By Mitchell Luna (Maruta)
It actually turned out to be a lot more difficult—than I anticipated—to narrow down the list to 10 bands that have greatly influenced Maruta, let alone 5. So, 6 made the cut! These are bands that in our opinion(s) did something new and fresh at the time. They all managed to inspire us to pick up some instruments and attempt to do something that was loosely in the same vein, but that we could also call our own.
Feel free to kick back and enjoy these jams with your favorite alcoholic/non alcoholic drink in hand. Cheers! Here it goes:
6. Malignancy “Mortality Weakness”
What I dislike about most ‘tech death’ bands is usually how polished and over-produced the recordings sound. Not to mention that a lot of these groups follow the typical verse/chorus/verse formula, which works great for punk music. But kinda defeats the purpose if your goal is to play something that is supposed to be ‘brutal’ or ‘chaotic’. Malignancy to me are the perfect ‘tech death’ band. They sound raw, dirty as hell, and don’t venture off into the boring land of progressive tech wankery and cheesy guitar leads. Ron Kachic’s writing style is criminally underrated. He sprinkles pinch harmonics in all of the right places. I had the chance to tour with these fine gentlemen in 2008, and I love how humble they are in a live setting. While most death metal vocalists are too busy calling the audience ‘brutal motherfuckers’ or ‘sick fucks’ in between songs, Danny Nelson would normally just joke around and talk to the crowd like normal human beings. One thing I unfortunately never really got too into is how silly death metal can be sometimes when a band tries too hard to be ‘brutal’. You don’t have to grunt all of your song titles, dudes. Let the music speak for itself (but then again, that’s just my shitty opinion).
5. Creation is Crucifixion “The Data Body”
‘I live and die by the code! I live and die by the code!’ God, or whatever absence of a God, only knows how many times in my lifetime I have chanted that line. Either in my bedroom or in my car, while pointing upwards at the ceiling in traditional ‘90s hardcore fashion. Creation is Crucifixion completely blew me away at first listen. I pretty much grew up on mid/late ‘90s metalcore (which I usually refer to as ‘metallic hardcore’ now, so it is not confused with the modern day version of metalcore which I find quite atrocious and bland). They stuck out to me because they incorporated parts with blastbeats, and threw in really technical, yet modest sounding riffs. Vocalist Nathan Martin’s voice was always so fucking pissed sounding to me. I don’t think I could ever get tired of listening to him scream ‘the machine’ in every other line to just about every CiC song.
4. Discordance Axis “Human Collateral”
Everything about Discordance Axis is pretty fucking amazing. Rob Marton’s riffs were extremely creative, flawless drums (Dave Witte being Dave Witte), and great vocal delivery that only Seth Putnam pulled off first (but I still prefer Chang… I’ll take vague lyrics with video game and anime references over A.C.’s silly lyrical content any day). I have always been a fan of bass-less 3-piece grind bands. Maruta was originally one as well (up until 2010 when we found Mauro, who fit in so well it would be dumb not to have him in the band).
3. Los Crudos “Asesinos”
Listening to Los Crudos always makes me want to chug a beer, then smash the bottle while simultaneously banging my head and thrashing around like a fool. Loud, fast, emotional, and intense as fucking hell. 3/4 of Maruta are Hispanic (myself included) so in my book they get bonus points for keeping it real and writing all of their lyrics in their native tongue (well… except for “We’re That Spic Band”). I love everything this band was about. Their ideology and DIY ethics, especially.
2. Gorguts “Inverted”
[audio:https://www.decibelmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/02-Inverted.mp3|titles=Gorguts – Inverted]
The opening riff to this song is practically Eduardo’s (guitar player) wet dream. Luc Lemay’s perfect combination of dissonance and traditional death metal songwriting manage to hook you in immediately. Not to mention all the catchy-as-fuck crazy pick slides that are going on. They slow things down around the 1:50 mark for maximum effectiveness, proving that you don’t have to blast through an entire song. While the Obscura album, as a whole, takes the cake as my favorite Gorguts record, the opener on From Wisdom to Hate pretty much sums up everything awesome about Gorguts in one song.
1. Assück “Salt Mine”
[audio:https://www.decibelmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/01-Salt-Mine.mp3|titles=Assuck – Salt Mine]
Honestly (for myself), this is as good as grind gets. These fellow Floridians paved the way for us. Without Assück, there would be no Maruta. Plain and simple. They managed to incorporate death metal riffs, yet keep things sounding punk as fuck. Guitar player Steve Heritage took over vocal duties on this record, and pulled it off flawlessly. Misery Index was Assück’s final omen, and a brilliant one. Amazing musicianship, catchy songs, wrapped together in a nice little package thanks to Morrisound. While we all dig Euro grind (aka Nasum) and the endless amount of clones they spawned, it’s all about North American grind for us. Sprinkle some dirt on it.
** Maruta’s new album, Forward into Regression, is out now on Willowtip Records. Order it here. Or die a grindless and untimely death.