Suicide Commando's Mindstrip album is what really put him on the map as a musical artist. He is definitely not mainstream, but he seems to have a strong following of gothic techno fans. I first listened to this album a year ago and became hooked on the S.C. sound.
The album starts out very dark and creepy with its first track, "Jesus Wept". The samples at the beginning appear to be from a horror movie or some other source typical of Suicide Commando songs. After the initial creepiness, a heavy percussion beat comes in with dark and growling lyrics. This was the first Suicide Commando song I ever heard and it really took me off guard. It is probably the harshest techno I have ever heard, but it has some very intense and dark energy.
The second track, "Hellraiser", is an instant classic. It became very popular in clubs due to its driving beat that makes you want to bust out some crazy dance moves. It starts out with a creepy keyboard loop followed by pounding bass drums and synth bass. Finally, the haunting demonic vocals enter with lyrics suggesting some sort of demented love song.
"Body Count Proceed" starts out with a sample and some synth drums and sound effects. The sample at the beginning recurs throughout the song, saying "When I rolled him over, the back of his head was crushed". I liked this song quite a bit, particularly the very hard percussion.
The fourth track, "Raise Your God", is not one of my favorite songs on the album, but it is still pretty good. The keyboard at the beginning is a little annoying, but if you are able to listen past it you will hear some creepy spurts of vocals.
"Mindstripper", the fifth track, is not one of my favorites either. It starts out very slowly with an odd keyboard loop, but the percussion sounds like a trash can lid being struck with a stick and seems really out of place.
"Run" is a mostly instrumental track that starts out very quietly and gradually progresses to a drum and bass beat. It seems too chaotic for my liking, much like the previous song.
After the last several mediocre songs you might be wondering if this album is going to get any better. "Comatose Delusion" is the song that brings back the classic Suicide Commando style and revives the album. It features the hard drum beats that I enjoy as well as the great demonic vocals.
The next track, "Blood in Face" starts out with a sample and a strange static-like sound effect rhythm. This beat continues throughout the entire song without much change, making it a little too repetetive for my taste.
Finally, we come to my favorite song on the album: "Love Breeds Suicide". It starts out with a creepy harpischord loop and orchestra hits, continuing until the synth bass comes in. The melody of this song is very beautiful and contrasts with the dark vocals and percussion very well. As the name suggests, this song is about love and the dark feelings produced by the emptiness of loss. I'm sure all of us can relate to the lyrics somehow.
The last track, featuring a sample from the movie "Hellraiser", closes the album well. It is one of the better songs on the album and starts out with a nice synthesized melody and a percussion that resembles the sound of marching before progressing to the standard heavy bass drum beat. The lyrics on this song appear to describe a society oppressed by a deity, which may or may not be referring to the grip that religion has on modern society.
Overall, this album is very good. Despite a few mediocre tracks in the middle, Suicide Commando holds his own and produces several noteworthy singles. We can now only hope that his future albums will live up to this precedent!