Sunday, 22 July 2012

Centinex - Subconscious Lobotomy

CENTINEX - Subconscious Lobotomy (THE CRYPT - LP 2012)
Although I have missed several releases from The Crypt Records during the last 12 months, I still consider this label as one of the best around the metal underworld and respect them for high quality vinyl releases. I managed to buy some LPs, which they have unleashed in the beginning of their activity like the first presses of their Excruciate’s “Passage of Life” and Purtenance’s “MCMXCI – MCMXCII”, as well as the LPs of Utumno, Uncanny, Furbowl and Pan Thy Monium, just to mention few, but then I also didn’t have a chance to buy some others like Gehenna, Toxaemia and Antropomorphia (now I’m hoping to buy Thou Shalt Suffer double LP set!). But Centinex’s thrilling debut album “Subconscious Lobotomy” was definitely on the top of my shopping list. Although not all of Centinex’s future albums are so great, this debut from 1992 is my favourite LP of theirs and since it’s the first time it ever has been released on vinyl I just had to have it. Knowing the amazing work on some of the previous The Crypt releases I only expected the best from this version of “Subconscious Lobotomy” and man, I definitely fuckin got what I wanted. The whole set includes two 180 gram vinyls – 300 on red / white splatter vinyl (which I have) and 200 on standard black LP (which I wanted), all housed in a 350 gram reverse board gatefold jacket. The front artwork of it is not the same as on the Memento Mori’s CD re-release, it’s way better, here it’s done by Chris Moyen and it looks fuckin awesome, but if you prefer the original, primitive and somehow funny and ugly original cover with the first Centinex logo then you’ll also find it in the middle of the gatefold. The cover has also all the details about each recording, which is on this version of “Subconscious Lobotomy” plus some words from Martin Schulman. There is also a four page booklet included, with the lyrics from the album, archival band photos collection, all the demo covers as well as the scans of some interviews from old fanzines (unfortunately most of them are in Swedish). Finally I must mention that this vinyl version of “Subconscious Lobotomy” compiles together not only this full length album, but also all the demos, which Centinex did prior or right after this album. And so you’ll also find here “End of Life” demo from 1991, “Under the Blackened Sky” demo from 1992 and “Transcend the Dark Chaos” from 1994. Arrghhhhh, isn’t that a truly awesome collection of some of the best Swedish death metal, which was recorded at that time? And again The Crypt has done amazing work, when collecting these recordings and with the way they putted it all together. Just to give an idea and compare, recently I also bought Funebre’s “Cranial Torment” LP, which Xtreem Music has released. It is a compilation of Funebre’s demos, so it’s something very exciting, but the way Xtreem has released it is so poor that I feel like they’ve just have no imagination or will to make it truly worthy and pay the rightful tribute to this great Finnish band. When I compare “Cranial Torment” to “Subconscious Lobotomy” then I want to laugh. The Crypt has done perfect job. There’s everything I look for in such re-releases / compilations: not just plain music, but also something extra, every detail is treated with care and the result couldn’t be better. See yourself from the photos, which I include here.
As you may have noticed I haven’t really written anything about the music, but I don’t see a point. First of all I’m going to publish a loooonnngggg article about Centinex soon, with the reviews of all their recordings, so there I’ll write more about the music. But will that be a surprise if I say that it is killer death metal? “Subconscious Lobotomy” is definitely my favourite LP from this band’s discography along with “Malleus Maleficarum”, the second album. It’s classic Swedish death metal, recorded in Sunlight, so it really has everything what’s needed to be placed right next to “Like an Ever Flowing Stream”, “Clandestine”, “Passage of Life”, “Seeming Salvation”, “Bitterness” or “The Nocturnal Silence” (just to name few, as there are more obviously). Also the demo recordings are killer. “End of Life” was really good, definitely a killer demo, which maybe has more grind core influences than the rest of Centinex stuff, but that’s normal for the Swedish death metal bands I think and may be more of a result of rawer and dirtier production than with anything else. Then “Under the Blackened Sky” lacked some spark to be honest, it isn’t as good as the first album… from one hand the band has been progressing, but the music started to be too melodic. It’s still great stuff though! But then “Transcend the Dark Chaos” may even be my favourite of all Centinex recordings ever, this EP is simply awesome and is a real must to listen to. At the same time I must say that it is slightly different style wise to “Subconscious Lobotomy”. While the debut LP is pretty much classic Swedish death metal, then “Transcend the Dark Chaos” is more in the vein of melodic black / death metal and bands like Dissection, Sacramentum, Uncanny. It’s still classic Swedish sound, but just a bit different to “Subconscious Lobotomy”, it’s darker, more melodic and more uncompromising. As you can see then, this LP definitely helps then in getting to know the Centinex’ history, of their early sound, so there’s no better option that this wonderful vinyl set.
PS. Oh, did I mention that there’s also a fuckin’ huge poster with the Moyen’s artwork? No, well, there’re so many things on this album to be said about that I must have forgotten. Buy or die!
Final rate: perfect 100/100

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