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I was afraid that it will have to happen eventually; sooner or later every band must deliver less interesting album. Even though CENTINEX managed to keep the quality with quantity and for almost 10 years of their career all their albums were really great, this time I think they’ve failed! Hmm, maybe my expectations were huge, I expected too much from them, but can you blame me? After five stunning, skull crushing albums from CENTINEX I had the right to expect another killer effort. Unfortunately the band recorded an album, which maybe is not a total disaster (far from that), but comparing it to the predecessors isn’t just that good. Of course that’s only my personal opinion, but I do think that “Diabolical Desolation” is the first weak link in the hellish chain called CENTINEX.
Of course one may wonder why I think so, if basically all the aspects of “Diabolical Desolation” follow the well tried patterns form the previous albums. It’s not like CENTINEX started to play power metal all of a sudden (they’re not AFFLICTED he, he). You’ll find here the sharp riffing, many fast, blasting parts, as well as lots of the traditional Swedish melodies. All these things were present in CENTINEX before and I always loved the band for ability to keep everything fresh, aggressive and totally interesting. Why do I complain now then? The reason is simple – this album doesn’t bring that certain quality I expected. And with things went too far…
First and foremost, “Diabolical Desolation” is just boring. Each next song that complete this 50 minutes long CD appears to be just mediocre and not even half as killer as some of the older tunes. I’m afraid that CENTINEX lost a lot of their great aggression and enormous energy that the previous albums had and were filled with. It all just sounds quite powerless. With the bigger that usually focus on the melody and totally unnecessary addition of clean vocals and keyboards in few fragments, the result can be only one – softened, weakened death music. The main fact is that often “Diabolical Desolation” is overfilled with too mellow parts, what basically softened their style totally, in many fragments the band start to sound like AT THE GATES or other such Swedish melodic death bands and that’s a disappointing to me. Where did their pure death metal vitality, the sinister feeling and almost black metal ferocity go?
“Demonic Warlust”, opening song, is probably the worst stuff CENTINEX ever recorded, the keyboards in this song are just annoying and I cannot understand why did these guys decide to put them here if the result is so ridiculous? Same shit comes in the title track for a while and in “On Violent Soil” – arrgghhh, sorry, but the way this instrument has been used on “Diabolical Desolation” is just wrong, it doesn’t make the music sound any darker, it doesn’t make it more atmospheric neither. I have the feeling like someone pushed the keyboards into these songs just for the sake of having them here, without really thinking what the purpose is for them. Who cares that their parts sound ridiculous and cheesy? Well, I do.
To be honest with you, I listen to “Diabolical Desolation” and I’m not able to feel joy from it. There aren’t even songs on the album, which I would totally like. Hmm, maybe “The Bloodline” is exceptionally good, as it’s probably the most aggressive and crushing song, but still it’s just one track out of ten. “Spawned to Destroy” has many thrash metal influences and really reminds me some of these black / thrash metal bands, like the Polish BLOODTHIRST. Maybe “A War Symphony”, actually one of the more melodic, but in the classic Swedish death / black metal style also brings my attention. But with all the respect I’ve got for CENTINEX, these songs are no contenders to the older tracks and for this band, they’re just mediocre. Even Johan Jansson’s vocals sound different… From the cool thrash / death growling they turned into some kind of melo – death screams, which may be OK for someone, who’s into SOILWORK, but not for me. Eh, in my opinion the entire album sounds just weak and surely was the worst stuff that CENTINEX has unleashed so far. Songs like “Soul Crusher” are the worst proof for that. Fucking hate this track...