Now I have to admit I never really digged deep into the nu-metal genre and the combination of metal and rap was something for Anthrax and Public Enemy or the bands on the Judgement Night soundtrack. So what Smash Hit Combo does, is quite new to me but nonetheless extremely enjoyable. Somehow I can compare this French band with a blend of Linkin Park, Clawfinger, Ill Nino and Disturbed.
The band was formed in 2004 by musicians with different background. Some were thrash metal fans, others loved hip-hop and at least one of them seems to like electronic music like dubstep and drum 'n' bass. At least, that's what I can make out when I listen to the music. It's a bit like an buffed version of Linkin Park, combining rap (in French) with fierce thrash guitars and a whole lot of electronics. Yet, they have one thing in common: their love for games and game music.
Most of the eleven songs on 'Playmore' follow quite similar paths. Crushing guitars and pounding drums create a strong backbone for a wide array of raps, screams and death growls. The drums are usually slow but extremely energetic and remind me of some of the heaviest dubstep tracks I have in my collection. In a way, this can indeed be seen as the metal version of dubstep. It has the same intensity, aggression and speed. Smash hit Combo even incorporates some real dubstep in tracks like 'Time Attack', where the weird electronic sounds perfectly alternate with the brutality of the rest of the music.
'B3t4' is the exception, this is a short breather, something between electronic post-rock and trip hop. It's too bad that this is such a short song because it's a brilliant piece of work. I actually hope that whoever is responsible for this instrumental comes up with a solo album, filled with stuff like this. Anyway, it's main function here is announcing more nu-metal goodness and it really is good.
'Animal Nocture' is my favorite song, confirming the extreme presence of dubstep and metalcore influences. Like I said earlier, I don't often listen to this style of music but it really is great to have stuff last this blasting through my already punished speakers. I'll end this review by recommending this album to any young metalfan out there but also to the experienced death metal fan. The riffs these guys have come up with are brutal.