01 - Symphony of Aggression
02 - Mainstay of Society ~ In the eyes of the law: Corruption ~
03 - Quarterpast
04 - Course of Life
05 - The Savage Massacre ~ In the eyes of the law: Pizzo ~
06 - Essenza di te
07 - Bite the Bullet
08 - Drown the Demon
09 - Celibate Aphrodite
10 - War on Terror ~ In the eyes of the law: Pentagon Papers ~
11 - Tithe
12 - Sinner's last Retreat ~ Deed of Awakening ~

Mark Jansen - Grunts and screams
Ariën van Weesenbeek - Drums
Frank Schiphorst - 7 string guitar
Isaac Delahaye - Guitar
Jack Driessen - Synths and screams
Rob van der Loo - Bass guitar


Floor Jansen - vocals
Simone Simons - vocals
Henning Basse - vocals
Laura Macrì - vocals

Produced by Sascha Paeth at Gate Studios

Released 20/5-2011
Reviewed 12/5-2011

nuclear blast

Interesting name, Mayan or as they like to spell it MaYaN which is a plain stupid way to spell but who am I to judge, they are dutch. This band is the work of Mark Jansen and some ex After Forever friends like Sander Gommans and Jack Driessen, Sander had no time though and there were some changes before this band finally found something that can be considered a solid line-up which can play live and all of that. Their debut album is up for release on the 20th of may this year.

What can be said is that this album look to bear some traces back to the mayan culture which incidentally has the same name as the band. Their buildings can be seen on the album cover and maybe there are some 2012 doomsday prophesies hidden within the tracks on the album, I have not really payed any attention to the lyrical content of the album so I have no idea what it is about.

Musically it is quite a difficult thing to describe in word as it is quite complex musically with the basis in the darker regions of the extreme but there are elements of symphonies, opera, female vocals, complexity and progressiveness is also something very noticeable. Something I don’t here that much of is old mayan cultural referencing but then again, I don’t think this band is singing much about that even though there might be some nods in that direction, hence the name I guess. The production is made by Sascha Paeth which is something that is quite audible for the listener who know some of what Sascha has done before will recognise his style on this album. It is an album with eleven tracks (twelve if you have the bonus track) and a playing time of nearer to an hour.

For some I think this will be more or less as difficult to grip as the classical mayan civilisation’s collapse in the 800s to 900s AD. When I say collapse though it is up to some debate as some maya people live still today and the classical mayan civilisation lived up until the last city state Tayasal fell to the spaniards in 1697 so I guess a collapse to some means a further 700 years of civilisation and culture. For the rest it will be an intellectual challenge as much as it is good music which paints musical landscapes that might be rather difficult to wrap your head around at first glance, it is a way of music that requires some time from the listener.

Did I mention that the music is almost as complex as reiterating the history of the mayan civilisation with the preclassical collapse, the classical collapse, the years following the collapse, the fact that they are still around but just as parts of the society around the old mayan civilisation areas. Then of course there is the human sacrifice even though that was not as prominent as the neighbouring Aztek civilisation but there were some offerings, for example by throwing people into wells to drown to guide the rain gods and so on. Anyway, it is a complex musical landscape we get in the Quarterpast debut album. Some might argue that it sounds like an Epica on steroids which might be true if your name is some biker or something like that. It has some common trades with Epica but with Mayan the darker grunty, screamy vocals are the lead and the female vocals add the depth of the vocals for this album.

If you plan to get this album and want to get into it, don’t count on it coming to you easily as it is so very complex and it has so much depth and the span in styles throughout the album is a very big one so it is a record that requires you to listen actively and also demands attention from you if you are to unlock the greatness of the band because that I think is present. I like this album, it has a lot of appeal and it is really well made so there is not much to complain about, my main issue is the length of the album which is a bit on the long side but still with this kind of material it works much better than for a more standard rock band.

So, the mayan culture and music is still very much alive and this record is proof, it is such an interesting and complex, well made album that it is well worth for anyone to check up. I also think that it is better than Mark’s main band Epica whom I think never unveils their true potential, so with this great album I am sure that no one sees the need to present the band to Chaac.


Label: Nuclear Blast
Three similar bands: Epica/Symphony X/Opeth
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm