I don’t know how it’s possible, but in a genre defined by extreme and excessively abrasive music, Maruta have released an album somehow more extreme and abrasive than anything I’ve heard in a long time. The newest release from the Florida death/grind group is titled ‘Remain Dystopian’ and it’s about as grim and unforgiving as it gets. Featuring performances from J.R Hayes (Pig Destroyer) and Thomas Lindberg (At The Gates) and production credits including Scott Hull (Pig Destroyer), these guys have made a huge step up from their last record..
The first listen just totally passed over my head, it’s so fast and callous, I knew I liked it but I couldn’t find a moment to think why; my head so full of noise it’s hard to think of anything except their unique harmonic laden, slippery guitar riffs. It’s like self-inflicting some kind of aural punishment, its brutal and uncomfortable but you don’t really want it to stop. It’s on the second listen this album starts to make sense and you begin to hear the memorable moments like the incredible sweeping arpeggio lasers on second track ‘Hope Smasher’ and the down-tuned dissonance of ‘Return To Zero’.
Remain Dystopian is a great mix between groovier death metal and frantic grindcore. Notably the drums never really slow down, the creative guitar playing changes speeds and styles quite often, but the drums are almost entirely unrelenting blast-beats, double pedal and an unholy wash of toms and cymbals. It’s an unbelievable cacophony, at times completely unintelligible, which makes the resolving death metal riffs so good. When there is a break, like at the end of standout track ‘Stride Endlessly Through Scorched Earth’ and the excellent ‘Submergence…’ it is a relief, but you do want more and it’s never long before you get it again in legion.
This album is relentlessly brutal and bleak, the dystopian theme expressed in the lyrics over and over again. Mitchell Luna’s merciless scream at the end of ‘Hope Smasher’ “This is desperation, this is exasperation” sums up the general feeling of disillusionment and anger at a hierarchical society that flows through the lyrics and music.
Technically these guys are on point, and honestly, fucking savage. Luna’s vocals are very impressive throughout, transitioning from a full guttural growl to piercing scream effortlessly, additionally drummer Daniel Morris displays some incredible skill, especially in ‘Absolutist’. The bar for technical proficiency in their genre is very high and the whole band rise above it easily. I would love to see them live just to see how they manage to hold it together, and I might just do that when they visit London on the 27th of June.
(7.5/10 Kane Power)