original@Hard Rock Hell United, Pwllheli, North Wales, March 13 2015

They took some time off to, “you know, chill” according to guitarist/vocalist Chris Astley. So after 20 years away from the thrash metal scene, Xentrix must be feeling pretty relaxed. However, the band who ripped through their Friday Hammerfest slot didn’t look like they’ve spent too much time lying on sun loungers and sipping Piña Coladas. 

The Preston outfit – featuring three quarters of their 1980s line-up – were so tight, so focused, so fired-up that they put many of thrash’s new breed to shame. Astley & co were in no mood to let their long-standing fans down in North Wales, nor were they content with simply living off past glories, as explosive new song, There Will Be Consequences, proved.

Ok, so …And Justice For All era Metallica is a loud and clear influence on their earlier material, but there was always much more to Xentrix than mere Hetfield/Hammett worship: Reasons For Destruction, an oldie from their Shattered Existence debut, sounded as fresh and vital as it did in the band’s early days, while 1990’s Questions received a rapturous response… these were, and still are, superbly written thrash tunes which should have propelled the Lancashire lads to greater heights than they reached, first time around.

If the last decade has taught us anything, it’s that resurrected bands can make their mark on today’s scene, if their music – and crucially, live performances – are good enough. And on this evidence, Xentrix could yet again be a force to be reckoned with. Welcome back boys…

Richard Holmes