Cubanate‘s ‘Brutalism‘ is a re-mastered compilation album, released in May of 2017. It features selections from 1993’s ‘Antimatter‘, 1994’s ‘Cyberia’, and 1996’s ‘Barbarossa‘. Though a lovely trip down industrial-metal crossover memory lane, the remasters offer a seductive musical entree for fans old and new. Cubanate have just finished a tour promoting the ‘Brutalism‘ release, with KANGA, Je$us loves Amerika, Empirion, and Cease2xist.

Autonomy‘ kicks off the body of work with a good opening tempo and energy, allegretto. What is now defined as Industrial-metal crossover is imminent, and it is impossible to sit still. A well organized layering of distortion and sounds trademark to Cubanate gets the listener pumped. Moving right along into ‘Junky‘, we hear an intoxicating rhythm and potent imitative lyric drop. The lyrics seem to paint the picture of the symbiotic relationship between junkie and dealer. Symbiotic? Mutualistic? Parasitic? Reflecting on that more, perhaps a relationship exemplar of the title itself? Without time to ponder anymore, ‘Brutalism‘ hammers on with ‘Kill Or Cure‘, which lyrically seems introspective and begs the question: “Who are you”? ‘Body Burn‘ beckons to the listener with as much ferocity as the music itself, ensuring you definitely feel the heat. The highlight and appeal of poetic lines in ‘Angeldust‘ are growled by Marc Heal, in a distinct vocal timbre that is for the long time fan instantly discernable. Heavy power-chords and a massive kick is apparent in ‘Hatesong‘, leading into ‘Oxyacetylene‘. This track is one I would recommend for anyone who has not heard Cubanate for a one-song sampling. Catchy, punchy, and effective in a one-pill dose, this track summarizes the Cubanatesound and is perfect for ‘Brutalism‘. We move along navigating into a three-song climatic plateau, with ‘Skeletal‘, ‘Industry‘, and ‘Barbarossa‘. ‘Skeletal‘ moves us into allegro territory, picking up the energy even more, begging fans to “gimme all you got.” ‘Industry‘ features a heavier, metal guitar and even faster supplemental hi-hat strikes that feel like the crash and burn after the latter track. ‘Barbarossa‘ keeps the momentum of the plateau, leading into our descent with ‘Vortech I‘, followed by a personal favorite off ‘Brutalism‘, ‘Why Are You here?‘ Cubanate slows us down slightly with a hypnotic beat that puts you in a trance with it’s wide vocal sound. ‘Joy‘ has an eclectic-off beat rhythm with gritty palm mutes to supplement, letting the metaphorical beast loose with good energy leading into the last track of the album, ‘Lord Of The Flies‘. Perhaps a statement of identity, this track is a claim of musical territory with the line “This is my empire, these are my people.” ‘Brutalism‘ closes with as much potency and ferocity as the opening track.

The whole body of work stays true to the sound that is Cubanate, and the genre that they helped define.

Malinda Mansfield