Combichrist One Fire

Combichrist One Fire
3
Not quite metal enough to be metal, nor electronic enough to be electronic, aggro-tech bands often find it difficult to move around creatively if they want to stay true to their style. This hasn't bothered Combichrist, who sound like they are using the same drum machine they did on "Get Your Body Beat" back in 2006. You have to give them one thing — they know their niche, and they like it.
 
There's no polite way to say it, but most of One Fire sounds painfully dated. Andy LaPlegua's vocals are strained, especially his usual vocal fry, and the electronics sound like they were imported from a mid-2000s ProTools program. This might be intentional, given Combichrist's worship of their industrial forefathers, but it's still a misfire.
 
The brightest spot, "Guns At Last Dawn," manages to capture some of the thrashy speed that Ministry do so well, but it's followed by "Lobotomy," which flogs the same beat for its entire length and sounds like a remix of Marilyn Manson's worst B-side material.
 
In a year that contains so many other alternatives for people seeking angry industrial music, it's better to pass One Fire by. The band's legacy may be untouchable, but this album is putting that to the test. (Out of Line)