Music Monday: Combichrist

Combichrist has been on my track list for a while, I think over the past six years on and off. Only recently I’ve watched a couple of interviews and become aware of the controversy around one of the drummers of the band. I don’t condone racist or homophobic statements what so ever.

The contents of the lyrics and music videos are quite offensive as well, but for me that’s booked under freedom of speech and expression, similar to Rammstein (see later in the post). As stated in interviews, interpreting the band should be closer to watching a horror movie and not to take it was any kind of political statue or direction.

If you’re into dark or dance themes like Rob Zombie, Rammstein or the like, give them a listen.

Back to the music: Combichrist is very loud and driving by Andy LaPlegua that as the front singer is probably the most prominent figure. I recently saw him in the making of of Hellblade: Senuas Sacrifice which made me dive into the music again. Generally the band makes Electronic Body Music or Industrial themed stuff.

Watch the part about the music

The music and lyrics are controversial and fall into a similar category as Rammstein for me (unsurprisingly they opened over 60 shows for Rammstein as the support act). It’s raw, agressive and mostly filled with dark, grim and violent themes.

I’m writing about them because all that has a place in art and to a certain degree in life. Negative thoughts don’t usually sell well, they’re not necessarily sexy or something people want to have, but as with Linking Park, it’s a vent or relatable and important to be accepted as a part of life.

This probably is very abstract and how can I like a band that has lines like:

If you want it in your ass as I spit in your face
Face down on the floor holding you by your neck
Do you feel like a wreck?
Well that’s life, kiddo
Now shut up and swallow
Shut up and swallow

You’ll get nothing for free
Don’t try to suck it off me
You always take you what you want
Now I just take what is mine

which sounds like a super-rape mysogonist shitsong.

The band stated in an interview that it’s more about life “fucking you” than about gender specific dominance and knowing some of the scandinavian mindset, I believe that, especially because their lyrics often have quite punky attitudes of flipping literally everybody off at the same time. It’s not like Rammstein is promoting necrophilia (Heirate Mich), Incest (Wiener Blut) or Cannibalism (Mein Teil) by making a song about the subjects.

Alright, I guess this isn’t a very good start about writing about music and I don’t mean to get all defensive about it. The first controversy I had about Combichrist was actually somebody asking me if they were a Nazi Band (about 7 years ago) because one of their music videos contains a red/white/black flag with the band logo instead of a swastika. Obviously for me the music videos are more of a splatter / horror depiction and not what ever would resemble a utopian future.

In my opinion the right thing is mostly to speak out against or for something, but it’s not a necessity (at least as an artist). As long as you don’t play at a Nazi concert like recently in Thüringen (Germany), you’re not an asshole in my book.

You can still sing about a lot of ugly things and not be political, even if you are provoking everybody and not aiming to make up for it when you’re not in your “stage persona”, again Rammstein is a more prominent example of that.

The lyrics usually are quite simple and the music is very rough and focusses a lot on drums and beats.

The songs I like most from the band are

  • Love is a Razorblade (the driving instrumental part is amazing)
  • My Life my Rules
  • Retreat to Hell, Part 2

So in the spirit of some of the slower songs:

You got one shot at life
It’s not easy to be strong

When you grab your life by the neck
Don’t grab the card
Grab the whole fucking deck

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