Album Reviews

Mayan – Dhyana Review

Released By: Nuclear Blast

Release Date: Out Now

Genre: Symphonic Death Metal

Links: http://mayanofficial.com/

 

Line Up:

Mark Jansen/George Oosthoek – Grunts
Adam Denlinger/Henning Basse – Male Vocals (Clean)
Marcela Bovio/Laura Macri – Female Vocals
Jack Driessen – Keyboards
Merel Bechtold/Frank Schiphorst/Arjan Rijnen/Jord Otto – Guitars
Roel Kaller – Bass
Arien Van Weesenbeek – Drums

Tracklist:

1. The Rhythm Of Freedom
2. Tornado Of Thoughts (I Don’t Think Therefore I Am)
3. Saints Don’t Die
4. Dhyana
5. Rebirth From Despair
6. The Power Process
7. The Illusory Self
8. Satori
9. Maya (The Veil Of Delusion)
10. The Flaming Rage Of God
11. Set Me Free

 

Dhyana is the third album by symphonic death metal outfit Mayan. The band is a revolving door ( in a good way) of a who’s who in the genre and features members and contributing artists from bands such as Epica, Delain, and ReVamp. The previous two albums have set a very high standard so I was intrigued to hear how album number three has turned out.

The addition of a symphonic orchestra (The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra) certainly adds a more epic and lush sound to the overall recording. This is evident immediately on the opening track ‘The Rhythm Of Freedom’ beginning like it could be used in a film soundtrack before the guitars and drums kick in to remind the listener this is going to get loud! Not many bands are able to perfectly mix the metal growls, clean vocals, guitar solos, and an orchestra within the same song, however, Mayan successfully accomplish this on the very first track and confirms this album will outshine the previous two. ‘Tornado Of Souls’ continues in the same vein with the quality of musicianship clearly at the forefront and an epicness (I think it’s a word) of sound which is overwhelming. ‘Saints Don’t Die’ begins with a beautiful piano and female vocal which builds up to a crescendo of guitars and drums before a mixture of clean vocals and grunts carry the song to a grand ending. ‘Dhyana’ slows things down momentarily and allows the listener to appreciate the true beauty of the two female singers and their voices in perfect unison accompanied by an acoustic guitar and the orchestra. I have witnessed Marcela Bovio at a gig in Bristol UK and her voice is as hauntingly beautiful up close and lives as it is here on record.

‘Rebirth From Despair’ is a near eight-minute masterpiece reaffirming the superb musicianship and ambitious songwriting the band is able to conjure up again featuring the full Mayan arsenal of sounds, vocals, and intense feeling. ‘The Power Process’ sees the two female singers once again stretch their vocal chords to the max before the longest track on the album ‘The Illusory Self’. A nine-minute-plus song which never feels overly long or drawn out because the listener remains engaged in everything going on. ‘Satori’ is basically a duet between the orchestra and the enchanting female voices leading us into ‘Maya’ and ‘The Flaming Rage Of God’ before the album closer ‘Set Me Free’ which throws everything in and is a great way of ending a brilliant album.

This epic album has an epic sound with epic songs and epic musicians throughout. Even though it is over an hour long the time flies by. An album which encompasses almost every genre and musical nuance you can imagine in a superb set of 11 songs which I am sure will make many metal fans top ten albums of the year lists.

 

Written by: Simon Kneller

Ratings: 9/10

 

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