What happens when you take some people from power metal bands and throw them together with some people from death metal bands? Well in this case you get Mayan. I have to admit I’m still trying to wrap my brain around this one. Not because mixing power and death metal is a big deal, it is not; but because there is just so much going on here it’s obviously going to take a few listens to fully comprehend.
Nuclear Blast labels Mayan as Symphonic Progressive Metal. Well, they certainly are that, but I would extend that a little to Symphonic Progressive Death Metal. Hearing just bits and pieces of this album I thought it was just another death metal album. But now that I’m listening in full and paying closer attention it is obviously so much more. Another instance of how not giving something a full listen fails to give the correct impression.
I can see now (or rather hear) why some people are digging this so much. It’s a cornucopia of metal. The music is very progressive and complex; the guitar lines are amazing and stand out nicely from the mix. The music is peppered with symphonic elements as well.
The main vocals are harsh death metal vox but they are complemented with various male and female clean vocals. My usual complaint is that harsh vocals tend to get buried in the mix, but that is not the case here. I think the harsh vocals are seated perfectly in the mix, but some of the clean vocals almost seem a little too high in the mix, at least compared to the harsh vocals.
I feel like this is what Avantasia would sound like if Tobias invited along some guests from the darker side of metal. It’s really quite cool; it is not what I expected at all. Listening to a whole album’s worth of power metal can be a bit saccharine and hard to swallow for me, but this mixes in enough other elements that it holds my interest and doesn’t cause jitters or a sugar crash afterwards. It just might be the 5 hour energy of metal, ha-ha.