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Combichrist + Mortiis

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Combichrist, a band which is well-known, immensly beloved and venerated by all lovers of pulverising sounds, once again graced Poland with its visit, having chosen Gdynia as a perfect place for conducting a total musical destruction, so characteristic of this band. On 24th February a club named Ucho became a mute witness of the invasion of a group of the monster-musicians, whom, traditionally, charismatic Andy La Plegua was in charge of. As a support, we were given a chance of seeing a Norwegian formation Mortiis, whose members also distinguished themselves with their no less monstrous image. Briefly - a venture, gracefully dubbed "Monsters on Tour" invaded our fatherland for one evening in order to perform the absolute musical destruction on minds of each and every one who was daring enough to participate in the event.

Certainly to the joy of the organizators and the bands alike, many bold ones arrived at the place; the club was quickly filled with individuals, attired in black clothes, impatiently anticipating the appearance of the untamed monsters from Combichrist. As it was earlier mentioned, the task of warming the audience up to the limits of decency was entrusted to Mortiis, who have been promoting their recently-released album "Perfectly Defect" on the tour. The musicians took the stage nearly by storm, commencing their show with genuinely animating The Ugly Truth. In order to captivate the attenention of the gathered, almost compel them to separate from the reality and savor the moment of energizing amalgamation of sounds, the band resorted to their greatest musical aces in the form og Way Too Wicked, Doppleganger or Decadent & Desperate. The enthusiasts of the latest release were with all certainty elated as the group also played Closer to the End and the title Perfectly Defect - the tracks which prove that Mortiis is still among the most acclaimed bands of the genre they represent. Their apparition, demonic make-ups, outstanding liveliness and unruly, wild behavior of the band's vocalist - who was placing his feet on the railings, dividing the crowd from the audience, in a truly violent manner, to the horror of some people - constituted a confirmation of the assumption that Mortiis, both musically, visually and in terms of behavior, perfectly matches the style typical of Combichrist. The performance ended with a very telling piece - Demons Are Back, finally proving they comprise an integral part of the undertaking "Monsters on Tour", while simultanously being its excellent complement.

The setlist of Mortiis:
The Ugly Truth
Way too Wicked
Closer to the End
Perfectly Defect
Decadent & Desperate
Scalding the Burnt
Demons Are Back

The overture to the performance of the headliners was a witty track by Cornbugs - Dust'n'Bones - a piece that constitutes almost a traditional prelude to the show of Combichrist. After that, the very first tunes of Reclamation, which was the proper introduction to the spectacle, floated in the air. The four of men appeared onstage, gradually altering into the demons, callously petrifying nearly hysterical crowd with their well-thought sound fusion. For a start, the band treated us to Just Like Me - an introductory piece, a particular sort of a warm-up before the grinding and ruthless musical machinery, made up from a range of subsequent sonic masterpieces in their class - Follow the Trail of Blood, Today I Woke to the Rain of Blood and Electrohead - was set in motion. In all probabilty, there is no need to emphasize the fact that Andy was constantly interacting with the audience, which evoked the feeling of immeasurable and interminable exaltation among the gathered, mobilizing them to experience the event and derive the utmost pleasure from it. A different issue, yet by all means worth mentioning, is a phenomenal way of playing of the drummers - Joe Letz and Trevor Friedrich; their manner of playing may be perceived as the performative art, it abounds with theatrical gestures, it is simultaneously exaggerated and perfectly balanced, simply aimed at attracting the attention of everybody, which the drummers obviously succeded to accomplish by, for instance, spilling the water on their instruments. A certain ammount of attention should be devoted to a peculiar activity, which I dared to fondly name - although I do not rule out the possibilty of this name being wrong in terms of the professional nomenclature - "The drum-throw' - quite an uncommon discipline which have been practised for a while by Letz, who eagerly throws a part of his drum set at his band mates to the great joy of the crowd, of course. A curiousity, yet undeniably spectacular. With every second the atmosphere at the club was growing hotter, getting more permeated with energy, which was incessantly undergoing the process of escalation by means of the latest single Throat Full of Glass, outstandingly catchy and popular Get Your Body Beat or classically disturbing Deathbed. The musical chaos broke loose with a new power owing to Slave to Machine and Fuckmachine - the pieces that worthily represent the most recent album of the group, "Making Monsters". Overwhelmingly pulsating, mechanical beats of Blut Royal while combined with their lively interpretation presented by La Plegua, completely freed the audiance from all possible constraint or limitations. Combichrist dissapeared from the stage after having performed They and Never Surrender but the crowd, excited beyond the limit, was demanding the concert to be topped off with an additional portion of stimulating sounds, expressing their desire for more with unanimous, loud chanting of the band's name. The monsters did not dissapoint their Polish fans, coming out twice, ending their inconceivably energetic performance with the greatest hits: Fuck That Shit and What the Fuck Is Wrong With You?, crowning their magnum opus of sonic havoc with almost a total destruction of the stage.

The setlist of Combichrist:
Just Like Me
Follow the Trail of Blood
Today I Woke to the Rain of Blood
Throat Full of Glass
Get Your Body Beat
Slave to Machine
Blut Royale
Never Surrender
Fuck That Shit
What the Fuck Is Wrong With You?

A beast called Combichrist is hedonistically enjoyable to watch and listen to live, yet one should emphasize that this particular pleasure may at times seem dangerous or even painful. With their performance, the gents accomplished everything, which had been expected from them: there was a monstrous scenic image, adornments in the form of the water splashing from the drums - also by all means occured; some destrucitve or/and provocative factors also appeared; exceeding the limits, rebeling against conventions, the tumult and pandemonium - a complete madness complemented by the pieces of music that may already be regarded as the classics of the dark independent scene. Also Mortiis made a great support, most probably gaining a new fan base in Poland. Nonetheless, my hope is that Combichrist will not fall into a sort of routine and will not resort to safe and proven scenarios as far as their shows are concerned, and their next performance will manage to astound me once again.

Translator: murd
Add date: 2011-03-02 / Live reports

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