Xentrix - Kin
If you'll look back to my review of Xentrix's Shattered Existence, you may note that one of the last comments I had regarded this album, 1992's Kin. The comment was less than warm, and it goes to show you what basing your musical opinions solely on written word can do to mess with your pride. The classic British thrashers may have taken a wide departure here, their swansong effort (until they reformed in 1995 for "Scourge" and some limited live work to a nearly vanished thrash scene). A wide departure indeed. But these Black Album and classic/power metal inspired songs are almost all extremely well written and expertly done in a style that not even Metallica got so right.
Opener "The Order of Chaos" probably didn't fool anyone into thinking Xentrix was a changed beast, with it's up-tempo thrash assault almost kept in the same shape as it had always been. The next few tracks are along the same lines, but it starts becoming clear when the pure balladry of "No More Time" kicks in that these guys were aiming for a wider audience. I never really saw how an extreme metal band could shift their style into this direction, but I suppose the influences around them help direct them. Xentrix pull it off in rather stunning fashion if only for the fact that it's not expected; "No More Time" is awesome, especially over it's extended solo section, and songs like "Come Tomorrow" and "See Through You" offer similar satisfaction. Other highlights have to be the slow-building "Release" and the hyper-heavy ball-punch of "Another Day".
Xentrix would not go on to do too much, and their history has had years and years to cement into the metal classics catagory. While I don't think enough people had a chance to know it, Kin could have been one of the best metal albums of the year it was released. The thrash is as solid as their previous efforts, but the added sense of melodic songwriting and an ear for bigger, arena-ready hooks and solos took it to another level. This could have been their Black Album, but it seemed at the time that the world was only ready for one extreme metal band to hit it huge. I won't recommend this one to pure thrash fans, but if anyone thought anything of their previous work or like the idea of combining classic metal feel with thrash metal intensity, Kin might be the blast from the past you're looking for.
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