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Friday, 17 July 2015

Reviews: Maya, Naxatras, Lethal Dose

Maya: The Prophecy Is Broken (Underground Symphony)

There is a a band called Royal Hunt who hail from Denmark and they play progressive/symphonic/melodic metal, now they are somewhat of a cult act in the power metal scene having the superb vocals of D.C Cooper and Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen's vocalist), now I personally love Royal Hunt (as does Mr Hewitt) and think that they are a little underrated in their genre. Now why am I on about Royal Hunt when talking about Italian's Maya, you ask? Well Maya sound a lot like the Danes with galloping synth driven melodic metal with huge hooks, great riffs and huge synths from Daniele Chierichetti, the synth based sound is due to their collaboration super producer and keyboardist extraordinare Alessandro Del Vecchio, who is known for the lashings of keyboard riffs over the solid rhythm section and melodic rocking guitars, Maya have all this especially on the title track which powers along like, yes, Royal Hunt, however with all of the harder edged songs they do have, it's the keen ear for melody that makes the band, melding both aspects of their sound perfectly to produce some slick powerful symphonic metal. Like most melodic metal bands they are not adversed to slowing things down on Fight, Spirit the epic The Chosen Ones yet still retaining the powerful metallic backing, but they also excel on the speedier tracks like StrangersThe Day After and Treasure World. Yes Maya do sound an awful lot like Royal Hunt but this is no bad thing as they have created an album that sparkles with the same kind of musicality and passion as Brits Neonfly, Maya have set the bar high with this album. 8/10
Naxatras: Naxatras (Self Released)

Warning! You will need some mind altering substances to fully get the benefit of this album, the 10 minute plus I Am The Beyonder starts this album with swirling psychedelia, fat sunshine grooves and jazz-influenced blissed out music. Naxatras are from Thessaloniki in Greece and they are a D.I.Y band that play on all analogue equipment that give them a late 70's hue with huge fat bass and haunted echoed vocals from John Vagenas, jazz fuelled drums Kostas Harizanis who seems to be playing a completely different song on tracks like The Sun Is Burning which also shows off the mind-expanding guitars John Delias which also shine on Shiva's Dance that is the kind of song you would have in a Shisha bar. The band show their doom chops on Downer with the sounds of Sabbath shooting through it, apparently all of the music on this album was recorded in one day and that shows this bands chops as this album is performed like it was crafted over a long time, with rarely a missed beat and songs that take you on a dreamlike journey into your own mind, Waves washes over you like prime period Santana (before the guest vocalists), The West is all whimsicality and psychedelic madness. Naxatras have some serious guitar chops, thundering percussion and voodoo basslines with shamanistic vocals and if you are ready to squeegee your third eye (as Mr Hicks would say) then these mystical Greeks are ready to welcome you to their world. 8/10

Lethal Dose: The Clan Of Lethal Skulls (Self Released)

Lethal Dose hail from the metal heartland of Brazil and they play as you would expect, fist pounding traditional metal forged by the metal gods. With searing riffs, thunderous drums, rumbling bass and screaming vocals this is the sort of metal Priest have always made their name playing, it's all leather and studs throughout with the odd flash of American glam metal on Hard To Swallow and Fanatical Killer. The shredding guitars come from Arthur Faria and Daniel Lamego who play well supplying the fast riffs and fleet fingered solos with Lamego also providing the Tim Ripper Owens' style vocals especially on Vengeance In Trains. His vocals soar on top of the riff filled guitars and thumping rhythm section of Dower Lopez and Bernardo Blumrich. This is a neat little debut EP from the Brazilian band filled with obvious nods to their influences but with the band also lending their own style to the songs, with the traditional metal scene still in fine fettle I'd be surprised if Lethal Dose can't make an impact. 7/10

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