Cubanate – Kolossus

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/Label: Armalyte Industries
Released: 2019
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Band lineup:

Marc Heal – Guitars
Phil Barry – Vocals

1  Kolossus
2  Split Second
3  MIssing Persons
4  Vortex
5  Pattern Recognition
6  Kolossus (Rhys Fulber Remix)
7  Kolossus (DROWND Remix)

Cubanate are back after a long hiatus which has had their fans waiting over two decades for a new release. The English duo thought it was about time to get the band (well, half the original band) back together and being separated by the Atlantic Ocean wasn’t going to be an issue. Not with the power of the internet of course; what an age we live in. Sounds like they thought about meeting up but they didn’t and decided that they would give a new release a bash despite the distance and the length of time between releases. Fortune favors the bold some say.

You know what though, it seems like the years apart haven’t been detrimental to the now two man outfit. ‘Kolossus’ is quite aptly named for the EP of seven tracks, two of which are remixes of the title track and one of these remixes is composed by none other than Front Line Assembly’s Rhy Fulber. They are quite the influential act after all, emanating from the underground to infiltrate various aspects of late 90s popular culture, Cubanate were storming the world before they dissolved back in 2000.

21 years between releases could have been a death sentence to many but with ‘Kolossus’, Cubanate rise from the depths of near-forgotten obscurity and rise triumphantly to re-announce themselves to the world. From the opening self-titled track, you get transported to the late 90s with a sound that would have fitted right in the Mortal Kombat score; something that Cubanate achieved before already. It’s rough and it’s dark and the harsh vocal delivery and lyrics help solidify a weighty smash to the music.

I can’t help but love how the track ‘Vortex’ comes together, utilising all the best aspects of their sound, with the distorted guitars beefing up the blasts of electronica whilst the vocals from Phil Barry flow rapidly but rhythmically. The blend of guitars and the electronic parts were a strong component of what made Cubanate so influential back in the day and they play prominence still throughout this EP. ‘Pattern Recognition’ also serves as another fine example of the guitars adding extra force behind the pulsing bass whilst the shouts of “I predict a terrorist attacking” doesn’t tone down things at all. A fine way to close the new original content before the remixes.

‘Kolossus’ hits hard and works as a well-engineered bridge to cross a massive gap between releases. It’s safe to say that Cubanate have struck back with some high quality music with this EP. It isn’t perfect as it feels a little stuck back in a now, by musical progression standards, bygone era but it’s got a nice throwback feel to it. It also sounds very English so all the time Marc Heel has spent in the States has not worked to dilute this at all. They’ve made a big statement here and what comes next will be of great intrigue. Cubanate surely haven’t let ‘Kolossus’ become their tomb yet but only time will tell and it will depend on their motivations. At least we can enjoy this for now.

Review By:

Pete Mutant