The fact is, I love gimmicks in music, for the same reason that many people hate them. They’re one of the reasons I love industrial music, and by that I mean I love the way a generic electronic composition that’s indistinguishable from thousands like it can instantly become more interesting and noticeable (and in some cases a major dance floor hit) by the simple addition of cleverly placed samples. They’re the icing that makes generic tracks on an album stand out because of that kooky cover track, or the wooden CD case or leather record sleeve.
But neither of these qualities are present in this release. I bought it simply because it has a remix from one of my favourite electronic artists, Combichrist. In this case, a track titled Destructos vs The Earth.
Not their best work apparently.
Now Combichrist is best known for being quite a successful industrial duff artists. As far as the underground sees it, Combichrist is even considered relatively commercial — the Manowar of the industrial scene, I once saw him called.
Personally, I love Combichrist because the music is oh so fun, awesome to dance to, hard hitting — and kinda gimmicky. Keeping in mind of course, because sometimes it’s too easy to forget, that compared to mainstream music that still sells, it’s still considered unlistenable noise…
Anyway, the thing that grabbed me about this release was not the Morbid Angel connection. The album from which this single comes from, Illud Divinum Insanus, was panned when it came out and as I said, I’ve just never been much of a fan. It was the remix of the track and the accompanying fan-made video circulating on the web that first got me, if only because I thought the song was so fantastically awful. It was so bad, I thought, that it couldn’t possibly be a ‘serious’ (even by Combichrist tongue in cheek standards) kind of release. But it was.
In true interwebs fashion, the fan-made junk video was way funnier, better and weirdly accurate — certainly far more than anything a producer with a budget for such a relatively small artist would typically make.
And from there it grew on me. Considerably, in fact, until I ended up ordering it. Even so, the record came with a free Morbid Angel patch which I declined to sew onto my otherwise very full heavy metal battle jacket. I may like gimmicks but I draw the line somewhere and that line is an album like Illud Divinum Insanus.
Remember these things kids?