MaYaN‘s new album Antagonise could be described as a ‘weapon of sound destruction‘ not only they developed and expanded the sound that was created in Quarterpast, but they also took it to a whole new level of heaviness and aggression.
Since I listen Quarterpast, I knew this band was something different from what Epica was, but it was until I got to see them live at ProgPower USA XIII in Atlanta in 2012 that they blew my mind, then I realized they had a huge potential on the extreme metal scene. It feels like MaYaN has become the wrath chariot for all the heavy stuff and social criticism that Mark Jensen could not put on Epica‘s songs. The nature of MaYan is based on a raw and extreme sound that has been technically engineered to deliver mayhem and awake the world from its slumber. Songs like Burn Your Witches and Redemption-The Democracy Illusion not only are fast and heavy, but also lyrically speaking are an awaking call to the world we live today, a world of whistleblowers, media disinformation, and misguided governments.
But regardless of MaYaN taking of such subjects, the band does not follow the trend of political anti-government bands, their message is more critical, and eye-opening, rather than empty words fueled by frustration and desperation. For example, Paladins Of Deceit- National Security Extremism part 1, and Faceless Spies -National Security Extremism part 2 are centered on the NSA espionage issue that caused worldwide panic last year.
Putting aside the social criticism on the lyrical aspect, the album definitely delivers a musical opus of huge proportions. One of the things that impressed me the most on this album was the voice of Henning Basse (ex-Metalium) whose voice make the lyrics come to life on this album, and presents itself as the conscious voice of the MaYaN message. Just listen to Devil In Disguise, Lone Wolf or Enemy Of Freedom, and you will notice the power and authority on his voice.
Not only Antagonise is heavier than Quarterpast, but the interaction between heaviness and symphonic parts becomes more complex. That is reflected on songs like Human Sacrifice and Insano, a great Italian ballad perfectly executed by Laura Macri whose voice debuted live with MaYaN, and she is now is a full-time member.
The album guest appearances on this album are, Marcela Bovio (Stream Of Passion), Floor Jansen (Nightwish, ReVamp) and virtuoso violinist Dimitris Katsoulis. Overall, Antagonise is a complex step on MaYaN‘s career that brings out the most heavy elements out its members, I haven’t seen a more diverse and well crafted union between symphonic music and extreme metal since Therion back in the 90’s. But not only the musicianship is admirable on this band, their uninhibited and critical message that confronts the real dangers that freedom and personal privacy are confronting on this modern and technological society.
01. Bloodline Forfeit
02. Burn Your Witches
03. Redemption – The Democracy Illusion
04. Paladins Of Deceit – National Security Extremism Part 1
05. Lone Wolf
06. Devil In Disguise
08. Human Sacrifice
09. Enemies Of Freedom
10. Capital Punishment
11. Faceless Spies – National Security Extremism Part 2
Genre: Symphonic Death Metal
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
Playing Time: 62 minutes
Rob van der Loo
Ariën van Weesenbeek