Combichrist // Priest // Mimi Barks // Live Review // The Limelight // Belfast

Who turned on that big yellow ball in the sky?! Jesus, was it hot in Belfast! But did we blame the heat more on the sun, or was it the returning aggro-tech titans; Combichrist who made things extra warm and extra sticky?

The dominating doom-trap figure, Mimi Barks, opened up the show and completely took over the Limelight stage. Draped in torn PVC, a huge cross necklace and a single blood-stained eye. “Mesmerising” it what I’d call this set, as Mimi both screamed and danced while performing such tracks as ‘Dead Girl’ and ‘Suicide.’ I may not be familiar with this style of music, but Mimi certainly is a worthy ambassador for it!

Combichrist weren’t the only ones making a return to Belfast, as main support Priest also made their return. Hard to believe their debut gig was only a few months before! I had heard many great things from that night, so I was excited for what was in store. Featuring former members of Ghost, this BDSM three-piece from Sweden fed off the sweaty energy of the Belfast faithful. With tracks like ‘Signal In The Noise,’ ‘Nightcrawler’ and the huge ‘Vaudeville’ that had the entire room up dancing. Safe to say, my excitement was worth the wait!

There’s always room for one more though, and it was time for the mighty Combichrist who exploded onto the stage, with a heavy wall of sound filling the room. The band had cranked the energy level to 110% for this set, making an already sweaty room sweatier. Frontman and founder Andy LaPlegua was just a commanding presence on the Limelight stage. Tracks like ‘Throat Full of Glass’ and ‘Get Your Body Beat’ had many toe-tapping. While the thunderous pounding of drums, from both drummer Dane White & guitarist Jamie Cronander during ‘Blue Royale’ could have torn the Limelight down.

There was just no stopping the level of aggressive energy within the room, and Combichrist was definitely not giving their fans their chance to catch a breath that’s for sure. Especially during the likes of ‘Hate Like Me’ and ‘Shut Up and Swallow’ where the pit grew more and more chaotic, as LaPlegua and crew grew angrier and angrier. And this level of intensity crescendoed to the grande finale, of ‘What The Fuck Is Wrong With You?’ that featured a special guest appearance from Mimi Barks herself.

I will be honest, walking into this gig I felt like a teenager when I was more familiar with Combichrist from my old cyberpunk pals. And I am sure teenage me would have LOVED this, but now I have old man energy and I thought, “this was just repetitive noise!” That being said, the energy that was felt in that room was like no other and was worth being a part of.


Review & Photography: Marc Leach