Originally written by Dan Staige.
So, during my “bi-weekly” trip to the closest record store that carries any music that can be called half-way tasteful, I come across this Centinex. Now, on the shrink wrap around the disc it says “If you thought Entombed went soft, then Centinex will take you back to the Left Hand Path!!! “. So I take a test-listen, employing the beat-up yet still functioning pair of headphones that the store readily provides for you to figure out if you wanna buy the disc or not. I basically skim thru the 1st 30 seconds or so of each song. If it sounds like it’s got promise, then I will usually fork over the cash. Now, when I heard this on those $2 headphones, it sounded like the production may be of higher caliber, because the guitars blasted my ears more than anything else, plus most material I’ve heard off of Candlelight seems to have a decent, clear, and enjoyable sound to it. So the guitar sound was the main element that got me interested. Upon insertion into the home unit, I was absolutely blown away by the massive production. Centinex deliver a very muscular, dominating guitar sound, and the guitar sound was probably the only thing that reminded me of Entombed by the time the disc was over…… Centinex seem to utilize a variety of styles in their latest, “Diabolical Desolation”. I am definitely not the biggest fan of that Swedish melodic/thrash sound (I’d rather sit through the latest Blink-182 than any In Flames offering), especially the boring as hell drum beat. Yes, there is a bit of that drum beat in here, but the guitars are so massive, and the riffs are very ear-catching, that it just seems to drag the percussion along w/ it, so it is a little more tolerable for my ears, at least. And they know when to stop! Thank Satan! These guys are cramming lots of riffs into each song, and also, Jonas Kjellgren utilizes a multitude of picking styles. There’s enough death/tremlo picking in here to keep me satisfied, yet also enough to open my ears and appreciate different chord combinations. Believe it or not, I was digging the unmistakably black-metal “breakdown” in track #6, “On Violent Soil”. I was also impressed with the occasional acoustic and even keyboard dominated interludes, and usually my discriminating tastes don’t tolerate much of that at all. But for Centinex, it’s about the FLOW. They change from one style to another very smoothly. And as I stated before, they know when to change it up. For instance, if I wanted to listen to Zyklon, I would end up throwing the disc back on the shelf after the first 2 songs, because it’s just a bit too much for a quick “black-metal” fix. However, Centinex will bring me the goods w/out the violent rejection reaction. It’s sort of like when you have to give your pet a pill, and you wrap it in a biscuit or bacon strip or whatever (that was horrible, I know….). You get exposed to something else while it is presented in a “friendly” form. Basically, what it comes down to, is that Diabolical Desolation is a good album to me because of the variety factor. I admire the guitar sound and tone so much that I am able to listen to a few styles I particularly don’t like all that much. Another thing I was impressed w/ was the solos, which seem to be diminishing quite a bit nowadays. After I had heard the album, I read that they had worked quite a bit on improving the quality of their solos, and it certainly does show……. This album is definitely not what you want to hear if you’re looking for the most brootal shit on the planet. It’s not what you want to hear if you’re an all-out black-metal head. And if you’re into sugar-cookie Soilwork material, then chances are this may break a few too many bones. However, if you want a bit of variety done with crushing guitar sounds and unique Centinex style, then I highly recommend this. The production is killer, the musicians are killer, and above all, there is variety. It won’t get daily rotation for me, but it will be and has been weekly for quite awhile now. A lot of music presented in superb quality. That’s what “Diabolical Desolation” is.