Cubanate ‘Brutalism’ album review
Cubanate ‘Brutalism’ (Armalyte Industries)
CD | DL
Rel Date: 5th May 2017
‘Brutalism’ marks the welcome return of Cubanate; the UK techno/industrial band who burst out of the London underground in 1992 with a demo version of ‘Body Burn’ which was picked up by Kiss FM, and were instantly signed to the German based Dynamica Records; this compilation album gathers together all their material from 1992-1996 subsequently released by Dynamica.
Fourteen tracks drawn from the bands three albums all presented in chronological order; this entire package hits hard – brutal, techno paced industrial metal that genuinely sounds as vital now as upon release.
Opener ‘Autonomy’ from the 1993 ‘Antimatter’ album drops you into a swirling vortex of rivet head beats, chanted vocal refrains, all underpinned with a cavernous thumping bass…’Junky’ has a monster bass, treated mechanised vocals, and a nagging guitar riff that sounds like it was recorded yesterday, whilst ‘Kill Or Cure’ would easily drop into the soundtrack of any self-respecting DJ at countless festival dance tents this summer.
Hearing ‘Body Burn’ again after so long it’s easy to understand just what all the excitement was about, its harsh electronic led beats, combined with slashing guitars enabled Cubanate to cross the normal genres; In May 1994 Melody made the ‘Metal’ EP Single of The Week, later that year they toured alongside Carcass – this turned about to be a particularly violent tour ending in death threats to frontman Marc Heal and an on-air confrontation on the Radio One Rock Show with Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson. They later had more successful tours with Fear Factory, The Sisters of Mercy, and Rammstein.
Second album ‘Cyberia’ (1995) produced the hit single ‘Oxyacetylene’ (arguably considered Cubanate’s creative peak) a raging head kick of pumping beats, chanted vocals and scorched guitars overlaid with all kinds or electronic madness – bizarrely ‘Oxyacetylene’ was included on the 1996 compilation album ‘Mortal Kombat: More Kombat’ and was later used as the theme tune of the 1998 PlayStation game Gran Turismo which indicates just how influential Cubante were.
‘Industry’ lifted from the 1995 ‘Cyberia’ album demonstrates how Cubanate were progressing, despite the energy there is a dark edge to the material steering the band away from techno towards industrial metal; the theme continued with the 1996 album ‘Barbarossa’ included here alongside single ‘Joy’ which sits comfortably alongside more familiar names like Front 242, Ministry, and Nitzer Ebb.
‘Brutalism’ perfectly showcase’s a band genuinely ahead of their time, much of what Cubanate were doing is now mainstream but back then it caused consternation particularly in the precious hard rock genre; the mashing up of styles, the punk ‘do anything’ attitude resulted in a potent mix that is very welcome all these years later.
Cubanate split-up in 2000 but reformed in 2016 for a performance at a festival in Chicago.
03. Kill Or Cure
04. Body Burn
11. Vortech I
12. Why Are You Here?
14. Lord Of The Flies