2CD, Out Of Line, 2009
The fourth full-length from prolific producer Andy LaPlegua’s electro-industrial incarnation, Combichrist, is nothing like what it could be. If it were a beverage, it would be Combichrist Lite – half the sleaze, none of the conviction.
Previous releases were the stuff teenage rebellions are made of – loud, offensive, overtly sexual and guaranteed to make parents uncomfortable. Now, all that’s left is a feeling of mild annoyance. It’s not even worth putting on a parental warning anymore. Perhaps it’s the strain of a hectic touring schedule, perhaps it’s just age catching up with bodies abused by years of late nights, loud music and chemicals. It doesn’t really matter what the reason may be, it just feels like he’s run out of issues to be pissed off about.
Musically, the attention to detail is excellent. In fact, “Today we are all demons” is technically superb. But, as is often the case with technical mastery, creativity gets left in the lurch. The album sounds like a collection of leftovers from “What the fuck is wrong with you people?”, Combichrist’s last offering, rather than the new array of songs it should be. There’s a faint glimmer of hope on “Kickstart the fight” (which features guest vocals from platinum blonde fetish fascist, Gen, of the Genitorturers), that dies down to mere embers as the record progresses. Even the “next big club anthem”, “Sent to destroy” has none of the impact it should, thanks in part to it being released long before the full-length on EP. These sparks flare into violent life right at the end of the album – in the form of a hidden track that makes you remember who you’re listening to. My question is this: why is the only song that sounds anything like Combichrist – harsh, violent and painfully catchy – locked away fifteen minutes after the rest of the music has come to a close? You have to wonder if Mr LaPlegua is ashamed of his industrial past…
The second disc is even more of a dismissive object. A non-stop “party mix” of snippets and scraps, ranging from ambient to electro to psytrance, there is very little to recommend it to anyone. The general feeling this album generates is one of disappointment: Combichrist has the potential to deliver so much more, but has instead pandered to the masses and created simple, sing-along dance fillers that cater to the mindless sheep who will never go so far as to investigate the deeper recesses of a scene bursting with underappreciated underground talent.
— David vander Merwe