Despite forming in 1989, French band Supuration has only made its first introduction to the Ringmaster Review with new album Cube 3, the third of a trilogy of albums which began with the first instalment in 1993 and the second coming a decade later. It is an enthralling and magnetic release which even without being able to raise comparisons with its predecessors stands as an intriguing and intensely pleasing encounter.
Hailing from Valenciennes, the trio of Ludovic Loez (keyboards, bass, guitars, vocals), Fabrice Loez (sampler, guitars), and Thierry Berger (drums), has released numerous records alongside the trio of albums, not only as Supuration but also with their more progressive incarnation S.U.P. (Spherical Unit Provided). First album in the trilogy Cube as mentioned made its entrance two decades ago with the second Incubation following in 2003, both to strong acclaim, something the band is prone to receiving across their aural guises. More often than not tagged as progressive death metal, Supuration with the new album alone shows that the label is quite limiting to what is explored and ignited within their diverse and unique imagination. Released via Listenable Records, Cube 3 engages the brutality and black depths of death metal with the soaring expanses of progressive metal undoubtedly, but equally blossoms essences of post punk, groove metal, and avant-garde discord driven invention to their fullest potency within continually twisting and slightly twisted sonic alchemy.
Opening track Syngery Awakes grabs the ear like a bear, its muscular paws a predatory encounter with deep sinewy grooves carving the senses before unleashing scything sonic lashes around the growling vocal malevolence of Loez. The track proceeds to gnaw and brutalise whilst equally seducing with melodic veins of instinctive and tempting elegance musically and equally through clean vocal harmonies alongside malicious squalls for an explosive and enthralling confrontation. The track is like a blend of Sybreed, Livarkahil, and Opeth with whispers of a Karnivool or 6:33 making their quiet yet pungent contribution at times.
The following Introversion takes the mere thumping beats of Berger and taunting guitar provocation to strike a further intensity in focus and brewing passion for what is on offer, the song a stalk of rugged riffs and punchy rhythms speared with infectious guitar flames and persistent grooves which feel familiar yet unrecognisable. The clean vocals again add an extra scintillating texture to the tempest around them whilst the warmth of the melodic breeze wrapping the sturdier gait of the track, is a wonderful mystery to the rising intensity at the heart of the track.
The Disenthrall and Consumate both intrude upon the senses with startling invention and all-consuming mastery to only increase the now rampant ardour for the release. By the time the pair have ravaged and laid down their irresistible temptation, the album has secured a long-term persuasion no matter what is to come in the latter part of Cube 3. The first of the two is a brief but potent sonic frenzy with raging riffs and equally virulent rhythms which is as much part industrial as it is death or progressive metal, with the air of early Killing Joke and Fear Factory at mischievous play even if not a loud shout sound wise. The second stands over the listener like a hulking leviathan of ravenous riffs and intensity , the drums caging and cutting off any escape so the vocals can scowl and chant over the carcass of the exhausted senses. It is another outstanding violation of thoughts and synapses with the richest of rewards to exhilarate with.
The second half of the album is equally as impacting and aggressively spellbinding with both The Incongruents and The Delegation exploiting the now opened up rapture for the release with riveting imaginative endeavours, the second of the two a carnally invading provocation which is as diverse as it is unreasonably catchy. Though both songs slip slightly below the heights of earlier songs they still excel with tantalising breath before passing over to the excellent Data Dance, the song just one more electrifying pinnacle. Unpredictable and emphatically ingenious with a creative entrapment of epidemic proportions, the song leaves the listener wanting for nothing and bloated on primal intensity and glorious imagination.
With the closing duo of The Flight and The Climax doing no less than bringing a final collective triumph to the album, Code 3 is a stunning slab of progressive death metal or brutally hungry progressive metal, whichever way you look at it, the album is immense and the trigger to go explore the band past and present much deeper.
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