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Math and Death, Insanity and Genius… - 91%

bayern, February 17th, 2017

This act was recommended to me by a friend who knew that I was a fan of the Italians Psychofagist, and he was sure that I was going to like “these crazy Americans”. And he was right, I did like “these crazy Americans” who have specialized in spastic psychotic concoctions of grindcore and death metal played with the utmost intensity for most of the time, leaving no room whatsoever for any side deviations. The guys started with the more conventional, albeit still pretty nerve-stretching, debut “In Narcosis” which sounded like the twisted little “brother” of “Symphonies of Sickness”. It was an entertaining fare on all counts serving the essence of the modern technical grind/death metal hybrid within a bit over half an hour.

Then the sophomore opus “Forward into Regression” was thrown over the unsuspecting audience three years later who had to endure another stylish cacophony with a boosted, modernized guitar sound; a not-for-the squeamish intricate noise which some “experts” labelled as “deathmath”. I have to admit that said “experts” may have produced the correct tag for the Maruta exploits, after all, as some of the jarring, jumpy riffage on the marginally slower material could pass for Ion Dissonance or Meshuggah on hyper-energetic steroids. The tag may become even more justified after one listens to the album reviewed here which may be viewed as the legitimate “marriage” between technical brutal death and mathcore. A word of warning for the math lovers, though, who may rush to the stores immediately to purchase this effort: this is fairly furious, unbridled stuff for at least half the time largely comprising short (no longer than 2-min) “bullets” creating frantic chaotic dissonance for the uninitiated ears.

Those who are not pulled back by the description provided above can carry on Columbus… sorry, reading. The thing is that these Czech “psychos” named T.O.O.H. created the extraordinary masterpiece “From Higher Will” (2000) which remains the peak in the very technical grind/death metal hybrid all these years rendering the other efforts in this trend more or less necessary afterthoughts. However, comes the Maruta gang on the scene, and things way as well become a bit different with them around. So the more daring audience should expect spastic “electric shocks” which scratch the nerves with sterile guitar acrobatics the latter ranging from super-fast rifforamas to dissonant spacey “serenity” all happening within the space of 1.5/2-min. Another “duel” is encountered in the vocal department where a shrieky hysterical banshee “fights” with a brutal low-tuned guttural throat the whole time. The musicianship is impeccable all over inevitably touching super-technical wizards like Cryptopsy, Necrophagist and Suffocation although the guitar approach here is more modern and more mechanical, but by all means more structured and coherent than, say, Portal and the likes.

One shouldn’t try to view this recording as separate songs since that would be nearly impossible. With the majority of the tracks (17 altogether) barely reaching the 2-min mark, this album should be appreciated as one big seamless whole. “Submergence aka Barren Oceans of Infinity”, for example, is over 4-min long, and is marked by slower, jarring mathematical riffs and a prolonged ambient outro; no hyper-active extremities. But that’s pretty much it in terms of certain borders established between tracks although “Return To Zero” is another differentiator with its bleak pessimistic landscapes aka Gorguts’ “Obscura” and more recent Ulcerate excluding the surreal atonal speedy exit.

Needless to add, the technical musical proficiency is very high although there will be some who will dismiss this effort as a pile of chaotic noise, and will probably “throw” the band and their exploits into the “garbage bin” where all the super-fast superficial riff-mongers “contaminating” the scene at present belong. Not so fast as the delivery here is much more than senseless brutal downpour, and again there should be fans from the math side that will find quite a bit to like here. It’s quite unique to hear this dispassionate, precise music which can still pass for death metal without following the Canadian, the Swedish, the Floridian or any other canons established previously. The nagging thought in a case like this is that a “go-between” position like the one witnessed here may not be occupied for very long, and history has seen quite a few of the death metal cohorts (Gorguts, Ulcerate, Morbus Chron, Psychofagist, etc.) switching to other genre(s). Another “betrayal” may be looming on the horizon as the Maruta team don’t seem particularly caring as to what label their music would receive. The guys just have fun shattering the nerves and the aural organs of the less tolerant, more scholastic side of the fandom, and are possibly meditating over the idea of how the math version of “Unquestionable Presence” or “Human” would sound like coming out of their hands.