Combichrist – CMBCRST Review

New Album CMBCRST Solidifies Combichrist's Pioneering Status...

Out Of Line Music via Rough Trade/Believe

Release: 17 May 2024

Genre: Industrial Metal

Links: https://combichrist.lnk.to/CMBCRST

 

Tracklist:

01. Children Of Violence
02. D For Demonic
03. Heads Off
04. Only Death Is Immortal
05. Compliance
06. Northern Path
07. Through The Ravens Eyes
08. Wolves Eating Wolves
09. Not My Enemy
10. Modern Demon
11. Planet Doom
12. Sonic Witch
13. Violence Solves Everything PTI
14. Violence Solves Everything PTII (The end of a dream)

 

If there were ever evidence that experiencing a band live is crucial to truly appreciating their music, Combichrist is the definitive example. “Oh, you’ll love this,” my friends assured me several albums ago. “It’s just your thing,” they said. Yet, I found myself perplexed, unable to connect with the band’s music until I witnessed them live at Bloodstock Open Air. It was at this event that my perception—and appreciation—of their sound was transformed. The electronic beats, pulsating rhythms, samples, and vocal performance—all perfectly suited for a festival environment—undoubtedly energize the crowd. Since that moment, I have been an ardent fan, and Combichrist’s music has since resonated with me on a much deeper level.

Their latest release, CMBCRST, establishes its direction early with Children of Violence, reaffirming why other industrial acts regard Combichrist as pioneers of the genre. The signature Combichrist sound is evident in tracks like D For Demonic and Heads Off, before transitioning to slightly softer vocals in Only Death Is Immortal. This track is characterized by impressive synth work and a compelling guitar riff, allowing frontman Andy LaPlegua to diversify his vocal delivery without sacrificing impact.

The most notable difference in the new album, however, is its variety and what seems to be a greater degree of accessibility. For individuals who, like myself, may have struggled to connect with their earlier work without the live experience, CMBCRST represents the band’s most immediately accessible effort to date. Tracks such as Compliance, Northern Path, Through the Raven’s Eyes, and the epic Not My Enemy provide instant hooks while retaining the unmistakable Combichrist essence.

The single Planet Doom features all the hallmarks of a classic horror movie score. Viewing the accompanying video offers a glimpse of what a Combichrist film might resemble, given adequate time and budget. The remainder of the album maintains a similar stylistic flow, culminating in the powerful closing track Violence Solves Everything. I, for one, will not be inclined to test that assertion with Andy.

 

Score: 9/10

Reviewed by: Adrian Hextall

 

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