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SUPLECS (Mad Oak Redoux) CD

It seems as if SUPLECS remained a kind of well-kept secret among fans of heavy music even though they are located in New Orleans. Furthermore Man's Ruin Records released the first two albums at the beginning of the last decade but nonetheless there was not much talk about SUPLECS during the last years. But this will probably soon change, because Small Stone Records have picked up the band and released their fourth studio album named 'Mad Oak Redoux' in 2011. One thing is certain: a lot has happened since the old days. 'Mad Oak Redoux' is unexpectedly multilayered and the band doesn't guite go with the full-scale frontal assault that characterizes the early albums. Of course there are a range of weighty riffs as well and especially songs such as 'Stand Alone' or 'Tried to Build An Engine' remind me of former times.

But then there are songs like 'Once Again' and 'Worlds On Fire', where the band starts to blend their riff-based world with indie rock and poppy hooks. That may perhaps sound a bit awful, but I think that this tracks are among best ones on 'Mad Oak Redoux'. Firstly, because the combination of this different styles workes very well here, but also because SUPLECS are capable of writing irresistibly charming melodies. However, 'Switchblade' wil give pleasure to all those who are hungry for crushing doom-tinged southern metal whereas 'Coward' sounds too much like Fu Manchu. But I am more impressed by '2 x 4' that alternates between psychedelic parts and driving guitar riffs.

Nevertheless, I will confess that I have my problems with the vocal style of guitarist Dural Yates. This is not the case in every song, but particularly in 'Fema Man' where his rap-like style is reminiscent of the vocalists from alll the horrible crossover bands that were very much in fashion in the 1990's (glad it's all over). Fortunately, Dural Yates changes his style during the other songs because actually he is a solid raw sounding vocalist and has no need to transform to a pseudo-microphone checker. But it's the only flaw in this otherwise very enjoyable album. 'Mad Oak Redoux' is not overflowing with thick, hefty, metal-influenced rock riffs, and solos, but rather provides an effective dark mixture of heavy riff power, emotional depth, memorable songs and crunching rhythms. To summarize, SUPLECS crafted a fine album, that sticks out of the mass.