MaYaN – Antagonise (2014)


After a long album cycle with the last Epica release, Mark Jansen returns with his Symphonic Death Metal outfit MaYaN and their sophomore release “Antagonise”. In a release that is larger than life, we find ourselves somewhat lost with how many different elements and styles are put together in this album. While not being bad, but confusing and sometimes a bit dull, this is a most have release for any fans of Jansen’s previous work after a few listens to settle things in.

The album kicks off with the Death Metal riffing intensity of “Bloodline Forfeit”, with the heavy elements getting offset by Henning Basse’s commanding vocals. The album keeps rolling filled with lush orchestrations in dramatic tracks like “Burn Your Witches”, “Redemption – The Democracy Illusions”, and “Paladins of Deceit”, all of these tracks follow the same formula with some Epica elements bleeding into some of the aspects of the music.

Laura Macri handles the soprano vocals in this release with such grace that she elevates the band’s Symphonic nature to great heights. By the time “Devil in Disguise” hits we are already a bit tired of a very similar sound between the tracks and the somewhat formulaic approach. While the band is pretty solid and every detail is carefully crafted, all the elements thrown into the mix get a bit tiresome since they are mostly utilized in very similar ways thought the release with no real unexpected moments.

It is not until “Insano” that the monotony is really broken, allowing the listener to take a breath of fresh air before continuing with more of the same. With guest vocals from Floor Jansen and Marcela Bovio (Stream of Passion), some of the tracks standout from the rest like “Human Sacrifice” and “Enemies of Freedom”, but the album ultimately ends of getting quite repetitive at this point.

Overall, with an excellent production, tons of highly experience musicians (and guests), “Antagonise” still feels like something is missing. The heavy sound gets to be quite repetitive and at the end takes away from the enjoyment of this release. All the bombastic orchestrations and choir arrangements are quite well developed but they also fail to save most of the tracks. Without being a bad release by any means, MaYaN manages to tire the listener after 20 minutes and never seems to recover in this release.

Band: MaYaN Album: Antagonise

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Release: February 4th, 2014

Oficial Site Social Media

Genre: Symphonic Death Metal

Country: Netherlands

Rating: 78/100

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