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Did Tagtgren spoil the album?? - 70%

dismember_marcin, April 6th, 2010

One can really admire CENTINEX for being so productive and hard working band, if within only six years since their debut demo they already finished the third album! Of course it's damn difficult to maintain the quality with quantity, but with CENTINEX there's nothing to worry about. Especially that nowadays “Reflections” is being often mentioned as the best CENTINEX album. Of course each maniac may – and should – have his own opinion, but personally I prefer the stunning old school rage of “Subconscious Lobotomy” and dark atmosphere of “Malleus Maleficarum” than this third full length. And maybe – on this third CD - CENTINEX didn’t change much and didn’t start to play metalcore or whatever and that’s good… But I just feel that as overall I preferred the earlier albums and that they had stronger material. Anyway, “Reflections” still stands as a strong death / black metal release.

The problem is that I think it would probably be better if it wasn’t for the rather uninspiring ABYSS Studio production – this album just sounds strange, hasn’t got that vibe and rawness I like in death metal ferocity. Guitars sound weird; I cannot even describe it, but they especially lack some aggression and feel little too polished. CENTINEX again used the drum machine, but that doesn’t disturb much as its sound is OK. But together all these contribute into something that is taking some potential off the songs.

From the other hand CENTINEX again came up with some good and memorable tunes, blending the death / black metal aggression and atmosphere with many catchy melodies. What’s more, they also added few keyboard-played backgrounds, what gave quite an interesting mood and more epic feeling in some parts of the album, in “Carnal Lust” for instance. It intrigues me how close CENTINEX is to black metal here. Songs like “Seven Prophecies”, “Before the Dawn” and “Darkside” are its best examples, dangerously getting close to the black metal atmosphere and its hellish speeding, melding the melody and aggression almost like NECROPHOBIC and DARK FUNERAL – with the exception that CENTINEX is far more melodic and slower. Oh yeah, majority of the riffs on “Reflections” is strongly melodic (listen to “Into the Funeral Domain” for instance), but it goes both as an advantage and disadvantage for CENTINEX – from one hand the Swedish melodies add to the atmosphere, from the other hand I really feel like the album lacks in brutality so frequently. Unlike on “Malleus Maleficarum” it just doesn’t seem so furious and uncompromising.

So, to resume it’s still more that just decent album, CENTINEX again recorded some great songs, but as the album is uneven, there are also some less fine tunes, like the boring "In Pain" track. So, no, I wouldn't agree with calling it the best CENTINEX effort, but that doesn't mean I cannot enjoy it.