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Mayadome - Near Life Experience CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.96 | 9 ratings

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4 stars These Swedish Prog-Metallers went to ground for quite a lengthy time, and about a three year hiatus elapsed between their debut album ("Paranormal Activity", released in 1996) to the time their sophomore effort was unleashed. It was 1999 when MAYADOME emerged again with "Near Life Experience". And assuredly, the Swedes proudly show off their new chops and much improved proficiency achieved during their three years of hiding...the brunt of which must have been spent practicing and fine tuning their craft. What's clear is the fact that MAYADOME are now twice or threefold improved from the unit that released the "Paranormal Activity" debut. The quartet are still playing DREAM THEATER inspired Prog-Metal, but they designedly also augment their music with their own special herbs, spices and sauces ala MAYADOME. Fans of DREAM THEATER will unquestionably be right at home listening to this album. DT fans will no doubt enthusiastically quickly relate to these songs. Meaty staccato guitar riffs, intricate and very energetic drumming, lush keyboards and noteworthy melodic singing. What's encouraging is the fact that you won't hear a riff, beat or lick that's an exact imitation of DT's music. But as a whole, I'd have to say that MAYADOME have not entirely stepped away from DT's shadow. I really enjoy this album, this is some extravagantly well written and arranged heavy Progressive Metal! The crystal clear production also deserves two thumbs up. My only complaint is the slightly flimsy drums sound...too bad, because Teddy Moller's usually robust drumming automatically suffers due to this slight blemish in production. On this album, MAYADOME lost their old my opinion this is a actually a blessing in disguise. Their old singer wasn't that hot, I certainly didn't like his performance on "Paranormal Activity". In fact, I thought the vocals department was the weakest link on that album. A lot of reviews I read also mention something to an extend that on "Paranormal Activity", MAYADOME was a high-quality DT clone plagued with weak vocals. Personally, I thought the vocal delivery was too sluggish and was a grave miss match for the vigorously complex music that MAYADOME were already churning out back then. New vocalist Bassel Elharbiti has unmistakably made MAYADOME much stronger as a unit. Elharbiti's gentle, more melodic and more controlled approach are just what MAYADOME needed to take their music to the next level. "Near Life Experience" is another must have Prog-Metal album...and if you haven't done so, at least give this album a listen or two. Too bad MAYADOME broke-up not long after this album's release. Part of the line-up went on to form LOCH VOSTOK, who I think have released a demo-CD or two. * DD - Paradigma Records / Star 105.5 FM (Surabaya, Indonesia) *
| 4/5 |


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