In Narcosis

Written by: AB on 23/12/2008 02:50:31

Yay me, another grind album! Hooray! I just looove to listen to stupidly fast songs with a guy who's sounding like a stabbed pig screaming about the evil of the government or about how you should cave in your grandmother's head with your favourite hatchet. And I totally just dig how these guys manage to cram in 20 songs in as many minutes, because that really lets you get into the songs so you can enjoy them at the most in the shortest while! Poorly done sarcasm aside, it should be obvious that grindcore isn't my favourite genre of extreme metal. My two main gripes are, as already kind of mentioned, the usually bad vocals, and the focus on really short songs. Don't get me wrong, I love the deep growls that many grind bands employ, the problem is that these are often just there to support the main screaming vocals which I find hideous. A mix between a hardcore roar/scream (which I despise) and the aforementioned 'gutted pig squeal' isn't doing me nor the poor vocalist's throat any good I think. Anyways, I shall obviously try not to be too biased against Maruta here, as I really can't fault them for playing a genre I dislike. Even though the point with short songs somehow still stands, there's so many of them that there'll be no point in doing a track by track analysis/review here. Instead I'll jump straight to the parts I don't like, and then, conversely, straight to the parts I do like.

First off then, I dislike the screaming vocals heard throughout most of the record (surprise surprise). They really don't add the 'groove' of the deeper, more guttural grunts that Maruta also makes use of, but instead just become a nuisance that pisses you off instead of making you headbang. I dislike the grindcore routine of arbitrarily using breakdowns all of a sudden, and the cliché that is the movie sound clip (on more than a minute's length!) in a song.

What works, however, is that Maruta introduces quite a few more tempo changes than in your average grindcore. And not just breakdowns! Obviously it's spiced up with frantic all-out crazy bursts of speed and brutality, but several songs use 'midtempo grind' in lengthy parts, which is very well supplemented by dual vocals and time signature changes. Take a look at "Demise of the Humanist" for a good example of slowed down grind for example. Throw in the nice instrumental work, and the longer tracks on the album are easily the most interesting ones. Not that the instruments aren't handled well in the shorter songs too - they are, especially the guitar work is solid - but it is in the longer songs that Maruta has got the time to show off song writing skills and not only how fast they can be. A track like "Rise of the Iron Moth" shows this well, in the slower parts they remind me in a weird way of technical death metallers Sickening Horror and the unique sound on their excellent "When Landscapes Bleed Backwards", and then all of a sudden, Maruta is back to grindin' again which creates a nice energy and a good feel of vivacity in the song.

All in all this was a pleasant surprise, as Maruta adds a lot of interesting bits and pieces to the tried and tested grand grind (heh) formula in a way that really works for them when they dare to oppose the conventions of their genre. Which sadly isn't done all the time, which would have made this album a thoroughly pleasant experience.

Download: Demise of the Humanist, Rise of the Iron Moth, Serotonin, Idolize Then Destroy
For the fans of: Pig Destroyer
Listen: MySpace

Release date 27.10.2008
Candlelight Records

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