The jury seems to be out on reunited Floridian brutalisers Maruta. First album Forward into Regression (Willowtip) split those who love the energy and crossover of Grind and Metalcore; and those holding the belief that they are a generic, wholly unoriginal band, whose infection of their sound with the latter, much-maligned sub-genre is nought shy of sinful.
In truth there’s more of a chaotic, technically infused Deathcore meets Dillinger Escape Plan about follow-up Remain Dystopian (Relapse); the ferocious staccato of opener ‘Genocide Interval’ involving feverish fretboard work and the twisting, blistering tempos of the rhythm section. The ensuing ‘Hope Smasher’ sees more frantic guitar compete for direction, with drums turning from rapid blastbeats to thunderous groove pounding, Mitchell Luna’s vocals veering between guttural growls and ‘core style screams.
Those jazzy string flurries, reminiscent of Captain Beefheart but with added ferocity, both confuse and thrill, not least in the brief, throttled lead of ‘Minimal Progress’. The sinister, teeth-rattling drops into nothingness of the Tomas Lindberg-graced ‘Stride Endlessly Through Scorched Earth’ is however, one of the rare departures from a delightfully angry but, in its early stages, unflinching set, whilst, of course, enabling those of us who enjoy imitating an epileptic fit when moshing to thoroughly express themselves.
This is also, as the album progresses, much more memorable than many other such efforts due to the creeping influence of other areas of metal: the gravity of the Doom-laden ‘Erode’ and ‘Return to Zero’ being prime examples, the ominous feel sticking like glue to your brain. Largely a pulverising half-hour of primal scream, however, the mix of varying styles is more fully exhibited in the rapid yet resonant pulse of the head-caving ‘Psalm for the Withered’, a track surely to be exploited to the full in a live setting.
Seething with a fulminating ire, yet showing unexpected versatility, there’s enough here to suggest Maruta may stick in the minds this time. If you’re pissed off with parents and / or bullies, but don’t want an ignominious revenge to stick you on the front pages, exercise your frustration with these guys instead.