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MAYAN ‘Dhyana’

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21st September 2018
Nuclear Blast

When a band tries to mix two genres of metal together it can sometimes end in complete disaster. In trying to win over a certain genre’s fans the band completely alienates fans of the other… things like that. One band that has done it with success though is Epica’s Mark Jenson’s side project MaYan.

The band has mixed death metal with symphonic metal quite well for the first two albums but even members of the band themselves say that is has never quite jelled the way it has with their new offering – Dhayan.

This an album that saw a band have big ideas and it has come together in such a way that it is an epic masterpiece. There is nowhere to hide when listening to Dhayan the album is loud and takes you to great heights. Somehow the darkness of Mark Jenson and George Oosthoek’s death growls marry together with the beauty of the operatic stylings of Laura Macri and Marcela Bovio with amazing results.

Tracks like ‘The Rhythm Of Freedom’ and ‘Tornado Of Thoughts – I Don’t Think Therefore I Am’ bring the two genres together in a way that seems impossible and the result is epic sounding tracks that just seem to soar higher and higher as the death growls and picked up by sweeping orchestrial sounds – of yeah did I mention that MaYan recorded this with a full orchestra?

From haunting piano on ‘Saints Don’t Die’ to operatic vocals over an acoustic guitar on ‘Dhyana’ MaYan try and experiement with everything on this album and it all works. Even death metal purists are going to have a hard time denying that tracks like ‘Maya – The Veil Of Delusion’ sound amazing.

But despite the fantastic instrumental side to MaYan it is the vocals here that drive this album into another stratosphere. The driving riff and double female vocals on ‘The Power Process’ take it to a new level with the death screams (not growls) on ‘The Illusory Self’ have to be heard to be believed.

MaYan have delivered one hell of an album here. In a way it feels like Dhyan has set a new benchmark for symphonic metal while the mix of death makes MaYan an unique blend indeed.

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Dave Griffiths

Dave has worked as a music & film journalist for over 20 years now. Aside from Heavy he does radio and various podcasts as well. He is the proud owner of Metal Cat.
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