When you mention hardcore/d-beat and/or black metal, one of the last words that typically comes to mind is the word “fun”, but I’m not sure how else to describe the newest full-length from Cendra, entitled 666 Bastards. Despite the raw agression on display here, this music just brings a smile to my face.
Simply trying to shoehorn Cendra’s music purely into the blackened punk moniker I feel is almost a disservice. You also see elements of 1980s thrash in the various riffing, bringing to mind a hybrid not unlike Horrific, who I was pretty fond of when we covered him over on The Sons of Metal Podcast. It’s fast, aggressive, and really gets you pumped up.
Drummer Joey also serves as the vocalist, and his raspy delivery complements the riff-centric guitar work of Malparit and Agressor (the latter also providing the bass lines). The drums showcase a lot of Discharge worship, especially on the opener, Satànic D-beat, titled to leave no doubt in the listener’s imagination as to the band’s intentions.
Tracks like Dimonis Motöritzats and Cementiri Rocker employ the thrashier elements, and that one in particular clocks in as the longest track at 4:34. The majority of the other tracks stay in the two- to three-minute range, which is indicative of the punk/hardcore style. While the shorter song lengths leave me wanting a bit more, the abbreviated durations keep the songs punchy and tight, ensuring nothing outstays its welcome. In fact, all twelve tracks clock in at a total of thirty-three minutes and leave no room for waste.
Overall, Cendra have delivered a fine effort, and I’m looking forward to delving into the Spaniards’ back catalog. Despite the blackened vocals, I’m not sure how much this will appeal to the black metal crowd, but open-minded fans of hardcore, d-beat, and punk should find a lot to like here.
Special thanks to Transcending Obscurity PR for the complementary review copy.