Supuration - Cube 3 (Listenable Records)

An album that makes huge claims about itself and then fails to live up to them. But not a bad album even taking that into account.
Release Date: 
25 Feb 2013 (All day)

I’m new to this band, so even though they have a twenty year career behind them, I can only judge them on this album. In the press release they make a pretty fucking massive claim, that they “sound like an unexpected mixture of a crushing Carcass and an intimate Pink Floyd”.  That’s a huge self-imposed hype to live up to and they most certainly do not do it. Which is a shame, because without that hype I might have been better disposed to them from the outset.

However, take away the hubris and they’re a band with an interesting and powerful vibe. The first track, Synergy Awakes, opens strongly, but the mix levels are a bit strange. Something about the vocals didn’t quite sit well with me. By the second track, Introversion, it all started to settle down a bit. The mix of heavy and soft, the lyrical guitar lines over driving riffs and multi-layered vocal track here started to catch my attention. The bass is always a little low in the mix, though, which is a shame. 

Then comes an underscore of heaviness with the higher, more melodic lines over the top that really appeals, especially evident in tracks like Consumate. There’s nothing here to even hint at Pink Floyd or Carcass, and the band does itself a disservice drawing comparisons like that. They’ve got their own thing going on that, if anything, is closer to the style of prog metal like Opeth, but even that is drawing a bloody long bow.

By track seven, out of nine, Data Dance, things are getting a little bit samey. I wish the band would embrace more deeply the combination of lyrical and growling, melodic and death. There’s definitely a lot to like here and I dig what the band seem to be attempting, but they never quite pull it out of the gates.

Interestingly, the band is perhaps better know as its SUP incarnation. Cube 3 is only the third full length album from Supuration, after Cube, released 20 years ago, and Incubation, released 10 years ago. I can’t help wondering if SUP are a better band than Supuration, as SUP are touted (by themselves) as “extra conceptual”. I kinda think they’d be better at that. I clearly have some SUP education to undertake.

In the meantime, this is far from a bad record. It’s definitely worth a listen. I’ll be listening to it some more and I feel like perhaps it’ll grow on me. But, especially for something essentially twenty years in the making, it doesn’t strike me as being close to all it could have been.