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suicidecommando suicidesessions
Artist: Suicide Commando
Title: The Suicide Sessions
Genre: Electro / Industrial
Release Date: 19th July 2011
Label: Out Of Line

Album Review

There are questions that are doomed to remain unexplained: for example what was the first man who milked a cow thinking exactly? There are some others though for which an answer can be found. Let me present the ‘Suicide Sessions’ and I’ll come back to that. I’m reading that this 6 CD’s release covers the early releases of the SUICIDE COMMANDO (SC) with re-mastered songs plus some B sides and previously unreleased tracks in order for the fans to celebrate the 25 years of the band. Is it a full compilation of all the early rare songs of SC? No. The ‘Batman’s Crime’ let’s say is not included. If you ask where you’ll find it, the answer will be in another compilation which will be released in September. Someone might expect that the SC, after celebrating their 10, their 15 and their whatsit years of existence would bother themselves (himself) to release a full compilation that will include all the early tapes at least. Maybe that shall happen in their 30 years. I presume that there’s no reason to lose some extra money. But for time being this compilation besides the ‘Critical Stage’, the ‘Stored Images’ and the ‘Construct-Destruct’ it includes the ‘Contamination (US Version)’, a part from the ‘Re-Construction’ and some songs from the ‘Anthology’. Of course there are some tracks not included in the aforementioned releases next to which I’ve put an asterisk so the reader to have an idea of what we’re talking about here. And besides the fun and the philosophical questions regarding the music marketing I’ll describe a bit each and every one of the CD’s included here.

Critical Stage
After 9 tapes released from 1986 till 1993 SUICIDE COMMANDO knew well enough that they had sufficiently big fan base to attempt a CD release in 1994. All the elements of van Roy’s music are present here and it is hard to believe, especially after the re-mastering of the material, that this CD was originally released in 1994. The aggression about the political, economical and social issues is dominant and you should add an almost diabolical sense of humour in order, if you are unfamiliar with SC’s music, to understand what’s going on. It is a case of ‘Sheer Horror’ one of the best songs here where someone is invited to van Roy’s nightmares which at the same time reflect the reality around us. ‘Traumatize’ is one of the harder moments of the whole album, a pure SC anthem. Interestingly enough the Industrial he plays in this CD manages to balance between different approaches of the genre, yet it is not as harsh as someone might expect especially when compared with his latest releases. In order to compensate the listener he manages to build an amazing atmosphere based on minimal electronic sounds. The history of the band proves that he followed up the same pattern the years to come with an almost militaristic accuracy. [8/10]

Bonus CD I
This is the CD that probably will be the most appealing to the fans of SC. It is almost full of unreleased material. It opens with ‘Take My God Away’ with its war-like drums that blend into hard electro beats and it is an excellent choice for an intro. ‘Never Get Out’ comes from ‘Chromdioxide’ and ‘Ultimate Machine’ from ‘Anthology’. Both of them are strong songs, the former is a lighter electro whilst the latter is harder with its key idea to be explored even better (than the loop of the title) in KOMBAT UNIT’s ‘We Are Machines’. ‘Save Me (original)’ is what someone might expect it to be; still a great song a bit denser and shorter than ‘Save Me (long)’. Jesus comes once more in the imagery of van Roy in ‘Sweet Jesus’ and in an electro form wearing a gas mask ready to jump to the stage to have a dance! ‘Industrial Underground’ is an instrumental song where the minimal loops have a dominant place and tend to be kind of monotonous. Unfortunately this is also the case for ‘Waiting For The Gnomes’ which apart the first 20 secs sounds even more monotonous than the previous one. Which brings us to ‘Autopsy (Vivisection I)’ and what I’ve to say is that most of the times van Roy simply doesn’t “have it” when it comes to slow tempo instrumentals. For that, ‘A Nos Morts (aan onze dooden)’ which is begins as a much harder instrumental balances perfectly the slow with the fast pace. ‘Commando’ is perfect to be played to mujahidin electro dance floors for aspiring bombers! It starts with some Arabic before it goes to another instrumental which apart from the fun is really poor as a track (remember my remark about the slow-paced instrumentals). ‘He Cut His Own Head’ is close to be ‘Kid Trapped In A Refrigerator Ate His Foot’, nothing particular it just made an impression with its title. Overall it is a highly imbalanced CD. [6/10]

Stored Images 1995
Only a year after ‘Critical Stage’, SUICIDE COMMANDO released ‘Stored Images’. For some it is the CD that contains ‘Murder’ and especially ‘See You In Hell!’, two of the biggest successes of the band. But it would be unfair to the rest of the CD if someone listened only to these two songs. ‘Exit’ is creepy as it could be where the impression is that the narrator is looking for an exit (death?) from a mirror. In the subject of violence the SUICIDE COMMANDO adopts a highly critical stance shown in the excellent Industrial aspects of ‘TV - Obsession’. Besides the usual death, another theme that will become one of the most dominant in the lyrics of SC is the one of suicide with which van Roy keeps an ambivalent approach throughout his discography. If I’m not mistaken in Goethe’s time the German word for this act was “freitod” and SC placed it in a modern context where the very meaning of freedom is, if not denied, twisted in its market approach. Of course this holds for the good moments of SC like in ‘Mortal Combat (Final Act I)’ because in their bad ones it is like a typical pessimistic teenage rant of the like “the world sucks, life sucks oh lala” like in ‘The End Of Your Life’, probably the weakest song of the album. [8/10]

Bonus CD II
This bonus CD might ring a bell to the fans. It is nothing different than ‘Contamination (US Version)’. It contains each and every song included there but ‘Save Me (long)’ which is replaced by ‘See You In Hell (live in Bielefeld)’. ‘Fall Away’ is a claustrophobic Industrial song building its atmosphere brilliantly. ‘See You In Hell’ version that follows is just grand and very suitable for the breadth of the demands of the song. The whole CD maintains a very “dirty” aspect of Industrial, be it in terms of lyrics or of music and the anticlerical and antireligious aspects of SUICIDE COMMANDO’s music is dominant. Add to that the usual schizo-glorious songs of van Roy, the likes of ‘Head Down’ and ‘Delusion’ and you have a pretty much explosive mix here. Is insanity that leads to social criticism as a form of self justification or social criticism presented by the majority as a form of a sociopath behaviour? I think that this is the major question this CD poses. And it is certain that it shines as well. Maybe not in terms of danceable songs (though I’m sure you’ll find here songs that will do the job) but much more importantly in songs that aim to something more than mere fun. The remake of ‘See You In Hell’ by MONOLITH adds something theatrical from ‘Nightmare On Elm Street’ while the ‘Last Decision’ on that front is more nightmarish without the gimmicks of the former song. The live version of ‘See You In Hell’ manages to bring out something from the energy of all the SUICIDE COMMANDO’s live gigs. This album is a must-have. [9/10]

Construct - Destruct 1998
‘Construct-Destruct’ opens up with an almost sadomasochistic ‘Acid Bath’, a stark Industrial song which builds upon Jack The Ripper whilst van Roy has removed any sense of Victorian imagery, any appeal whatsoever. There is something almost clinical in the description of the murder and the psychology of the murderer. My feeling is that in this song van Roy takes immense pleasure by watching his audience enjoying this song; he probable has written it with this image on his mind. Put it together with ‘Better Off Dead’ - another major hit of the band- which delves with the crimes of Christianity, of religion and surely of religious people in general and you have pretty much a good aspect of ‘Destruct’ aspect. Of course the destruction of the environment, the wars and the violent relationships contribute to this aspect. Of the self as the main enemy of the self if I can put it this way. But more importantly SC tends to reaffirm the “homo homini lupus est” throughout this CD. As for ‘Construct’ part there’s none. Or in order to be more accurate van Roy’s scope is through negativity to evoke the last (or whatever) shreds of humanity that can be found among his audience. [9/10]

Bonus CD III
This CD starts with the first six songs being taken out of ‘Re-Construction’. ‘Decoder’ is an instrumental song and the major exemption of the slow tempo songs van Roy deals with. The remix by DIVE of ‘Better Off Dead’ adds much of the angst to the songs making it heavy as a hammer. The next one, ‘Desire (sc dna swab - remixed by Wumpscut)’ is one of my favourite ever remixes, passionate and desperate at the same time it highlights brilliantly the demented state of mind of its protagonist. ‘Violator’ (which I think that originally was released as ‘Violator Of Little Girls’) describes the paranoia of a murderous paedophile and more than likely the whole song was inspired by Marc Dutroux’s case that shocked the world. The remixes of ‘Massacre’ by the PLASTIC NOISE EXPERIENCE and of ‘Better Off Dead’ by PIERREPOINT are party-time, jump-to-the-dance-floor tracks. ‘Final Suicide’ and ‘Last Breath’ are instrumental, interesting but not something extraordinary as tracks. ‘Desire For Dead Bodies (slow)’ is a necrophiliac loop of its title while ‘Narcotica’ is the instrumental that closes the CD and suffers from a déjà-vu nauseating feeling pretty much in accordance of its own title. [7/10]


CD1 - Critical Stage
01. Critical Stage
02. Sheer Horror
03. H.I.V. +
04. Traumatize
05. So Many Questions
06. Time
07. Fate
08. Necrophilia
09. Revenge
10. Where Do We Go From Here?
11. Under God's Eye
12. The Dreamhouse (mental version)

D2 - Bonus Disc I
01. Take My God Away*
02. Never Get Out
03. The Ultimate Machine
04. Save Me (original)*
05. Sweet Jesus*
06. Industrial Underground*
07. Waiting For The Gnomes*
08. Autopsy (vivisection I)*
09. A Nos Morts (aan onze dooden)*
10. Commando*
11. He Cut His Own Head*

CD3 - Stored Images
01. Murder
02. The Exit
03. Save Me (remix)
04. The Human Disgrace
05. Intercourse (reloaded II)
06. Dying Inside
07. Mortal Combat (final act I)
08. The End Of Your Life
09. Actions Of The Mind
10. T.V. - Obsession
11. See You In Hell!

CD4 - Bonus Disc II
01. Fall Away
02. See You In Hell (part 1 & 2 – extended mix)
03. Head Down
04. Delusion
05. The Face Of God
06. Traumatize (clubmix)
07. See You In Hell (remake by Monolith)
08. Burn Baby Burn
09. Last Decision
10. Murder (extended)
11. See You In Hell (live in Bielefeld)*

CD5 - Construct - Deconstruct
01. Acid Bath
02. Better Off Dead
03. Putrefaction Process
04. Desire
05. Somnambulist
06. Come To Me (v2.0)
07. The Mirror (re-MASTERed)
08. Pesticide
09. Massacre
10. Ignorance
11. Euthanasia

CD6 - Bonus Disc III
01. Decoder (instrumental version)
02. Better Off Dead (remixed by Dive)
03. Desire (sc dna swab – remixed by Wumpscut)
04. Violator
05. Massacre (exterminate – remixed by Plastic Noise Experience)
06. Better Off Dead (remixed by Pierrepoint)
07. Final Suicide*
08. Last Breath*
09. State Of Emergency
10. Desire For Dead Bodies (slow)*
11. Narcotica*


Johan van Roy


Cover Picture

suicidecommando suicidesessions


Music: 8
Sound: 9
Total: 8.5 / 10

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