Combichrist – O2, Glasgow 30/06/16

Aggrotech was the word of the day but, as is Scottish tradition, we would be having none of that. No this evening was a weld of industrial music headlined by the leviathan Combichrist, warmed up and plagued by Filter, and opened with by the pugnacious Rabia Sorda.  Three distinct acts who are operated by three willful artists uncompromising in their exploits.

Starting life branching from Hoccico, Erk Aicrag showed his more expressive side with the cyberpunk outfit Rabia Sorda, where the attractive punk music done good in pulling the crowd. The show was in part Prodigy and in equal measures Soul Reaver. The remains of wings perched upon Erk’s shoulders gave the impression that he was an agent of death. Their time playing in the underground it seems had prepared them well to engage with a stranger crowd intimately. Experience? These guys showed us how they made the t shirt.

If there’s anything clear from the recent political referendums on independence it’s that Scotland doesn’t do politics. Here you do as you’re told and Filter worked the stage like a Rothschild working an election. The crowd got denser as the alternative legend Filter introduced us to new sounds and new members taking on hypnogogic classics.

The set sounded great with leading man Richard Patrick braving an almost timeless vocal range. The courage didn’t stop there however. The investment he had in the crowd and their returns unfortunately saw his charismatic address turn to nefarious means at the mention of political candidates and their mandates, and remembrance of yet another media piss take. Scotland doesn’t do politics, but if it did gun control policies would be on the back ends of buses.

The wheels of time, ticking, brought Combichrist back up north.  There haven’t been many acts to scrupulously merge grunge and metal with industrial tones but that sound coming through the PA from the band was crispy goodness and the room was breathing from it.  Defining what aggrotech is and popularizing it their recent change in direction held up as vibrant and energetic.

The band made it look too easy and brought Oumi Kapila of Filter on halfway into the set for some added grill. During set the dynamics took a more familiar route as they were offset by the inclusion of Combichrist’s older and more dancy material.  With the live band given a short reprieve the room moved elegantly in sync towards the rain of blood in this blut royale.

The moshpit was intent on proving that each song was the new black.  It was an eighties love fest that would make Wayne and Garth proud. Members of the crowd didn’t so much surf over the bouncing hands as hop on it but it was persistently a good effort and the only things missing were lighters being raised below 85BPM.

8/10


About David Oberlin 301 Articles
David Oberlin is a composer and visual artist who loves noise more than a tidy writing space. You can often find him in your dankest nightmares or on twitter @DieSkaarj while slugging the largest and blackest coffee his [REDACTED] loyalty card can provide.

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