Released: 2001, World War III
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
WOAH! This album "devastates all trends"?! Noooo..., I don't think so, but what's sure at least is these Swedish (Death)/thrash mongers have recorded a hell of an album, full of truly catchy yet blasting songs that - if it doesn't kill all the trends (as their label so bravely claims...), then it at least C-R-U-S-H-E-S many of today's weak metal releases that are called with such strong words as "heavy" or "aggressive" or "neck-breaking" and which they certainly are not. By its very intense and powerful atmosphere that the guys have well succeeded to capture on this album - and which in fact, harks back to the "good old days" (yea... - those days!!) of Swedish deat-thrash with bands like Merciless, Unanimated, Dissection, Sacrilege and the likes. Back to the times without keyboard-driven passages or over lengthy guitar solos or sing-along parts. Simply NONE of that stuff is to be found from Centinex's 5th opus, HELLBRIGADE. Music-wise, the main emphasis is laid on violent, punishing guitar harmonies, truly pissed-off Thrash vocals and overall all those vital elements in a deathish Thrash Metal that make the songs sound catchy as hell. That's the keyword for Centinex's material on this fine, hellish, deadly Thrash assault.
A crispy production also helps in its own way the songs to stand out even better - and I guess that's been done just on purpose. In my opinion, HELLBRIGADE is one of the most enjoyable metal releases of its own kind that has been emerging from Sweden lately. It's got lots of power and an ultimate evil atmosphere back to the roots of the very genre that many albums of similar kind are lacking these days (maybe a part of the reason could be directed to taking keyboards as an extra instrument to ruin already a powerful atmosphere behind a song. In some cases this has unfortunately happened anyway...).
In many ways, it was somewhat refreshing to hear this "old fashioned", straight thrashing Death Metal again 'coz it always gives you some good vibes and brings your mind and soul back to the times when you mostly became familiar with new bands thru tape trading and stuff; getting some flyers from your trade/penpals and sending some of them over to them as well and letting them know about your recent, highly recommended discoveries at the same time, too. Such a band Centinex has been as well...
Killer and awesome shit on HELLBRIGADE - all the 12 songs on this version (this has been licensed from Repulse Records and their version has only 9 songs...), so go and purchase your own copy immediately - right away... now!! C´mon, what are you still waiting for... ?!