Combichrist (Virgin Oil Co.) – 27/7/2019

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Like many people I know that are into metal or other darker alternative music, I had a period when I was younger during which I regularly wanted to go party and the easiest was to go to cybergoth parties. That music rubbed off on me and I ended up listening to quite some EDM, aggrotech and industrial bands, which I still highly appreciate to this day. One of those artists was Combichrist. Harsh techno beats with relentless vocals/lyrics and an energy that was unbeatable. I saw them opening for Rammstein ages ago and the then drummer went so hard at it that his drumkit constantly fell over. After some line-up changes they released the new album ‘One Fire’ and are touring in support of it all around the world. So when Helsinki popped up in the list of dates, I just had to go…

Rave The Reqviem (***)

Opener for this part of Combichrist‘s European run, they recruited the services of their label mates Rave The Reqviem. The Swedish industrial metal outfit was not an unfamiliar sight, since I managed to catch them live about a month and a half before at Rockfest 2019. Back then they had barely a crowd since they were the opener of one of the days, but I really enjoyed their show and music. I was hoping to see them play in front of a bit bigger and more enthusiastic crowd this time that could appreciate the catchy blend of metal, industrial and pop music.

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The crowd was definitely bigger (or at least it felt that way) and it seemed the band was a bit more in their element playing indoors. The energy came across better and it was fun to watch these 4 dudes and 1 gal trying to get people dancing. One thing that was a bit less good this time around, was the mix. At times I could barely hear the vocals from “The Propher” and “The Cantor” and one of the key elements of their music, the electronic beats and samples, were not prominent enough there. However, the few moments when the mix actually worked, you could hear their potential with the 3 vocalists almost in a conversation with each other, sounding like a somewhat edgier Amaranthe.

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Combichrist (****1/2)

And then, the one everyone was looking forward to: Combichrist is in the house! Immediately longtime fans got a little piece of nostalgia and something to get into the groove by their use of the classic ‘This Shit Will Fuck You Up’. A cyber goth club hit that got many pale skins and garden hose tubes jumping around till the early morning.

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After that kickass start, they continued strong with the first single ‘Hate Like Me‘ off their new album, ‘Never Surrender‘ and ‘Shut Up And Swallow‘. The whole set was a great blend of old school stompers and more recent work. And that energy I mentioned earlier was definitely there… frontman Andy was running back and forth like a madman, guitarist Eric cranked out riff after riff all hooded up and new drummers Will and Dane in the back completed the set-up. Dane looked like a feline tribal warrior not to be messed with, playing a regular drum set and Will mounted the barrel drums, acting all freaky the whole time.

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And that is what makes a Combichrist so damn strong: all the beats, all the dance music from the records, are played completely live! What gives it that extra boost of authenticity and power. Add to that the light show that basically was tuned to the beat of the music and you simply get blown away every single time. Combichrist was here to party with us and that’s exactly what they did!

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For more pictures of the night, go here:

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