Combichrist heavy it up once again for their seventh studio album.
Following on from last year’s gamer friendly output No Redemption, this new album sees the aggro tech kings staying brutal.
It’s a no brainer really considering the success the Devil May Dry soundtrack had that the band decided to keep the momentum going. The trick was to try and have enough of that electronic undercurrent to keep old fans happy while still keeping the ferocity that saw the Norwegians raise eyebrows in the metal community in 2013. We Love You may be a bit of a fluffy bunny of a title but the music is pure dystopian death hound. Andy LaPlegua has a kind of inbuilt thought radar that allows him to make music that people are desperate to hear even if they don’t know it yet. He has a way of simply knowing what is needed.
This is why the EBM-industrial side of the band has given way a little to a more organic guitar driven sound. Combining the two mean that you get that pounding rhythm that fills dance floors in clubs up and down the country but that clinical, robotic sound now does battle with the scuzzy tones of human fingers on six strings. It’s the sum of all those sci-fi films where mankind battles machines being forced into your ears, and it sounds fantastic. Even the lyrics play to this with the line “Our only hope to save you is to terminate you” clearly nodding in the direction of Isaac Asimov’s I Robot and the film it spawned.
Where No Redemption stayed at full throttle right through We Love You is a more scenic ride. LaPlegua’s new found liking for vocals that sound like he’s taking his song A Throat Full Of Glass literally are the common factor in an album that is anything but dull. With an opening gambit that is cyber infused spoken word leading into a nihilistic industrial rage you’d be forgiven for thinking that the band have been watching too much sci-fi kitsch and decided to smash things up. What We Were Made To Love You does is cleverly set the scene for a belter of an album, a way of getting you in the mood for what’s coming.
It’s all here. If you like old school Combichrist then you’ll be able to shake your coloured, woolen dreads silly to Every Day Is War. I’m sure it’ll be seeing a lot of action on the alternative club scene. Maggots At The Party won’t be far behind it either. A perfect blend of synth and guitar this is the song where you can almost sense a band moving from scene leaders to a wider appeal like The Prodigy have enjoyed recently. It’s also the most rock fan friendly track on the album. Once or twice the pace slackens off a bit too much which is a surprise. A pedestrian Combichrist like we find on Retreat Hell both parts one and two simply don’t work as well as the up tempo stuff.
Once or twice the fade outs last longer than you’d like and you find yourself willing the next track to start. Everything else though is a mind boggling peek into where music may be going.
The future is bright, the future is Combichrist.