The release of new Combichrist material is both a blessing and a curse for an Industrial DJ. The blessing, of course, is that it means that you generally have at least one more sure-fire dancefloor filler, the curse being that it’s only going to get more likely to see yet more Combichrist requests (seriously, folks – don’t bother requesting Combichrist. You are going to get it anyway, how about asking for something that shows a little more thought about your request, perhaps?).
Frost EP: Sent To Destroy
So how does this new EP – of three new songs, and then six remixes – work in the grand scheme of things? Well, there is good news and bad news. The good news? Like any Combichrist release, this delivers the dancefloor goods. The bad news? Pretty much everything is the same as it was before.
Lead track is the bruising Sent To Destroy. If you’ve heard, oh, anything by Combichrist since Everybody Hates You, you know how this goes. Stomping beats, raging vocals, it sticks in your head, it fills dancefloors. Job Done.
Considerably more interesting are the other two new tracks – The Kill is a fantastic five minutes of instrumental industrial beats with some interesting effects going on, and is all the better for the lack of samples or vocals. Prince of E-Ville appears to be a sly dig at Goths and how silly they can look, with the lyrics apparently in the form of an internal monologue (and I’d love to know where the film sample – that the title and indeed track appear to be inspired by – comes from). But while the theme and lyrics are amusing, the music is pedestrian to say the least.
So what about the remixes? There are three of Sent To Destroy, and three of Prince of E-Ville, with mixed results. Rotersand do what they do best – smooth out the edges – and provide a sleek, streamlined version of the former, while Suicide Commando managed to bore me senseless with a remix that really didn’t seem to change an awful lot. The pick of the StD remixes, though – and indeed the entire CD – is the awesome Northborne remix – a rampaging take on the original that ups the ante in every possible way and appears destined to slay dancefloors everywhere.
Onto the takes on Prince of E-Ville, then. Babyland turn it into a strange, live-sounding electro track, that writhes and shimmies it’s way across the speakers. I’m not so convinced over the Accessory take, which just turns it into yet another mid-paced “harsh” EBM track, but happily the closing remix from Caustic is pretty good. It doesn’t do too much – respecting the well-set original – but by roughing up the beats somewhat and adding extra effects it makes for a solid, listenable remix.
No doubt there is an album coming, and no doubt it will again sell loads, but is it too much to ask for a little bit of progress? Combichrist seem to have got themselves stuck into a rut that while is proving to be commercially successful, it isn’t proving to be anything interesting below the surface, in the main. And yes, while some of the remixes are good, it’s the original material I’m more interested in. More stuff like The Kill, though, and I’m all ears.