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If a steady diet of weak metal has made you lethargic, ask your doctor about CENTINEX — a once-daily medication that provides powerful, 24-hour relief from weak metal burnout (WMB). CENTINEX is also approved for the treatment of adult onset metalcore envy (ME), acute thecrownbrokeupitis (CBUI), and primary nu-Gothenburghorrhea (NGH). By providing a daily dose of true Swedish metal, CENTINEX can help you say yes to death.

Important safety information: CENTINEX is not for everyone. CENTINEX should not be taken in late pregnancy or if you have had seizures after watching TV commercials with too many fast cuts. In rare cases, ear problems, such as bleeding, can occur without warning. The most common side effect in clinical trials was whiplash. If you think you are having an allergic reaction or if you have other severe or unusual symptoms while taking CENTINEX, call your doctor or other healthcare professional immediately. For more information, see this important interview with bassist Martin Schulman.

METAL UPDATE: Congratulations on the new album, 'Decadence - Prophecies Of Cosmic Chaos'.

MARTIN SCHULMAN: Thank You. We are really satisfied.

MU: It picks up right where 'Diabolical Desolation' left off

MS: Yeah, you can still hear that it is the same band. It's a better version of Centinex. It's the same band, but a better album.

MU: How would you describe Centinex's sound to the uninitiated?

MS: It's death metal. It's still death metal. It's always been death metal. You can hear traces from the good old ancient death metal bands like early Entombed, early Dismember. Of course, there are modern elements. . .

MU: I definitely hear the Stockholm sound in there, but I hear a bit of Gothenburg influence, too.

MS: Yeah, it's influenced from both cities. It's got the downtuned guitars like the typical old Stockholm sound, and there's some riffing and some points that are more modern like the Gothenburg style. But when we write music we don't think it fits into like the Stockholm or Gothenburg style, we just do it. It sounds cliché, but we just write what we like.

Centinex Band Photo

MU: When you are playing stuff that sounds more modern, you still have that old Stockholm guitar sound going.

MS: Yeah, we try to keep the brutal. . . Many of the Gothenburg bands tend to sound like happy or cheerful and the Stockholm sound is more dark or moody. So we try to keep the guitar melody a bit more dark.

MU: You sound nothing like In Flames, for example.

MS: Yeah. (laughing) It is strange when you read some review comparing us to In Flames. You think, "Have you really listened to the album?" If you have a good ear, you can hear that there is a big difference between us and In Flames.

MU: What are Centinex's influences?

MS: When we started the band, we were heavily influenced by those death metal bands from Stockholm. In late 1990 and 1991, it was when the Stockholm scene and the Swedish death metal scene was rising. It was huge. We wanted to sound like the first Entombed album. So Entombed, Dismember, Grave and Unleashed were a big influence to us.

MU: A lot of those bands went in a more "Death 'n' Roll" direction. You guys take the original sound and take it in more modern direction.

MS: Yeah, we haven't gotten into this Death 'n' Roll thing like a lot of other bands. But now when you look at the Swedish scene it looks like this old school stuff is coming back a bit. For example, Dismember, they started as a death metal band and then in the mid-90s they were something. . . I don't really know what. . . (laughs) But now they are going back to the early 90s sound.

MU: Yeah, and you've got Bloodbath and Chaos Breed paying tribute to the classic Stockholm style. But these bands are going back to the roots and rehashing that old sound. It's retro. You guys are taking it to the next level and that sets you apart.

MS: Yeah. When you play together for a long time, of course you change your music a bit. We don't have any rules or limits on how our music should sound. We just do our shit and that's it. We do still really like the old death metal sound, but we try to take it a bit further.

MU: Are you guys geographically separated from Stockholm and Gothenburg?

MS: Yeah, we live a bit up north in the country. It's a two hour drive to Stockholm and a five hour drive to Gothenburg. So we are quite separated. We all live in small cities in almost the middle of nowhere. There aren't any other death metal bands in the area.

MU: So, when you were coming up, there wasn't a big metal scene in your neighborhood.

MS: No. No. Just farmers and hillbillies. (laughs)

MU: Who would you say your peers are?

MS: I don't know really. (laughs) It is better that you answer that, 'cuz I don't want to compare us to any other band. Of course you can hear similarities with maybe The Crown or something, but I don't want to compare.

MU: You guys definitely have some of that high speed thrash mixed in.

MS: In my opinion, there are quite many elements in our music. There's high speed thrash and pure death metal and more modern elements. I think we do some original stuff.

MU: Especially on this album. It is really diverse.

MS: Yeah, I think there's a bigger difference between the tracks than on older albums. I mean, 'Diabolical Desolation' was fast all the way through. All the tracks were very similar to each other. I think there's a bigger difference between all the tracks on this new one. We have the really fast ones like the opening track, and there are tracks that are more mid-tempo with more guitar stuff.

MU: It is a real adventurous album, too, from the music to the vocals to the guitar effects to the production - did you make a conscious decision to branch out more with this album?

MS: No. We didn't really plan anything. We wrote the tracks in the spring and then we had booked the studio for four or five weeks. We just went into the studio and that's the result. For example, the guitars - we have two really good guitarists, so they inspire each other to play better and better and do better and better solos.

MU: Who produced or engineered the album?

MS: It was our guitarist, Jonas. He owns the studio. So, he was the. . . maybe not the producer. . . but he was the one in charge.

MU: So he was the engineer?

MS: Yeah. We didn't have an outside producer. It was just us five in the band who did it.

MU: Did you do 'Diabolical Desolation' the same way?

MS: Yeah, and also 'Hell Brigade', the one before that.

MU: Do you feel that you guys are growing in the studio as well?

MS: Yeah. We work together very well and we are still quite open-minded, so we try out different things. But we had in mind to take on some kind of outside producer for this one, but it didn't happen. It wouldn't have been a guy who would have "produced" the album, but someone who would have helped out with the mixing process and bring fresh ears to the music. When you work for four or five weeks in the studio after having written all the tracks and rehearsed them, your ears become tired. So it would be good to have some kind of outside person who could listen to the stuff.

MU: Well, you guys did a great job with it.

MS: Thank you. We are really satisfied. In my opinion, the production is much better on this one than on the previous one. Jonas got some new equipment in the studio, so it's a professional studio. Plus, it has been two years between the albums and he has produced other bands during that period.

MU: There's a little more diversity in the vocals this time around, too.

MS: Yeah, we worked harder on the vocals. To be honest, we hadn't rehearsed hardly anything with the vocals. We wrote the lyrics in the studio. So, we hadn't rehearsed them, but each song, we took it in small parts and recorded the vocals. And it's real important, in my opinion. Vocals are very important in this kind of music. If you have good vocals on a track, it can really lift up the music.

MU: You used several vocal tracks for the songs.

MS: Yeah, we did. We used several tracks with different vocal styles.

MU: High screams. . . low growls. . .

MS: We mixed them together to get this Deicide / Glen Benton factor. We are real satisfied with the vocals.

MU: And there's some Hypocrisy-style futuristic effect.

MS: Yeah! That goes hand in hand with the whole concept of the album. We have a different theme on these new tracks.

MU: Tell me a little bit about that.

MS: In the past albums we had this World War II theme. But this time we wanted to take the whole war concept and move it a few hundred years further in time. It's not Star Wars, but it's more the upcoming downfall of the human race. It's more future kind of lyrics.

MU: Would you say that the whole album follows that theme?

MS: Yeah - the lyrics and the album cover and the effects on the vocals. We wanted to have a more future approach and sound on the album.

MU: The album art fits.

MS: Yeah, we had that in mind when we decided to go for that artwork. We wanted to go for some kind of modern artwork.

Centinex - Decadence - Prophecies of Cosmis Chaos cover

MU: Where did the artwork come from?

MS: It's a Swedish guy. He hasn't really done many album covers. He has done all kinds of computer artwork for, like, Ericsson, the big phone company - all kinds of big business companies. I just found the picture on the 'net and we decided to go for it.

MU: It was a piece of work that had already been done?

MS: Yeah, it was done and we just bought it from him.

MU: So, this is a big album for you guys. What are your tour plans?

MS: Hopefully we can tour as much as possible and hopefully we can make it to the US this time. So far we only have a few Scandinavian shows booked, but we are working with the booking agent, Metalysee, from Belgium. They are looking for a European tour for us and hopefully we are able to do a few European festivals this summer. And then we have been talking to Candlelight about a possible US tour, but it is too early to tell anything yet.

MU: But you are planning on a heavy touring schedule for this album.

MS: Yeah, really! Last year we only did three shows, or something. So, now this year hopefully we can tour as much as possible. We had really hoped that we could have done a US tour in support of the last album and then we were talking with Candlelight and they said that it's better to have one or two albums out with the good distribution to get the fan base growing and then do a tour.

MU: And in the last year, Candlelight has re-released some of your older albums.

MS: Yeah, they bought the rights to some of our old albums and put them out.

MU: So when you tour, will you dig back to that older material?

MS: Yeah. We'll do, of course, tracks from the new album and dig up some old stuff. Most likely we will do tracks that we haven't done in like five, six, seven years. We'll try to get a really mixed setlist.

MU: What would the ideal tour be?

MS: I think it's good if you have a package tour with mixed bands - maybe some black metal bands and some death metal bands. As long as the tour runs smoothly, it's OK for us. Of course, if you can tour with a bit bigger band and come across to a different audience, that's good. Like here in Europe, you had the Nevermore and Arch Enemy tour. Arch Enemy was support for Nevermore. That's a good combination. They are two bands from different genres, so that's good.

MU: What more do you have to say to the people about the new album?

MS: I think it's better to let the music do the talking. Hopefully people will open their eyes and we'll get some publicity. Today there are so many bands releasing so many albums and 90% of the albums aren't any good. Hopefully the people can hear the difference between quality and quantity.

MU: So what's going to happen in these future wars that you guys are writing songs about?

MS: The whole world is going to explode!


review of Centinex 'Decadence - Prophecies Of Cosmic Chaos'

review of Centinex 'Diabolical Desolation'





Interview: Brant Wintersteen [ ]
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