May 5, 2011 | , | 4

Maruta, Forward into Regression

I thought I was ready. I had limbered up, done my stretching. Hell, I’d even watched the wife do her pilates, but as enjoyable as that was, it didn’t do shit to prepare me. At least not my spinal column.

Maruta’s sophomore effort, Forward Into Regression, is a neck snapping, skull crushing blast of grinding death metal that leans heavily on the grind. Punctuated by the split personality barks of front man Mitchell Luna, the album packs in 16 tracks of bludgeoning rhythms, blasting grind and lurching riffs all in the effort to leave your back bone in a twisted knot of shattered vertebrae and misfiring nerve synapses. Backing Luna’s combination of higher end screams and battery acid guttural growls, are a couple of new comers on drums (Danny Morris) and bass (Mauro Cordoba). All do their best to keep up with guitarist Eduardo Borja as he shreds away at discordant squeals and rumbling riffs that all carry a focused flare for the technical.

After the two minute eruption that is essentially the title track, Forward Into Regression launches head first into a first half of an album that’s a bit more raw and less polished than the material in the later tracks. That’s not to say that blasting songs like the technical “Strain,” the unrelenting “Stagnation Routine” and the down-tuned monstrosity “Devoid of Allegiance” are crap songs — far from it. It’s just that I think the band’s sound in the later tracks lean towards a more polished (not overly clean, mind you) sound that really compliments what these hellions are belting out at a rapid fire rate. “Swine Swallower,” with it’s thrash influenced gallop is pretty much the tipping point for this shift. It seems, perhaps, that everything after this track is a bit more restrained and incorporates a bit more of a death metal element. It’s a shift that I am all for.

“Etched in Granite” has a slower and sludgier vibe to it that will swallow you whole with smothering, off-kilter guitars and tempo shifting blasts. The groove filled “Salient,” however, has some of the better riffing on the album and is a track that, despite the lack of growls/screams, is a standout on the album. Following up that shift toward down-tuned groove, Maruta erupt into the spastic, tempo shattering “Solace Through Self Annihilation.” It’s the first of three tracks that bleed together in a flurry of blasting drums, barking growls and aural dissonance.

The final two tracks on Forward Into Regression are arguably my favorite on the album. “Gaiares,” despite its extremely short length, hits home for me with it’s more death metal influenced riffing and unrelenting nature. It’s a beast of a song that sets you up for the latter half of this one-two punch — closer “Blood of the Ludites.” This last track, along with the death metal trimmings, also incorporates a bit of a sludgy doom atmosphere to the machine gunning drums and rumbling rhythms. It’s a track that really shows what these guys are capable of creating and if it’s any indication of the direction they may take their sound, I cannot wait to hear the next release.

Maruta made a name for themselves with their debut In Narcosis, but it’s on this latest effor that we really get a hint of what’s to come with this Florida crew has yet to unleash upon the Earth. I’ll need to be more prepared next time.