As the readers of this site know, people don’t listen to metal because it’s glamorous; people listen to metal because it’s ugly. Ugly music is compelling music. Ugly music stirs in us those primal emotions which make us human, those emotions we are taught to bury and hide but are still very much a piece of us. Ugly music provides an outlet for us to scream at the injustices of this world and release the rage, fear, desperation and frustration each of us feel. Maranatha make such music.
A quick google search of the word “Maranatha” and you’ll get an Aramaic phrase that’s loosely translated “Come, Lord!” Don’t let this fool you into thinking Maranatha is some holier-than-thou, bible-bashing band who are attempting to convert the hearts of those who don’t believe in the Christian God. On the contrary, Maranatha are frustrated at the state of the world and the injustices and hypocrisy it’s wrought with, and their music serves as a sonic equivalent to this state of mind. Maranatha make ugly music, but as is the case with most ugly music, it’s honest music, and it serves an important purpose.
Filth marks the first full-length album for Maranatha, and it lives up to its namesake. Formerly a one man band featuring Colin Simula, who handles guitar, drums and vocals, the band has added to its ranks Jack Huston on bass and vocals, whose deeper growl and low rumble makes this album heavier than Maranatha has ever been. Musically speaking, Maranatha doesn’t sound dissimilar from the sludgecore stylings of bands such as Trap Them and Nails, but the sludge here is thicker, more viscous and utterly suffocating. They don’t break any new ground relatively speaking, but they fit in like a glove with that particular scene of bands, and they can definitely hold their own.
Album opener “Despair” appropriately sets the tone for the album, and it only seems to become darker and more sinister as it slithers along. By the time the dread-inducing, funeral doom notes of “Numb” ring out, the weight and density of the album almost becomes too much to bear, but somehow it’s impossible to turn it off. It as if the album itself is a metaphor for life; too much to handle at times, but demands for you to push through to see what lies ahead. The latter half of the album features prominent doom elements on tracks such as “Cancer” and “Depressive/Oppressive,’ and instrumental album closer “Misotheist” calls to mind Norma Jean’s more recent output, making Filth quite a diverse listen.
Between the earth-shaking riffs, canyon-wide grooves and the brutally honest lyrical content, Filth makes for an extremely heavy listen. The contrasting personal beliefs of Simula and Huston give Maranatha a unique and unfiltered perspective regarding spirituality, and as the record’s name indicates, Filth is really all about the filthy side of this world we live in. It’s a vitriolic call to arms, a rage-filled rally to fix this broken world, and an honest representation of our own broken humanity.
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Maranatha – Filth gets…