Combichrist

support Filter + Lord Of The Lost
author PP date 12/06/16 venue Amager Bio, Copenhagen, DEN

It's a bit of a weird billing, this one. Filter teamed up with industrial rave metallers Combichrist and the like-minded Germans with their death-trodden imagery, Lord of The Lost. Although Filter's debut album "Short Bus" and arguably also their latest studio album, "Crazy Eyes", are both heavy on industrial style distortion and metallic influence, they are a far cry from the sort of Goth-driven dance disco with metal riffs as purveyed by the other two bands on the lineup. Alas, despite their consistently great studio output, 90s hits "Take A Picture" and "Hey Man Nice Shot", and rarity of appearances in Denmark, tonight's show has sold few tickets given the combination of a relatively high ticket price and an odd lineup combination. Only a couple of hundred souls have made their way to Amager Bio tonight, leaving the venue feeling half empty. Both co-headliners didn't seem to care, however, and delivered excellent, albeit very different, performances in their own right.

Tonight's opening band was Lord Of The Lost from Germany. Unfortunately, a work emergency prevented yours truly from arriving until their third last song, so reviewing the whole performance wouldn't be fair. Let's just say it sounded like a carnival on wheels playing industrial rave metal, camouflaged in facepaint and costumes more suited for a black metal band than the sort of party music they appeared to be playing. I mean, their second last song tonight was a cover of Backstreet Boys' "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" - sung in half-growled vocals and altered to fit the industrial soundscape. Hilarious, and from what I could gather from others at the venue, they played a highly entertaining set overall. Next time.

Filter

Filter

Filter's last time in Denmark was...well, I don't even remember, so probably more than ten years ago at the very least. Fronted by mastermind Richard Patrick, the unit has seen wild lineup shuffles for each of their three past albums with everyone being switched out. Tonight, Patrick has brought with him a young crew, where especially bassist Ashley Dzerigian stands out with her wind-blown long hair and badass look on stage, alongside guitarist Oumi Kapila who displays occasionally awe-inspiring talent on the fretboard. Patrick, while having composed many of the songs on guitar, opts for a vocalist only role as usual. As he comes out he does appear a little disappointed at the low turnout. But what follows then is a continuous spew of political ramblings channeled through pure insanity and lunacy as he breaks all the boundaries of how an esteemed frontman usually acts on stage. Let's just put it this way: at one point he impersonates a Hitler march on stage while heiling (!!) and shouting "LET'S BUILD ZE WALL.... I AM DONALD TRUMP.... MEXICANS WILL PAY" or something along the lines of that.

Filter

Last night, there was a deadly shooting in Orlando. It appears Patrick knew some people over there and was deeply affected by the tragedy. So what at first looked like a drug-infused mania of lunacy later transforms into what is best characterized as an emotional response to a tragedy: "I'm sorry for being so political tonight but I have friends in Orlando", he says later on during the night. That's after stunts like suggesting we should kill Donald Trump, or that the CIA should capture him and put him into Guantanamo. Or how about screaming manically "American cliché is to get shot up at a preschool, or at a movie theater, or at a fucking gay bar" prior to the song with the same title. Earlier, he grabbed his phone, started filming the audience, and riles us up into a frenzy....only to start filming his guitarist when the climaxing moment takes place. What. The. Actual. Fuck. "Take A Picture" is introduced as a song he wrote after he was done with drugs and wanted to make a song that sounds like how the drugs made him feel. "Pride Flag is our response to the violence", he claims, receiving a triumphant response from the crowd. "Nothing In Your Head" is the other new track and both of these sound excellent live being among the better tracks from the record. "Welcome To The Fold" and "Hey Man Nice Shot" close off a set that was chaotic in the sense that Patrick looked like he was on hallucinogens while performing, but was characterized by the simply rock solid alternative/industrial rock songs that Filter has written over the years.

8

Combichrist

Though advertised as a co-headliner, Combichrist sees way fewer people remaining than Filter had at any point. Probably because for many Filter fans the mixture of a late start on a Sunday night, the brooding metal imagery of Combichrist, and their industrial rave style, is a little too much. Indeed, as their pagan-themed intro enshrouds the venue into a foreboding atmosphere akin to a sinister black metal show, it's difficult to find meaning in why these bands are touring together. That being said, being always curious about bands I've got little or no previous experience of, I stick around to find out what's up. Turns out it was a wise decision.

Combichrist

For starters, Combichrist dramatize their show with a boatload of constantly flashing strobe lights and smoke pillars. As if having two drumsets facing each other at both edges of the stage, or their vocalist rushing from stage left to stage right non-stop wasn't dramatic enough on its own. Stylistically, this music is called "aggrotech" I'm told, which roughly translates into Marilyn Manson and Rammstein playing together over industrial rave effects. Think "Bloodbath" scene from Blade. It's an interesting mixture between synthesizers and thumping industrial beats with screamed vocals and the occasional symphonic backing for good measure. They're distinctly metal one moment, and sound like they belong to Distortion Festival the next moment, but mostly both at the same time to be perfectly honest.

Combichrist

Tonight, it takes them a long while to get the small crowd going but once they do, Amager Bio erupts into a rave party. Their guitarist roams across the crowd surprising people from behind during one song, stands in the middle of the smoke pillar for epic effect during another, all the while their vocalist is running around the stage in high-energy fashion. With a string of high-tempo songs perfect for rave dancing towards the end, Combichrist create a convincing case that this show would be pure awesome in a packed venue on a weekend night with a crowd armed with glow sticks. Tonight, even with the low turnout, it is a disco party that shouldn't leave anyone disappointed.

Photos by: Lykke Nielsen

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