Review Summary: All the elements are in line, but this Single/Remix EP coalesces weakly in the face of stronger offerings from 2009's Today We Are All Demons.
 For those curious about this revised review, please read below.
Not being the strongest choice concerning potential marketability and overall quality, Scarred, the 3rd remix EP (doubling as a single) released from Combichrist’s debatably strong 2009 album Today We Are All Demons, still manages to do what Combichrist does effectively: create an arresting atmosphere of heavy metal-esque hostility within the confines of the project’s newly refined EBM/Industrial faculties. The results found here are indefinitely satisfactory, thanks Scarred’s wavering features in the face of TWAAD’s other singles.
Scarred fails to radiate alongside previous singles like Sent to Destroy and All Pain is Gone, simply because the quality of the song is lacking, comparatively.
Absent in Scarred, similarly with All Pain is Gone and Sent to Destory, are Combichrist’s increasingly stale tendencies to default of themes self-indulging profanity and inebriated anti-establishment tropes. LaPlegua’s exciting (though limited) vocals talents tend to be more effective when snarled and shouted with his inimitably turgid delivery [sic]; here LaPlegua’s underwhelming delivery fails to emote the desperation of his post-Orwellian apocalypse-now scenario, despite the admirable stylistic effulgence largely in step with LaPlegua’s dismal Icon of Coil project. The strict-minded dance floor sensibilities of EBM are present, though the influence is not drastically overt. The stamping beat and enticingly hypnotic saw-synth do manage to keep Scarred listenable, and the song’s peak moments do leave some lasting impression. Just not very strong ones. A shame this is, for production qualities are, as always, superb. Pacing and flow are seamless, transitions are fluid and natural, and the sounds are crisp, rich, and full. All the elements are in line, but they just fail coalesce. The song succeeds, but in the face of stronger offerings, it’s insufficient.
All Pain is Gone managed to wring out a startling myriad of emotive backdrops within similar narrative context, while the anthemic Sent to Destroy managed to distort EBM structuralism with frenetic synth leads and scathing vocal delivery. Scarred feels like a burgeoning love child between the two with minor birth defects.
Granted, remixing opportunities provide artist the ability to improve upon a song’s foundation. Results here vary.
The collaboration with guitarist Wes Borland (of Limp Bizkut fame) lead to the production of a solid remix that warps the song’s mild dance-predispositions with mosh-pit seduction, redirecting the listener’s attention with convincingly enraging nü-metal riffs placed on top of a largely unaltered track. The Club Mix aims to polarize Scarred’s music direction and appeal, sousing the song with club-friendly electronic noise and saucy synth reconstructions of familiar elements while spicing the vocals up with effective vocoder manipulation. Both offerings are undeniably solid and interestingly encapsulate Combichrist’s newer artistic directions effectively.
The same cannot be said for the four remaining tracks. Both Imperative Reaction’s and Pull Out King’s remixes adopts a more divergent take on a club friendly direction, but neither illuminate to the same levels as the aforementioned Club Mix. Same goes for Shok Zeitmahl’s take, a derivative interpretation of the Wes Borland remix, whose speedy beats and grainy synths fail to inspire the same levels of excitement. The dull closer Parental Content is little more than a nearly 7-minute filler beat, insipid samples, and aimless, lacking basslines.
Fans will understandably definitely find something to love about Scarred’s remix offerings, and maybe even the album mix itself. While it’s definitely weaker offering from Today, it does have the potential to appeal, and it certainly doesn’t reach the nauseating lows that have accompanied some of LaPlegua’s easily forgettable mishaps (read: any Dark Side release accompanying any major Combichrist release). Granted, Scarred offers a glimpse into that world as well.
We all make mistakes. I make many, and my initial 2010 review wasn’t a mistake. It was a goddamn blight upon the psyche of all who read it. It was highly subjective and poorly written. Look below and you’ll even see the remnants of my arrogance in the comments section, where I senselessly confront a user for disagreeing with my review. I apologize to all, in hopes that this revision will do justice to this album’s credit.