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| Suicide Commando
Johan Van Roy
Commando is the key project of Belgian Johan Van Roy. He began experimenting
with electronic music as far back as 1986, releasing self-recorded tapes and
appearing on various industrial/electronic compilation over the next eight
years. It was in 1994 that Suicide Commando landed it's long-awaited record
deal, signing to Off-Beat and releasing the album 'Critical Stage'. 1995 gave
us follow-up effort 'Stored Images', on which one found See You In
Hell!, which over the years became one of THE electro-industrial club hits.
A succession of tours and further CD releases followed over the years,
culminating in the release of 'Mindstrip' in 2000."
"Suicide Commando, while firmly and easily identifiable as harsh electro in the :W:/yelworC/Dive tradition, nevertheless remain consistently interesting and entertaining. Put simply, Suicide Commando has a formula that it doesn't often deviate from, but that formula is fun enough that it's not really a handicap. Simple brutality is the Suicide Commando modus operandi. The strength of this band, who have been around for ages with piles of limited tape releases, and of it's sole member, angry, spiteful Belgian Johan Van Roy, is consistency; putting on a SC track, you can be pretty much assured that it'll be a menacing, hard-hitting, and melodic 5 minutes or so of focused anger. SC has this wonderful, minimalistic quality to it's music... rarely containing more than 4 or 5 elements, the songs have lots of space within which to develop. "
-- Jamie Wood, industrialkollective.org
1994: Critical Stage
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1995: Stored Images
In 1995 Suicide Commando releases its 2nd studio album titled 'Stored Images' on OFF BEAT Records, including remixes of T.V.-Obsession, Intercourse, Save Me ... and including new dancefloor smashers like Murder and of course See You In Hell, one of Suicide Commando's biggest hits.
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¼ 2000: Mindstrip
"From the country that brought America the legendary Front 242 comes the newest release by Suicide Commando. Enter the dungeons of 'Mindstrip'. Johan Van Roy, the Belgian one-man electro machine, brings new meaning to menacing electronics, eerie textures and brutal production. Complete with ear-shattering vocals and distorted drum loops, Mindstrip paves a musical path full of powerful elements. Jesus Wept opens the disc with severe beats and complex layers of synthesized energy. Hellraiseris equally sinister, building a chaotic yet highly focused wall of sound. The slower paced Body Count Proceedcontains some of the most intricate programming and layering of sounds imaginable. Simple lyrical content really compliments this track while allowing the listener to digest every musical detail. Raise Your God begins with trance-like shavings and soon evolves into a mass of electro aggression. You may need to strap on your seat belt for this one. There is great attention to detail on this release, particularly on Mind Stripper, where the senses are bombarded from every angle. Other noteworthy pieces include Comatose Delusion and Blood in Face.
-- Jorge C. Galban, ink19.com
½ 2002: Anthology
"Dependent's two-disc retrospective compilation Anthology provides a nicely packaged overview of the previous decade and more of Johan van Roy's output under his Suicide Commando moniker. Anyone unfamiliar with the Belgian's work or missing some of his earlier releases will find this album the perfect solution. I recall the impact See You In Hell had on me when I first heard it. Something of a club classic at the time (1995) it is perhaps van Roy's most famous early song. That other memorable entry of his early period Dein Herz, Meine Gier is, of course, also included. The booklet doesn't give anything away, not even the original year of release for each track. More details on the background to the tracks on disc one would have helped those less well acquainted, otherwise this is a pretty good package. Disc two contains seven rarer, deleted or unreleased songs. Over the years, van Roy and the others who've worked alongside him have examined the outer, sharper edges of EBM, bleeding into noise. 'Anthology' perfectly summarises that journey. The original release comes in a nice card slipcase and includes a S.C. sticker too.
-- Rob Dyer, darkstarorg.demon.co.uk, 9/04
½ 2003: Axis of Evil
"After the release of successful and acclaimed albums, there is always a question of how will the band follow it. 'Axis of Evil', Suicide Commando's latest release, continues in the EBM vein, offering slightly lighter more dance floor oriented tracks than those on 'Mindstrip'. Maybe I should mention that it seems that I just can't dislike Suicide Commando. There is a simplicity to the music, and I have realized that EBM is a beautiful way to express it. Suicide Commando's version of EBM matches the lyrics and the message perfectly and yet, the simplicity can be viewed as pure, and completely to the point. (...) After listening to this album a few times, I experienced this scary sort of chill down my spine when I realize that the world is a very stupid place, run by morons. That approximately 1 million [morons] people die from suicide each year, as the beginning sample on the album states, is not that surprising. This album is sure to please most people. It has intense appeal, and only those who are stubborn about needing the old Suicide Commando more crunchy harsh beats will be disappointed."
-- Squid, industrialkollective.org, 10/03
½ 2006: Bind, Torture, Kill
Tracklisting: 01. Bind, Torture, Kill 02. Bleed For Us All 03. Conspiracy With The Devil 04. Menschenfresser (Eat Me) 05. Dead March 06. Massaker (Tommi Stumpff Cover Version) 07. Torment Me 08. Godsend (Deceased Part II ) 09. We Are The Sinners 10. F*** You Bitch 11. Rader
"... the sound of 'Bind, Torture, Kill' picks up where 'Axis of Evil' left off. The tracks uniformly stick to the steady-beat, synth driven EBM sound heard in previous albums. Almost with a certain upfront honesty, the title track Bind, Torture, Kill starts off the album with a building beat backing another well used sample--Suicide Commando has always shown a very good use of samle to enhance the music and that is as true for the whole production as it is for the first track. In fact, the album has a very even, dependable sound; rarely does it stray far from the aggressive, dark, energetic sound that drove the 'Axis of Evil' album into regular play in clubs anywhere such music is to be heard. Short, oft-repeated, distorted lyrics are mixed in just over the pounding beats with the usual dramatically sadistic fare that characterizes Suicide Commando and it's younger peers like X-Fusion and Grendel. Vocals tend to be very understated; the lines all have the screaming inflection, but are often muddied and slightly droning, feeling a little overpowered by the beats. This isn't necessarily done without good reason--the driving, frantic sound of the songs are never lost under Johan Von Roy's voice--but marks the album as decidely and unwaveringly club-friendly, this album having giving up the harse edge of Suicide Commando's earlier sounds like State of Emergency and even the danceable Love Breeds Suicide. This glossier sound, however, seems to carry a frantic energy with it, and is hardly mediocre; Suicide Commando always manages to capture an audience even in such a glutted and too-often tired genre. (...) To know that at least a few bands, like Suicide Commando, don't have to get worse as they age."
-- DJ Danger, The Darker Side of Music on RainyDawg Radio
¼ 2010: Implements of Hell
Tracklisting: 01. Intro 02. The Pleasures of Sin 03. The Dying Breed 04. Die Motherfucker Die 05. Death Cures All Pain 06. God Is In The Rain 07. Hate Me (Retaliate V1.0) 08. Come Down With Me 09. Severed Head 10. The Perils Of Indifference 11. Until We Die (Album Edit)
"Suicide Commando has been pushing the boundaries of aggression, and much like a prolific serial killer, with each release his notoriety grows. The new album, 'Implements Of Hell' (a reference to notorious serial killer Albert Fish) is unrelenting, hook laden, and darker than Hell."
-- press release"Since Johan knows what he is doing, the main question is why does Suicide Commando sound different? Not bad, but different. The distinct trademark sound familiar from 'Bind, Torture, Kill' is gone, replaced by a more not-so-disctinct dark electro/electro industrial one, complete with a stronger concept throughout the album. Not as if it comes unexpected, considering the teaser Die, Motherfucker, Die, which came out last year. Well, if youre that conservative, then you might be a bit disappointed. Go buy yourself a pack of tissue, while we thoroughly enjoy tracks like Death Cures All Pain, simple but striking artwork and the atmosphere of darkness and evil, that creeps and is ready to jump and devour you. Best digested as a concept album, from beginning to end, the album still has some tracks that stand out, e.g. God is in the Rain, where Dr. Commando treats us with a 90s cyber embrace, merged with more than modern beat. Bonus points go to Severed Head, where the sample is absolutely brilliant, the matter of fact tone of the narrator is the doctors recipe. Or is it commandantes?"
-- abortmag.com, 2/10
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