CENDRA ‘666 Bastards’ Review

Whoever said metal isn’t fun obviously never heard anything by punk tinged, black ‘n’ thrash trio ‘Cendra’ because their follow up full length,‘666 Bastards’, to their independent 2013 release ’Sang, Suor I Alcohol’, is an energetic and lethal dose of fun filled, excitement.

Sound wise it has that somewhat rabid, old school metal feel that sits with one leg in the ‘80’s regarding the style, which is a mix of thrash, punk and first wave black metal but with a much better production so it doesn’t have that, recorded in your bathroom quality to the finish but it still maintains that essential raw edge. From a comparative perspective, think early Bathory or Venom, maybe a touch of Impaled Nazerene and then think a bit further beyond that basic grounding.

The vocals are excellent, a gargling growl that is hugely expressive and well intonated to the extent that it permeates its way through everything and sits so well alongside the high energy, high speed riffing and superb drum battery, as a unit this trio are as tight as can be. The lyrics are, I believe all in Catalan, most of the song titles certainly are, but this in no way detracts from the listen ability or enjoyment of the overall package, here the fundamental essence of metal breaks through the language barrier, all you want to do is just get in there and head bang.

It’s a twelve track, thirty-two minute, predominantly fast tempo offering, beginning with the aptly titled ‘Satànic D-beat’, after all, allegedly Satan has all the best tunes and after some appropriate bestial sound effects, sets off at a D-beat dominated pace that pretty much defines the whole album.

All the tracks make a great listen, it’s a very consistent release, but a few have that little edge to them, making them stand out a little above the others, mainly the ones with the more humorous edge to them.

‘Argh!!!’ has a couple of those brief tempo drops that are followed by a ground shaking “Ooooughh!!” that just hits the spot perfectly, lyrically on this track I thinks the vocals are not much more than expressive, extended grunts and growls but they are superbly and effectively delivered and intonated.

‘Cementiri Rocker’ stands out just for the hilarious zombie voice at the beginning which left me laughing until the midpoint, it’s a little bit more punchier and chunkier than some of its predecessors and has a couple of well placed tempo and direction switches that help to mix it up a bit.

Shortest track at just one minute, ‘Fart’ races along and proves these guys have a sense of humour and that some words do cross language boundaries, at the end a little sound that demonstrates that this track is exactly about what you think it is about.

Final and longest track ‘Castell Okupat’ is possibly my favourite of the release, I like the slower, building opener that expands out into some great buzzing, dirty riffs that rise and fall in rough waves, bouncing you along with the sound, it has a really catchy addictive punk feel and a great distorted latter part solo.

‘666 Bastards’ is available from Xtreem Music Bandcamp.

Review by Jools Green


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