Tuesday 5 February 2013

Review: Combichrist - 'No Redemption'

'No Redemtion' 

Never one to pull his punches, Andy LaPlegua has released perhaps his most controversial recording under the Combichrist name in the form of this soundtrack to the new episode in the popular Devil May Cry video game series. LaPlegua is well known for his various side projects which all feature vastly different styles, so it is strange to have so many mixed together under the Combichrist name. But to quote the press release from last August “... this is the direction the game's producers wanted Andy to take”, and while it is a significant departure for the band, it is nonetheless a very solid offering.

Approaching this as a new album rather than a soundtrack, long-time fans may very well be turned off by a stronger guitar orientated approach. But anyone who has been following the band since their worldwide support slots with Rammstein will know that guitars have slowly been making their way into the band's sound anyway. However 'No Redemption' sees LaPlegua going hell for leather with the instrument channelling the likes of Fear Factory, Rob Zombie and even the recent Morbid Angel output. But scratch the surface and there is a lot that those well versed in the Combichrist sound will feel at home with; hard electro beats and scathing synthesizers all held together with Andy's trademark vocal style which all perfectly compliment the searing guitar work.

While they’re not the usual dance-floor anthems, songs such as 'Age Of Mutation', 'Clouds Of War', 'No Redemption', and 'Pull The Pin' are perhaps the most approachable for long-time fans with their more overt use of recognisable Combichrist elements which would see them easily incorporated into the band's live set. However songs such as 'Zombie Fistfight', 'Gimme Deathrace', 'Empty', and 'How Old Is Your Soul?' are fantastic slices of industrial metal that would make a lot of bands re-evaluate their recent output.

With the double-CD edition featuring a selection of Combichrist's best known tracks it stands to reason that this will be a great introduction to the band for those who perhaps would have otherwise been introduced to them vis the afore mentioned Rammstein support tours. What will be interesting to see is whether LaPlegua leaves this as a standalone project, or incorporates some of these songs into the band's live set and perhaps elements into future recordings. Whatever happens it is undeniable that the band is on the rise and with the Gothic Meets Klassik performance round the corner as well, it has never been a more interesting time for the fans.

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