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Xentrix – Headbangers Open Air 2014 01.jpg
Background information
Also known asSweet Vengeance
OriginPreston, England
GenresThrash metal
Years active
  • 1984–1997
  • 2005–2006
  • 2013–present
MembersKristian Havard
Jay Walsh
Chris Shires
Dennis Gasser
Past membersChris Astley
Sean Owens
Peter Hiller
Steve Hodgson
Mel Gasser
John Brennand
Dave Catchpole
Simon Gordon
Andy Rudd
Paul MacKenzie

Xentrix (pronounced "zen-tricks") are an English thrash metal band from Preston, Lancashire. Formed in 1984 under the name Sweet Vengeance, Xentrix were one of the leading lights of the British thrash metal movement. They had music videos for their cover of Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" as well as the songs "Crimes", "For Whose Advantage?" and "The Order of Chaos", which all had regular air time on Headbangers Ball. Although Xentrix never gained global notoriety, they had many underground performances with audiences of over 2,000 to 5,000 people in attendance. By 2006, Xentrix had sold over 500,000 records worldwide.


Early career, Shattered Existence and For Whose Advantage? (1984–1991)[edit]

The band gained notoriety when its demo sparked interest with a 5 star rating from Kerrang! magazine. Roadrunner Records then contacted the band asking them why they had not been sent a copy, and arranged an audition with the band. After the audition, the band was signed to the label and recorded their first album Shattered Existence in the summer of 1989 and toured with Sabbat to support the album.

In 1990, the band faced a small bit of controversy/publicity surrounding the release of their cover of Ray Parker, Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" theme, in which the original artwork for the single had an unauthorized use of the Ghostbusters logo (with the ghost flicking a V Sign). The single was subsequently re-released using a different cover. The track was originally recorded for the BBC Radio One Friday Rock Show along with several others which remain unreleased.

The band also reached new heights when they opened for Bay Area thrash metal band Testament. Later that year they recorded their second album For Whose Advantage? which gained them yet more interest and their first music video for the album's title track. The Sweden Rock magazine said that songs "For Whose Advantage" and "Questions" were thrash metal classics.[citation needed] To promote For Whose Advantage? they toured with thrash metal band Sabbat.

In 1991, the band released the Dilute to Taste EP which had two new tracks from the band as well as a live album. The rest of 1991 saw Xentrix headlining a United Kingdom tour, taking out then-new band Skyclad and a return to Hammersmith, this time opening for Brazilian thrash metal band Sepultura. Xentrix also opened for Slayer at the Wembley Stadium.

Two more albums and breakup (1992–2004)[edit]

In 1992, the band decided to take a different direction with their album Kin, adopting a more progressive style with their music, which was considered by many to be the band's biggest mistake. A music video was filmed for the album's opening track "Order of Chaos" and received some airplay on MTV, the band would later release an EP of the same name. After a European tour supporting German band Tankard, the band returned to the United Kingdom to play what would be their final tour with Chris Astley at the helm. Astley finally left the band after recording a demo of a number of new songs, some of which ended up on Scourge, released in 1996.

The band then reformed after a period of inactivity with a new vocalist, Simon Gordon, and guitarist, Andy Rudd. This line-up released 1996's Scourge only before disbanding due to lack of interest from the United Kingdom's then dwindling metal scene.

Reunion shows and second breakup (2005–2012)[edit]

The band briefly reformed with its classic line-up for a small number of dates in the UK in the early part of 2006. One of these shows included support from Onslaught and Evile. In September 2006, it was announced that the band was splitting up with no intention of reforming again in the future.

Second reunion (2013–present)[edit]

On 4 February 2013, it was announced via Evile's Facebook page that a reunited Xentrix would be joining Kreator and Evile for a three-show UK tour in late April.[1] This was initially the full Shattered Existence lineup, but later in the year bassist Paul MacKenzie left, to be replaced by Chris Shires. On 15 February, the band announced that they have new material in the works.[2] On 8 August 2013, Xentrix played the Sophie Lancaster Stage at the BloodStock Open Air Festival, and in December they played a three-date headline tour of the UK.

Select shows continued in early 2014, and at the Up The Hammers Festival in Athens, Greece on 8 March, they played new song "World of Mouth" for the first time, and included it in their set supporting Overkill on their UK tour, starting in London on 13 March. In October 2015, Xentrix embarked on a six-date UK tour with a reunited Acid Reign and Shrapnel.[3]

On 14 July 2017, it was announced that Xentrix had once again parted ways with Chris Astley and replaced him with Jay Walsh.[4]

On 27 March 2019, Xentrix announced that they will release Bury the Pain, their first studio album in 23 years, this summer.[5] The album is reportedly set for release on June 7, 2019.[6]


Current line-up

  • Jay Walsh – guitar/vocals, 2017–present
  • Kristian Havard – guitars, 1984–1997, 2005–2006, 2013–present
  • Chris Shires – bass, 2013–present
  • Dennis Gasser – drums, 1984–1997, 2005–2006, 2013–present

Former members

  • Chris Astley – guitar/vocals, 1984–1994, 2005–2006, 2013–2017
  • Simon Gordon – vocals, 1995–1997
  • Andy Rudd – guitars, 1995–1997
  • Paul MacKenzie – bass, 1984–1997, 2005–2006, 2013



Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "2013 UK tour announcement". Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  2. ^ "Reunited Xentrix Booking Shows, Preparing To Write New Music". Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  3. ^ http://www.xentrix.co.uk/
  4. ^ "XENTRIX Parts Ways With Guitarist/Vocalist CHRIS ASTLEY, Announces Replacement". Blabbermouth.net. 15 July 2017. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  5. ^ "XENTRIX To Release 'Bury The Pain' Album This Summer". Blabbermouth.net. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  6. ^ "Xentrix : Bury the pain". Levykauppa Äx. Retrieved 10 April 2019.

External links[edit]