Suicide Commando – Mindstrip Redux (Out Of Line Music)

  Van Muylem    27 september 2020

Suicide Commando doesn’t need an introduction as it’s a band that is used to headline festivals in the USA, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Germany, … But is totally ignored by the hometown ‘Belgium) TV & radio stations. As for today we get a re-release of a classic album that set the course for the genre and has set this band on the map! “Mindstrip” is a classic Hellelektro album with hits that are still getting airplay! Time to rediscover it for you!

Johan van Roy (mastermind behind Suicide Commando) recalls his bloody roots without losing sight of the dark future. “Mindstrip was a milestone, not only for me but for the whole electro scene”, Johan comments self-consciously. “The album became a big influence on many bands of the scene.” A great opportunity to give this classic piece an overhaul after 20 years. “The original album was written on an old Atari computer and most of the singing parts were partially recorded live”, Johan remembers, „at first I wanted to just re-master those old recordings, but when I started transferring the old Cubase files onto my today's computer, I more and more started to re-write the songs and in the end, most songs had a completely different turnout.” Nevertheless, Johan has never lost respect for the legendary original: “Mindstrip Redux” as it has been released as a 2-CD version with the new version of the album just like the ground breaking original. Also, fans of vinyl will surely be thrilled. Yes, you read it correctly, this is the first time since the album was released that “Mindstrip” will be available on vinyl. The entire Redux album will be available as a limited double vinyl in blue and bloody red and also with completely re-arranged versions of the two club hits ‘Cry for mother’ and ‘Dein herz, meine gier’. Limited edition of 1000 copies worldwide.

So far for the talking, let’s smack some and let the words come to you! The bloody story starts with Jesus Wept. The screaming voice, the guy repeating the title of the track: it’s a classic! The monster awakens, together with the beats, synth and electronic drums! It’s a very strong track, even after 20 years! The song that set the score on this album is the instant golden classic: Hellraiser (psychopath 01 version). The beats, the sound, the aggression, the lyrics, the hellish feeling: it all worked out in the best possible way! How many of you have danced on it? Must be a lot of people, all over the world and yet I have never heard it on Belgium’s national radio nor seen on TV.

Body Count Proceed mixes industrial with EBM. It’s foot stomping from beginning until the end! A second instant classic track is Raise Your God! Compared to many metal bands I listen to nowadays they are little boys as this one real feels like real aggression, real violence, real feelings … Lucifer must have been really happy with this music, but it might be he’s more a fan of Hip-hop and co anno 2020.

Mindstripper is next: a slow industrial minded track with clearly dark and menacing feelings. Run mixes Hellektro with industrial, but misses a bit punch to sound really scary. Comatose Delusion (Overdose shot 2) sounds just great as it is and makes it hard to imagine how you can change it: it has the right punch, right tempo, perfect music … Blood in Face sounds scary and dangerous, but I have a feeling it can sound much better anno 2020 (but it was great 20 years ago). Last classic track on the album is Love Breeds Suicide: yet another dancefloor filler with amazing beats, a great sound and a good tempo! It’s also a perfect live track!

Last track on the regular album is Slaves: a slow industrial / electro minded track with good lyrics. I don’t think I have ever heard live on stage. Well: it has all the classic attributes of a regular Suicide Commando track.

Next is the second album with the new versions of the album:

Jesus Wept (resurrect v) starts slower as the original, but once we get the full motion you can hear it now sounds like in full HD! The music goes from mono to stereo and literally blows you away! And yes, the title comes from the movie called Hellraiser! This brings us to the classic track with the same name: the sound almost explodes in your ears; the beats are more upfront and the slow building up of the tension has disappeared. This version is more dancefloor orientated then the original (and that one was already a shot in the rose)! Body Count Proceed (Final Count) sounds heavier and better than the original (a clearer and more aggressive sound). Raise Your God (Bigotry 2020) sounds really like a 2020 and kept the coolness and the aggressive feel of the original. The re-stripped version of Mindstripper starts in a slower way and builds up the tension. The new sound is really a stereo sound and has real drums. I really adore this new version! Run (Sabotaged) gives it finally the needed punch and sounds much better like this. I hope that one day I get to hear it on stage in this version! Comatose Delusion (Overdose v 3) sounds as a good reboot, with a modern sound and still some old school effects in it. Blood in Face (First Aid Mix) sounds indeed 20 years younger than the original and indeed much better. The tempo could have been boosted a tiny bit more and a bit lesser metallic effects on the vocals (raw and demonic would have sound a bit better). The bleeps/electronics are so much better, so still: great job on this one! Love Breeds Suicide (Endzeit 2020) gets a clearer sound, the beats are also heavier. The song simply gets an extra boost and an extra melodic touch. It’s simply a better version (the final version). Slaves (Obey The System): the sound is a bit different (modern), but the tempo remains the same. It’s clear we get a 2020 version. I like the last part of the track as it sounds much better this way.

Well I must say I have double feelings with this album. The new versions are mostly better than the original (reminds me of what Blutengel did) an it might shock some fans. The original is indeed a classic album and feels like almost sacred, but yet the reboot is so good that it confuses me a bit and I don’t like to point that out as it might sound as if the original was not as strong as believed, whilst it was indeed 20 years ago. Johan did a great job and I hope he is ok with my review!

BTW: he hid 2 winks in 2 songs towards 2 of his favourite bands. I didn’t want to spoil it for you, so start digging and post it underneath this published review.