redeeming Filth, this record only cements the notion that they are back in full force while once again making it seem like they never went away to begin with. This is also album number two with the current line-up of Martin Schulman (bass), Kennet Englund (drums), Sverker Widgren (guitar), and Alexander Högbom (vocals), and man oh man, does it work all-too well. Heavy riffs, deep and brutal vocals, and varying tempos set the stage for greatness all around. Oh, and how about that cover art, huh? It captures the brutality of the music perfectly!
From the first day I popped it on about a month ago “Dismemberment Supreme” was destined to be my number one track. The guitar is a combination buzz saw/bone saw ready to cut through metal, wood, or human flesh and Högbom’s vocal is the stuff nightmares are made of. Immediately following this is “Generation of Flies,” one that rains blow after blow down on your skull, and while it’s happening you can’t help but be thankful. On a speedy path to destruction, “From Intact to Broken” decimates anyone and anything that gets in its way while opener “Flesh Passion” opts for more of a death march with a chorus of “FLESH!” that sounds like a chant heard at an unholy ritual.
Four songs in and this record shows no signs of easing up, so let’s continue. Need to take an Advil or anything? Your head OK? Alright, that’s the only chance I’m giving you. “The Shameful Few” shows up with yet another killer guitar riff on an album FULL of killer guitar riffs, as does instrumental “Doomsday.” These two really sound best with my big-assed headphones on my ears, something Mini-Amps doesn’t give me a chance to do often, but as I type this, both of them sound even bigger than they do anywhere else. Another killer cut is “Exist to Feed”, one of those songs that makes me want to bite someone’s face off.
“Death Decay Murder” is a slow to mid-tempo grinder and while still a good tune, it’s arguably the weakest on the disc. But that brief hiccup is quickly remedied by the aural pounding of “Sentenced to Suffer.” This fucker can move and is guaranteed to light up any pit at any given show if they choose to play it live. The guitar solo is nasty, too! Closer “Faceless” changes the tempo once again, and even has a slight hint of Doom Metal in it. The bass on this number is molasses-level thick and it punches you square in the chest.
All told this is a fucking AMAHHHZING album from CENTINEX. Thank the Metal Gods for this band reforming two years ago, and for Doomsday Rituals. With this record they have without a doubt earned a well-deserved spot in my Top Five Death Metal Albums of 2016. And if there isn’t a U.S. tour within striking distance of A&GS HQ I may do something drastic. Every fan of extreme metal needs to have this in their collection on July 8. There really is no excuse for letting this slab of greatness pass you by. You have your marching orders…now GO!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Sentenced to Suffer”, “Dismemberment Supreme”, “Generation of Flies”, “From Impact to Broken”, “Exist to Feed”