(8/10) Death metal from The Netherlands is normally more known as being quite aggressive and brutal. Bands like Hail Of Bullets, the good old Gorefest and God Dethroned are bands which takes no prisoners.
With Mayan it's a bit different. Next to the death metal parts, the band also adds melodic elements which makes the whole sound more a kind of symphonic death metal. I have to say, that it works pretty well. This mix is also not very surprising since Mark Jansen, Rob van der Loo and Arien van Weesenbeek are also memebers of Epica. So you could say that Mayan is the darker side of Epica. Next to the three guys there are Henning Basse, Laura Macri and Frank Schiphorst memebrs of Mayan.
From the lyrics the band couldn't have released the album in a better period than now. They are reflecting on the current situation in society. The focus is on lies, propoaganda, the war against terror and 'freedom' which is misused to control even more. In times of the NSA scandals and Eduard Snowden these topics are more than relevant. Just listen to "Enemies of freedom" with it's spoken words parts.
From a musical point of view the album covers a lot of different aspect. There is e.g. a song on the album which differs very much from the others. "Insano" is sung by Laura Macri and she shows the full range of her classic voice. An acoustical intermezzo which is placed perfectly half-way on the tracklist. Next to this expetion there are the death metal tracks which are coming with the deep growls. The opener "Bloodline forfeit", the grooving "Enemies of freedom" and the galopping "Paladins of decit" are good examles. Esp. the last mentioned one is one of the best tracks on the album. I like the pounding drums and the thumping bass which gives the song the identity. "Human sacrifice" is another example for the heavy side of Mayan. The songs is a killer, based the massive throbbing riffs and some blastbeat parts. It's esp. those which created interesting breaks in the song. And having this song placed directly after "Insano" the contradiction couldn't be bigger.
What I like is the interaction between death metal and the symphonic approach - between growls, clean vocals and the soprano from Laura. Mayan is combining all those to one unit. Everything feels like a natural flow and doesn't feel forced.
"Antagonise" became a very good album from expereinced musicians who decided to their entire creative range a chance. The result are two excellents records and I guess that we will hear more of them in the future.
- Blood line forfeit
- Burn your witches
- Paladines of deceit
- Lone wolf
- Devil in disguise
- Human sacrifice
- Enemies of freedom
- capital punishment
- Faceless spies
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Melodic Death Metal