MaYaN – Quarterpast

by Raymond
Published on: April 13, 2011
Categories: Reviews
Comments: No Comments

MaYaN is the latest project/band by guitarist Mark Jansen of Epica fame. The band came into life after he decided to jam a bit with his former After Forever buddies Sander Gommers and Jack Driessen. A couple of line-up changes later Mayan started to take shape and together with the aid of some of the finest musicians from the Dutch scene the band’s debut album, entitled Quarterpast, became a reality. Let’s see what the album is all about.

Truth be told I was never an avid fan of Mark Jansen’s work with Epica and After Forever. The music is just fine, but it simply never clicked with me. MaYaN is altogether another beast. The basis is pretty technical death metal, but with the symphonic flourishes of which Epica and After Forever are/were known for. Imagine a combination of the harder aspects of Sander Gomman’s HDK project with the elaborate symphonic arrangements of Epica/After Forever and you’ll get a good idea of what Quarterpast has to offer.

The connection with Epica and After Forever is further strengthened by the vocal presense of Floor Jansen (ReVamp) and Simone Simons (Epica). The best part of Quarterpast is its strong and well-crafted song material. ‘Symphony Of Agression’, ‘Mainstay Of Society’, ‘The Savage Massacre’, ‘Bite The Bullet’ and ‘Celibate Aprodite’ are some particular fine examples of the writing prowess of Mark Jansen and his fellow musical partners in crime. The music is very layered which enhances the overall listening experience.

Sound-wise the album has a fine production, thanks to Sasha Paeth and his Gate studio. The symphonic elements are a bit too much in the forefront for my taste. A more guitar oriented mix wouldn’t have hurt. It’s a matter of taste I suppose.

This small inconvenience aside I can only say that Mark Jansen and his friends delivered a very strong and convincing debut with Quarterpast. It may scare the hell out of his more gothic metal oriented (female) fanbase, as for me it’s an highly entertaining release!

Written by Raymond Westland

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