Style: Symphonic Progressive Death Metal
Release date: 20 May, 2011
Playing time: 51:29

If you ask me which band is going to make it this year, I give you the answer: MaYan. This is the new band of Epica's Mark Jansen. Together with Jack Driesen (keys) he started this project, which has now turned into a real band. The other members are Frank Schiphorst (Symmetry) on guitars, AriŽn Weesenbeek (Epica) on drums, Rob van de Loo (Sun Caged/Delain) on bass and Isaac Delahaye (Epica/ex- God Dethroned) on guitars. On the album the bass parts have been played by Jeroen Paul Thesseling, but he is too busy with Obscura and Pestilence to participate in this band and was replaced by Rob.

Mark, Jack and AriŽn take care of the grunts and screams, but they have been given counter-pressure by some female guest vocalists and a male clean one. Simone Simons (Epica), Floor Jansen (After Forever), Laura Macri (Italian opera-singer) and Henning Basse (ex-Metalium, Sons of Seasons) have been recruited for those parts. The sub-title on the front is Symphonic Death Metal Opera and that covers the cargo for the biggest part. The album is death, black, progressive, technical, epic and aggressive all together.

Opening track "Symphony of Aggression" is technical, complex, aggressive and full of unexpected changes. Sometimes it is as if I'm listening to a death metal version of Rush. Again AriŽn Weesenbeek shows on this record that he is a phenomenon on drums. The keys of Jack Driesen give the songs the right atmosphere and the female vocals put in the balance. Between all this aggressiveness the short track "Essenza Di Te" with Laura Macri on vocals is a welcome resting point. Like I already wrote in the Sons of Seasons review, singer Henning Basse has improved his singing and the combination of his vocals with the grunts of Mark in for example the track "Bite the Bullet" are remarkable.

Put the music of Epica, Dimmu Borgir, Pestilence, Rush, God Dethroned, Death and Cradle of Filth in a blender, add Sascha Paeth's production and you can imagine what the result is. But to know for sure, you have to buy this record, I know it will be on my best of this year list!


01. Symphony of Aggression
02. Mainstay of Society
03. Quarterpast
04. Course of Life
05. The Savage Massacre
06. Essenza Di Te
07. Bite the Bullet
08. Drown the Demon
09. Celibate Aphrodite
10. War On Terror
11. Tithe

Label: Nuclear Blast
Distribution: Warner Music (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Reinier de Vries
Date: 15 May, 2011