Jan 2018 07

Cubanate - BrutalismCubanate
Category: Industrial / Rock
Album: Brutalism
Blurb: Well renowned for fusing heavy metal guitars with techno, this collection of tracks from Cubanate’s early period is a perfect example of that band’s significance in shaping what industrial/rock is today.


Since returning to the stage in 2016 after an absence of 17 years, Cubanate has enjoyed a period of renewed vitality with audiences once again basking in the band’s inimitable fusion of techno percussion and electronics with heavy metal guitars. Brutalism collects 14 of Cubanate’s most notable tracks from the band’s period on the Machinery/Dynamica Records label, remastered and showcasing the best of this band’s adrenaline fueled musical aggression. Complete with notes from vocalist/founder Marc Heal detailing the songs’ origins, this is an essential collection for fans of Cubanate and industrial/rock as a whole.

A distorted and almost mocking voice enters warning that “Somebody’s laughing at you,” a vicious electronic pulse rapidly kicking into high gear, and “Autonomy” begins the proceedings as Brutalism proceeds down a chronological path down the band’s history. From the Antimatter debut album, we have the blistering breakneck rhythms of “Kill Or Cure” and “Body Burn” immediately proving their mettle as dance floor killers, while “Junky” demonstrates the band’s more insidious and atmospheric side, slowing the tempo down to emphasize the cold simplicity of the lyrical subject matter. Only “Angeldust” appears from the Metal EP, a period when Heal’s songwriting partner Graham Rayner had departed the band, leaving a space for guitarist Phil Barry to fill for the remainder of Cubanate’s tenure; as a song, it showcases a slicker approach with the resonant vocal effects becoming as much an instrument as the guitars and electronics, the composition taking on more intricate arrangements. Barry’s input is far more palpable from this point on as the tracks from Cyberia assault the listener with not only heavier rhythms but also more powerful riffs, with “Hatesong,” “Oxyacetylene,” “Skeletal,” and especially “Industry” pummeling through the speakers with the industrial force of a hydraulic piston high on speed. The remainder of the album covers the Barbarossa record, and while the title track and “Vortech I” pick up right where Cyberia left off, “Why Are You Here?” shows a more expansive rhythmic and songwriting structure, the offbeat riffs and marching shuffle rhythms being particularly striking. Similarly, “Joy” is almost playfully anthemic with an almost tribal beat and alternating ascending and descending power chords, while the sinister epic “Lord of the Flies” brings Brutalism and the early Cubanate sound to a close as waves of electrified ambience and stabbing guitar riffs anchor a bouncing bass drone and complex beats. All the while, Heal’s penchant for dark storytelling pervades each track, his grizzled and intense voice seething with a myriad of emotions seemingly at once.

The band’s fourth full-length album, 1997’s Interference signaled the band’s signing to WaxTrax!/TVT and a shift toward a more drum & bass and breakbeat influenced sound; though the absence of tracks from this period is almost certainly due to a rights issue, that along with the lack of any new or unreleased material is perhaps for the best to allow Brutalism to stand as a document of Cubanate’s earlier output. After all, this is arguably what many still remember the band for – that strange concoction of metal infused techno that inspired a new generation of industrial/rockers and rivetheads. For that alone, as well as the pristine sound of Jules Seifert’s remastering, makes Brutalism well worth every penny for fans and newcomers alike.
Track list:

  1. Autonomy
  2. Junky
  3. Kill Or Cure
  4. Body Burn
  5. Angeldust
  6. Hatesong
  7. Oxyacetylene
  8. Skeletal
  9. Industry
  10. Barbarossa
  11. Vortech I
  12. Why Are You Here?
  13. Joy
  14. Lord of the Flies

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Purchase at:
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Storming the Base CD
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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