Album: Metal Punk
Label: Xtreem Music
Another year and another early release from Catalan punks Cendra. Their third release, Metal Punk, is a departure from their previous works in the world of black metal punk, expanding on the lengtheir, black metal-influenced tracks from their previous release, 666 Bastards. Nonetheless it is a ripping affair, maintaining most of the aggression while expanding their sound.
Cendra is certainly maturing while maintaing their roots–a proper evolution for a metal band. Still, the evolution here puts Cendra in a more methodological, contemplative black metal territory. Strange enough saying that for a punk album, but there are riff breaks where the guitar takes a more longing, empty feel that one would find in black metal, albeit done with aggressive manuevering. The repetition found in both punk and black metal is blended well together here–effective in both drawing in the listener and getting them stuck in a trance, albeit with more of an attitude towards headbanging and slamdancing than to introspective consideration.
While tracks like “Cementiri rocker” and “Castell okupat” were a bit more clunky on the previous release, the songs here have gotten shorter (nothing over five minutes) but they feel far more mature and focused than Cendra was previously. Tracks like “Maniac homicida” and “Sense Objectius” maintain a more focused form of writing, playing around with riffs rather than driving for immediate sensations of fist-pumping punk glory.
This approach of course comes with the advent of the lacking in much stronger single tracks that act as firestarters. “TU-PA-TU-PA!!!” and the title track fill this void in some sense, but the tracks lacks any “Tot es una porqueria” and “666 Bastards” from the previous album. This is definitely lacking and feels left out, given that the riff writing still maintains a sense of aggression and power. The style of the more tremolo speed carries over into these seemingly short songs and takes away from their power a bit. The production itself feels similar, but a little less raw and more streamlined than before. Not necessarily a massive detriment but enough that makes one crave a bit more grit.
Cendra has produced another worthy affair with ups and downs, and it will definitely show that the band is maturing in some way. The fewer of direct, slamdance worthy tracks may be a disappointment but the album proves to be an interesting affair worthy of people’s attention.
Check ’em out here: https://cendra.bandcamp.com/