Maranatha: Ohio Sludge Band Awakens from 6-Year Slumber with Crushing New EP

Collin Simula last appeared on No Echo via Human Law, a Columbus, OH-based hardcore unit that released a great EP called God's Work. Today, we're talking Maranatha, a heavy band he's also a member of, albeit not exclusively of the hardcore strain.

"In late 2011 I was doing some writing and exploring home recording, and I started putting together some ideas for a kind of riffier Trap Them sound, but it was still pretty straight ahead HM-2-sludgecore," Collin tells No Echo about the birth of Maranatha. "I put out a couple EPs by myself before I took the project live, and the first person I called to play bass live was Jack Huston, one of my oldest friends and an excellent bass player and musician.

"We’d always talked about starting a heavy band together, so it was a no brainer. I think it took maybe 2 or 3 shows before I asked him if he wanted to be a part of this and turn it into a band."

Collin and Jack wrote and record 2015’s Filth, a 10-song LP that found the duo sharing vocal duties and bringing forth elements of doom, death metal, and tons of sludge-kissed parts. Other projects and life demands got in the way and Maranatha was put on the back burner.

Well, we're happy to report that Maranatha returned last month with a 4-track eponymous EP:

"With this release, Maranatha really has become an amalgamation of all of our influences wrapped up into one—sludge, doom, stoner stuff, metalcore (in a previous life I was the drummer for Symphony in Peril), nu-metal—all through a hardcore lens or ethos," says Collin. "I usually just call it sludge. It’s really heavy. We hope it makes you feel something."

Photo: Ethan Martin

"Lyrically, this record is a shift because the majority of the lyrics and vocals are done by Jack now. It just kind of naturally went that way as I focused more on guitar playing and songwriting. Overall this record is a just pretty negative outlook on humanity and life but from a more painful, personal place, a place close to giving up all hope.  

"It’s probably the darkest place lyrically we’ve ever been as a band at points. That being said, there is always a thread of optimism and belief in hope in our lyrics, and you can still hear that here and there. The one kind of outlier is 'Daughters,' which is more or less a battle cry—Jack and I both have daughters and its kind of our 'smash the patriarchy' song."

Photo: Levi Ely

Since Collin and his Maranatha bandmates keep so busy, No Echo asks him to fill us in on what else they've got cooking. "I also play in Human Law with Lee from Empire of Rats. Jack releases hip-hop records under the moniker Fraction. [Maranatha drummer] Wes [Jackson] is in the post-rock band the The End of the Ocean and also has a raw black metal band called Ofstingan.

"We’ve all been around forever and just love doing this—lifers, I guess. I also do a ton of design work for bands and labels and such in my (very little) spare time."


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Tagged: human law, maranatha