By: Alex Phillips
Label: Agonia Records
Available: 21 Nov (Europe), 9 Dec (US)
We live in a time of elderly death metal bands that refuse to die—Morbid Angel, Obituary, and Grave, for example—and others, once considered defunct, that have shambled back into the light with new albums after years of one-off shows or complete inactivity—At the Gates, Carcass, and (soon) Brujeria. Sweden’s Centinex belong with the latter group. Founded in 1990, Centinex released eight studio albums before splitting up in 2005. But like many of their undead contemporaries, the band never truly died.
Centinex never appeared on my radar until a few months ago, so I’m listening to them with fresh ears—an advantage since I can’t compare Redeeming the Filth to the band’s preceding eight albums. At 32 minutes, Redeeming the Filth is a bit short on run-time, but it delivers what it should: ten death metal songs about bruises, deformed corpses, sockets devoid of eyeballs, and blood that apparently has the power to destroy buildings and real estate. The production quality is professional, and every track lays down a crushing wall of brutality.
What’s the disadvantage that comes from having never heard the preceding eight albums? Judging a band this old based solely on the merits of a “reunited” album. I have no way of knowing if Redeeming the Filth goes above and beyond anything the band did in the past, or if the album is rotten on delivery. What I can say is that Centinex’s latest offering is solidly crafted, competent death metal. You can tell these dudes have been at it a long time, that they know what they’re doing. But it’s nothing spectacular. They’ve broken no ground, except that which they’ve climbed out of, and you can tell they’ve been at it a long time.