Dope And Combichrist Combine Industrial Super Powers
April 3rd, 2017
The Blood, Lust Death Tour arrived at Grizzly Hall in Austin, Texas with one of the best industrial packages of the year. A reunited Dope took the stage with Combichrist, September Mourning and Davey Suicide supporting. While there were quite a few Combichrist fans supporting wearing the band’s t-shirts, the headliner certainly brought in the most people.
Before the tour bands got underway, though, there were some locals. Sine was the first local act I was able to catch at the early hour of 7 PM. Doors at Grizzly opened at 6, so the opener was without much of a crowd. They might have only played in front of 25 people, but Sine played like they were in front of a crowd in triple digits. Their front woman, Rona Rogueheart had a beautiful-yet-aggressive voice. The band played dark industrial music with a synthetic quality that was very danceable, thus they did their job and warmed up the venue for the headliners.
September Mourning was another band featuring a female singer. Female singers are a lot more common in industrial music than heavy metal. Wikipedia states that “September Mourning is a transmedia dark culture project.” I’m not sure what transmedia means, maybe they use multiple modes of media. I don’t recall seeing a multi-media presentation, but the band did have a cool backdrop. Their singer, Emily Lazar, also added to their visual performance, wearing cool costumes and head dresses. She had a rich and powerful voice and the crowd responded well.
I was a little surprised September Mourning went on after Davey Suicide, but I guess their popularity warranted it. I don’t know a lot about Davey Suicide. Four years ago I did a ticket giveaway for Come and Take It Productions, the promoters/club owners and was impressed with their performance. They’ve stepped it up big time since then. Davey is a great front man and he too added to the visual aspect of the show, dread locked and wearing horns and masks. Davey Suicide was a fun band and a good precursor to Combichrist and Dope. The furious play of their drummer was certainly a set highlight.
This was the third time I witnessed the live power of Combichrist. Previously, I saw them play a smaller club by way of Elysium down on Red River street. I interviewed American-by-way-of-Norway Andy LaPlegua for Metalunderground.com. We talked about his new album, “This is Where Death Begins,” my number #4 pick of last year. The said album was on display again tonight with songs like “Exit Eternity” and “Skullcrusher.” The band also played many older, hard-driven-synth songs. They were and are one of the best bands to see play live.
Not only do they have their own visuals, the drummer puts on a clinic of not only how to play in an exciting manner, but also how to look. I say drummer, but there are two drummers, and the two threw their sticks to each other and never lost a beat. The drummer I’m talking about, the one on stage right, was dressed as a woman clown. Previously he dressed like a Ronald McDonald without a wig. A lot of people weren’t there for Combichrist, but were pleasantly surprised at the strength of Combichrist. Their energy level, visuals, hard beat and infectious refrain whipped the crowd into a frenzy.
I first noticed the moshing during Combichrist, but you know with a mainstream band like Dope, there would be even more moshing. The moshers had endurance too. While I can’t say I like Dope as much as Combichrist, they put on an excellent performance. Edsel Dope screamed about the sordid state of the world, plugging the band’s most recent album “Blood Money Part 1.” He took several sound clips from politicians and movies, sometimes changing what the subject said to reveal what he feels are their true intentions. They also played covers of “You Spin Me Right Round” and “Rebel Yell.”
A large movie screen outlined some of the band’s ideas. For me, the highlight was a killer clip from “Pulp Fiction,” and hearing them play “Die Mother Fucker Die.” While Dope has it’s own thing going, comparisons to Static-X and Ministry are certainly viable, and that’s not a bad thing.
Thanks to Z Mac for the video footage.
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