CD Review: Combichrist – Today We Are All Demons

Combichrist have really grown and developed on their fourth outing. This is a bold statement when you consider just how much Andy LaPlegua and his band of misfits have done over […]

Combichrist have really grown and developed on their fourth outing. This is a bold statement when you consider just how much Andy LaPlegua and his band of misfits have done over the last few years. The group have launched the Industrial genre into the mainstream of the alternative world whilst developing their sound to incorporate influences including metal and dance music.

rating-4

On ‘Today We Are All Demons’ Combichrist appears to have come full circle, packing personal issues, experiences and of course, inner demons into a hard and dirty package to terrorise the alternative scene in this new year. ‘No Afterparty’ is a suitably dark answering machine message which oddly enough leads well into the pounding and seductive ‘All Pain Is Gone’ for a track that blends hard techno with metallic vocals for a sucker punch intro. On ‘Kickstart The Fight’, Gen (of industrial metallers Genitorturers) adds her vocal talents as LaPlegua and co. power through a snottingly aggressive electro-punk anthem ready for a new generation of industrialists to pump their fists to. ‘I Want Your Blood’ is a sure-fire dance floor anthem that, like most of the group’s back-catalogue will only sound better when it is brought to life by the live band who will add extra poison to this already venomous tune that is geared to make you move and chant in time with the relentless electronic groove.

Follow-up ‘Can’t Change The Beat’ is an addictive and relevant homage to vocalist’s main influences which include the likes of Nitzer Ebb. It will undoubtedly be the kind of song that goes down like your favourite drug when you start throwing yourself around. Indeed, there are so many ways in which you can enjoy this. It’s on here that Combichrist show that they’ve become a real band. This one rocks and it’s far more than just synthetic, this has substance and it might just blow your glowsticks off.

‘Sent To Destroy’ was always a great choice to preview the album, it’s a stomping and bass driven electro track with a metal sheen that might just allow it to overtake the likes of ‘Get Your Body Beat as a main fan favourite. ‘Spit’ drives the album forward with resounding synths that will burrow their way into your head and stay there for days along with the pleasant screams of ‘whore Mom’…so, enjoy that. ‘A New Form Of Silence’ follows up nicely with a more seductive and down-tempo pace, again showcasing Combi’s ability to mix things up. ‘Scarred’ is a particular standout from this record, it’s packed full of thumping bass and the potential for a grand live performance. LaPlegua’s vocal range expands and like the group itself, everything just falls into place on this pumping and anthemic track composed to incite some serious headbanging action. ‘The Kill V2′ works in a similar way to the aforementioned ‘Body Beat’, as it is colossal in its delivery and ready to snare fans of all genres within its dark electronic web. 

‘Get Out Of My Head’ again sees Combichrist tread into crossover territory, its best moment come in the form of the ferocious and spiteful vocals which work incredibly well with skilled acoustic drumming and some real quality winding synth workings.

We might make some enemies here but we believe that pound-for-pound the title track with its raw and emotive content is the best on this. Pianos create a haunting atmosphere for the suitably dark and brooding lyrics which really see LaPlegua depart from his comfort zone. This is slow and it deviates incredibly from the tone set on the rest of the disk. This is Combichrist’s first real foray into trip-hop territory where the listener has time to really think about the meaning and take what they want from it.   

‘At The End Of It All’ is a fine finish to this eclectic offering, and it’s business as usual, hard-hitting EBM meets punk vocals and rock percussion for a decadent and stomping club anthem for the end of your best night on the floor.

While some long time fans will no doubt despise this “cross-genre” direction, most will welcome it. With this album the band have opened themselves up to a whole new audience within the alternative market (they are currently touring with Wes Borland’s Industrial rock outfit Black Light Burns) and it’s because of this new diversity that this lot may finally get the attention they deserve.

So now that Combichrist are set to join the likes of Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM and Front Line Assembly as part of Industrial’s elite, since they have always had your blood pumping and with ‘Today We Are All Demons’ they are trying to get to your soul we ask, will you give in for a fix of the new ultra heavy beat?

SPHERE Rating: ****/5

For more information visit the band’s Myspace and website.

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