Hailing from the frost-touched realms of Sweden, MARIDIA, a nascent titan in the post-hardcore / metal scene, stands poised to unleash their inaugural album after two years of meticulous crafting, echoing their late-night reverberations throughout rehearsal rooms. This daring ensemble’s debut offering, “Guts of Mammon,” provides an ominous preview into their grim interpretation of metal-imbued post-hardcore, interlacing elements of post-metal, fierce dark hardcore, and blackened atmospheric metal in a sonic alchemy that exudes freshness and singularity.
Today, we’re stoked to give you its first full listen, along with the band’s special track by track commentary below.
Born from the mutual fervor for heavy music shared by siblings Chris and Alex, the formation of Maridia found its nascent roots in their familial ties. In the tempestuous climate of 2020, the duo’s ardor was joined by Jonatan and Patrik, occupying the roles of bassist and drummer, while Adrian lent his prowess as a second guitarist in 2022, thereby solidifying Maridia’s formidable lineup.
Guitarist and songwriter Chris elaborates: “It all really started when I first heard ‘Worthless’ by The Acacia Strain for the first time. The extremely heavy and brutal sound just resonates with me in a way few songs had ever done before. So I tried to match that energy and atmosphere and in a proper manic state I ended up writing about 4 demos. I sent a few demos to my sibling Alex and we discussed how we would go on about starting up a project together.”
“I had a vision about what I wanted us to represent but I didn’t want us to be tied to any specific genres, but rather get away from the typical stereotypes.” – continues Chris.
“Tuning in drop G was super interesting and made it quite easy to make our sound massively powerful, extremely heavy, gritty and distorted but still be able to be beautiful, atmospheric and cathartic where it was needed. I was really keen on creating something beyond the post-rock genre that I had been a part of for so many years (Schematics for Gravity, Empathy Forever Empty) and push myself as a songwriter and producer, composing songs that were unique and not necessary bound to conventional arrangements or structures – and very personal.”
Hailing from the contrasting locales of Stockholm and Umeå, a testament to their unwavering dedication is their ability to harmoniously pen and compose their music, despite the geographic barriers. The Overlook Studio in Gävle, Sweden, a Sailor’s Church-turned-recording haven owned by William Blackmon, hosted the band for a week-long recording sojourn in November 2022.
Our guitarist Adrian recollected a few experiences recording this album, and working with William.
“We spent a week with William Blackmon in his studio The Overlook in Gävle. Recording an album like this is really tiring. You live with six people on top of each other 24 hours a day. And that doesn’t just apply where you sleep and eat, but you also live on each other’s creative space. You step on each other’s artistic expression. It is really a challenge to keep a positive vibe in the studio during all of that time. I think we managed to keep up a good feeling and encourage each other.”
“Even though some of us had only known each other barely for a year, we managed to get through long and complicated trains of thoughts and roadblocks. When I am in the studio I forget about time and it feels like the world, your everyday life and everything else is on pause, you forget to eat, you forget that you should have made that important call, let your family know that you are alive and so on. I even forget that William has to go home and take care of his family. It’s the best feeling in the world to be in that coma that so filled with life, laugher and creativity.”
Maridia proudly identifies their foundation in post-hardcore, however, they weave a tapestry of influences drawn from the members’ eclectic musical backgrounds, ranging from post-rock to deathcore. Their refusal to be constrained by genre has birthed a blend of disparate influences, carving a unique sonic pathway.
Borrowing their name from the punishing levels in the classic game, Super Metroid, Maridia’s lyrical fabric is woven with stark criticism of modern society, an echo of their raw and challenging identity. The debut track, “Guts of Mammon,” is a clear testament to their artistic core and the encapsulation of their entire identity.
The poetic resonance of their lyrics, coupled with their heavy atmospheric sound, holds a mirror up to the human condition.
The band’s vocalist Alex, who wrote a majority of the album’s lyrical content, explains the meaning behind each track. Check it out below.
‘Guts of Mammon’ is about challenging yourself and your place in modern society. We continuously allow ourselves to be in a constant state of dissatisfaction, frustration and unease over how society is functioning instead of actively committing to think differently about life, ourselves and the world. To confront the flaws of our current system and choose a different path.”
‘This Ember’ was written by our bass player and is a recollection about the night his daughter was born. Without going too much into specifics, barely minutes after delivery he got left alone for hours with his new-born, while his partner got rushed to the emergency and struggled for her life. The lyrics to this song is an attempt to capture the distress of existing in this limbo, not knowing if you will ever see your partner again while at the same time having to remain calm and present for your new-born. The lyrics also touches upon the afflictions of post-partum depression which affects between 10-15% of all new mothers, and fathers are not excluded to this affliction. It can in many cases be very severe and it hits right when you’re already knee deep in one of life’s most vulnerable stages.
Although the trauma might linger and the shame feels paralyzing…reach out! Get help and allow yourself time to adjust and feel your worth as a parent. As the ending line suggest, sometimes being ‘enough’ is all one can strive for.
‘Through Thorn and Bone’ is an attempt to examine frustration, anger, desperation, fear of loneliness, isolation and disconnection. It’s a sort of unfinished contemplation of thoughts and philosophy. About living through and not against the world. Trying to identify with and become part of it, rather than judging and destroying all around. Trying to find history, purpose and their own traces, or those of loved ones. Sometimes remembering, sometimes not. Conceptually these themes connects to two other tracks on the album.
‘Remplir Partout’ is both a tribute to people all over the world who are struggling for their right to stay and be connected to the land, as well as an exercise in dreaming for something bigger and safer for all.
‘Grinding Pieces To Fit’ is about getting up from the dirt, knowing (or at least imagining) your worth and leaving behind what (or who) is hurting you. You might’ve even become the accomplice of the mistreatment directed towards you, shattering who you are in slow-motion. Stop doing that and be nice to yourself! Look for a way out and hold your head up high. You’re not alone.
‘Drift / Drowse’ An expansion of the lyrical themes explored on ‘Through Thorn and Bone’. A lonesome scream into the void.
‘Kafala’ was written by our guitarist Chris. This song is targeting the controversy surrounding one of the world’s largest corporations and sports associations that would disregard and ignore the violations of human rights, migrant worker rights, women’s rights and the rights of the LGBTQ community. The refusal to display the slogan “OneLove” and threats of disciplinary action from the world governing body forcing players to leave the field of play just by wearing the rainbow colors.
‘…And Rot and Flowers’ the grand post-metal finale. An attempt to piece together and summarize the topics visited on ‘Through Thorn and Bone’ and ‘Drift / Drowse’
a scene where hopeful philosophy collapses with desperation.