Supuration - Imago review
01. From Blood Of Chrysalis
02. Insect Drug
05. Hybrid State
06. Strange Vibrations
07. Liquid Flows
08. The Deformed Army
10. Nothing I Control
Alternative metal ? S.U.P., while not absolutely avant-garde, is a difficult band to put in a box. On this album you'll find mostly clean vocals, a discreet Paradise Lost influence (the melodic background guitar on Desolation), keyboards to add atmosphere… but not enough to be labelled as electro. The songs are mid-tempo (except Liquid Flows). The work on the vocals can be disorienting at times : Hybrid State features hacked vocals on some parts and strange echoes on the rest. And that's only one example.
The band as mostly left behind their extreme roots, for example there are very few growls on this album. The music is melodic, mainly based on harmonies between guitars, keyboards, and vocals, all the while staying downtuned and creepy. No demonstrative solos here, much more repetitive riffs outlined by keyboard parts. Mark me, when I say 'repetitive', I don't say 'droning' or 'cast in stone', they evolve, but generate a somewhat meditative state (dark, of course).
This album is quite dark, with a somewhat cold and 'detached' feeling, but certainly not as icy as was Chronophobia (another excellent S.U.P. album). This kind of atmosphere is really typical of the band, a trademark if you will.
And, as always with S.U.P., Imago is a concept album. It's the story of a man who takes a special drug called 'Chrysalis'. He takes it two times, while he shouldn't have… And we follow him, witnessing his transformation. Transformation culminating, of course, with Imago, the last track (imago is the scientific name for the adult form of some insects, mainly butterflies…).
Imago. This one and only song, trancends the rest of the album. It's a dark, haunting instrumental where the insect-man takes flight. Words are just meaningless when trying to describe a wonder such as this. Listen to it. Again. You're addicted, speechless.
While not perfect (one or two song are not indispensable), this album is really good. The vocals, distorded, echoing, reverberating, are really adding to the 'insect experience', the riffs are well chosen, and the keyboards complete the mood. It's not an album for fans of speedy and brutal metal, but if you like dark moods and innovative bands, you've found your mark !
Highlights : Hybrid State, Strange Vibrations (aptly named, with its - well, strange - bass overdubs), Liquid Flows (fastest song of the album, the most harsh and percussive), Deformed Army (with its haunting and repetitive vocals), Imago (of course).
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