Thirteen years ago Combichrist released its debut The Joys Of Gunz. What originally began as an EBM-project of Icon Of Coil frontman Andy LaPlegua, eventually became such a huge success that Combichrist overshadowed Icon Of Coil. Soon the electronic sounds were replaced by harsh guitar sounds. Although Combichrist is a Norwegian band, it sounds very American, and can be mentioned with great examples such as Ministry, KMFDM of My Life With The Thrill Kult. Hard industrial metal, but quite accessible.
Two years after We Love You LaPlegua’s gang is back. Those who love American indus-metal undoubtedly will like it, although the band is not afraid of writing some commercial tunes.
This Is Where Death Begins is Combichrist’s latest and the featured fifteen songs are the continuation of what Combichrist does best: aggressive melodic songs. The former electronic sounds are almost completely gone. Occasionally you hear some synthetic sounds like on Glitchteeth, but for the rest, guitar is king.
Immediately the loud noises start in We Are The Plague. It’s the sound of the devil, but also suitable to sing along while showering. Combichrist is known for its parties, but that does not stop the lads to give to the listener a clear message. We do not think a title like Destroy Everything need much explanation.
There’s also a punk attitude on this album. My Life My Rules is a powerful statement that can count. Musically everything comes close to classical indus-metal and nu-metal (Korn is always a reference), but Combichrist experiments as well. A perfect example is Exit Eternity in which you hear a strange Carl Orff-like opera piece. A bizarre combination, but sublime. Just like the single Skullcrusher that has a high Skinny Puppy-content, just as the infectious Pay To Play.
Tired Of Hating You even goes in the direction of pure hardcore. No, EBM is no longer in Combichrist. No innovations either, but that is probably the last thing a Combichrist fan wants.