Metal talk
Type band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Search all our articles by typing band name, album name, artists name etc here...
Metal talk
(Nuclear Blast)
Release Date: 31st January 2014

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland


Epica co-founder Mark Jansen looks like he's a busy man with all the writing, recording and touring he does with the Dutch symphonic metallers who are becoming a successful band world wide.

Obviously he must have some spare time as in 2010 he formed Mayan with ex-After Forever keyboard player Jack Driessen as he felt he wanted to do some symphonic death Metal that didn't suit Epica. As the first album 'Quarterpast' was a success Mayan have now got as far as releasing their second album and a fascinating listen it is.

This is a difficult album to describe easily as it has so many diverse ideas and influences on show. The death Metal leanings mentioned in some of the promotional stuff is a little misleading. There are certainly some very heavy sections and lots of grunting and growling vocals but there is far too much melody around for that tag to really apply.

Article continues below...

It is in fact the variety of vocal styles which stick out to me most, Jansen does his trademark growling stuff with the occasional deep scream added in but you also get Henning Basse's more traditional rock stylings and Laura Macri's lovely soprano plus guest appearances by Marcela Bovio of Stream Of Passion and Floor Jansen of Revamp/Nightwish. There's even a choir!

The music too is multi-layered and every song has so much going on it can be overwhelming at times. There are multiple time-changes and screaming guitar riffs, and keyboards in huge slabs or simple delicate notes. There are lovely melodic sections and harmonies and brutal heavy sections.

Probably the most amazing thing about this album is Arien Van Weesenbeek's brilliant drumming. He's damn impressive with Epica but here he is the lynch pin holding such huge diverse song structures together and he does an amazing job. He might be the guy able to do the fastest drum fills around too.

I haven't singled out any individual songs in this review as this is where the complexity of this album lets it down a little. There is so much going sometimes it's tough to grasp an individual song's identity and from the opening black Metal rhythyms of opening track 'Bloodline Forfeit' to the closing epic keyboards led ending of 'Faceless Spies-National Security Extremism Part 2' it's sometimes hard to figure out what went where.

I've lived with the album for a few days now though and I find it's growing on me and there's always something new to notice. Favourite songs may emerge yet.

Verdict: This is an album that musically needed a lot of weight to carry the lyrical content, spitting venom and anger about the state of the world we live in and it's certainly heavy enough to have succeeded in that.

However Mayan have moved closer to Epica in style with this album and infused more melody while retaining a more complex, demanding edge than Jansen's better known band. It's growing on me and for anyone who likes their music heavy but melodic, complex, demanding and frankly a bit bonkers this is an album worth giving a chance.

Line up:
Mark Jansen | grunts & screams
Hennung Basse | vocals
Laura Macri | soprano
Jack Driessen | keys
Frank Schiphorst | guitars
Rob van der Loo | bass
Ariën van Weesenbeek | drums


beer beer beerbeerbeer




Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



Your Email Address:

Travelling To Wacken From:

Your Telephone Number:

Your Enquiry:


Metal talk © All written site content is copyright 2008-2017, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.