Review Summary: Strike up the Union Jack; it’s time to thrash the hell out with some obscure 80s Euro-Thrash!
Breakneck riffs with smooth melodic undertones with just a hint of Chuck Billy; if this sounds at all appealing I beseech you to check out Shattered Existence from Xentrix. Released in ’89 on RoadRacer records this LP is an insanely fun romp in the fields of Bay Area Thrash, though with a European twist. Borrowing elements from a slew of west coast bands (and maybe a few from the East as well) Shattered Existence sets itself ahead of the generic heard of thrash released in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Maybe even more so by its obscurity the band had major riffs and talent but lacked the big ticket song to breakthrough like their forbearers. The band may (sadly) be best remembered for their cover of the Ghostbusters theme song; however this LP and its follow up For Whose Advantage should be their lasting legacy.
Featuring the dual guitar attack of Chris Astley (also the bands vocalist) and Stan Harvard the songs range from shredding riffs to riffed out shredding and every type of clichéd play of the words thrash, shred riff and kick ass that one can think of. It comes off as a mix of just about every one of you favorite 80s metal bands tossed into a high speed blender. The slow melodic passages help setup the break-neck fret slaying featured all over the album. Drummer Dennis Gasser and bassist Macka MacKenzie keep the rhythm water tight and remind this reviewer of the combination of DD Verni and Rat Skates from Overkill’s formative years. Astley’s vocals are as mentioned a lot like early Testament. More of a shouted cadence than any real singing, there are gratuitous group chants and shout-along sessions included to keep the party going.
The original LP is 9 tracks and a little over 40 minutes though a bonus edition is available including a few extra tracks from their Ghostbuster’s EP (well worth checking out). Break out your battle jacket, grab a few beers and get ready to snap some necks with Xentrix, this is one that you should be listening to right now.