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Crossover Prog • Austria

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Mayfair biography
Founded in Frastanz, Austria in 1989 - Hiatus between 2001-2009 - Still active as of 2019

Originally formed in 1989 and comprised of the following members : Mario le Fate Prünster (vocals), René (guitar), Mötle (bass), Little (drums)

It's been over ten years, that the band has decided: It's enough! And now again, Mayfair is back!

Ten years long everyone was pursuing their own (musical) way. Today they are again standing in the studio together ' except for Little. The former drummer of Mayfair will be sticking with his own band projects. Nevertheless, Little will be supporting Mayfair in every way. And with Jolly they have found a worthy successor: The new drummer has been with the band from the very first beginningas a roadie. Accepting the inheritance of Little is definitely not easy.

While on sabbatical the band has matured yet still want to get 'back to the roots' During recent rehearsals in June 2010 their existing influences again coming to the fore in creating the new album....Cyberwanda.

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MAYFAIR discography

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MAYFAIR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.90 | 11 ratings
3.78 | 9 ratings
Die Flucht [Aka: Escape]
3.78 | 9 ratings
Fastest Trip To Cyber-Town
2.09 | 3 ratings
Schlage Mein Herz, Schlage...
2.67 | 3 ratings
My Ghosts Inside
2.00 | 1 ratings

MAYFAIR Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MAYFAIR Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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MAYFAIR Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Behind by MAYFAIR album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.90 | 11 ratings

Mayfair Crossover Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Despite sounding like a brand name for some kind of kitchen appliance, MAYFAIR was actually amongst good company in the first wave of early 1990s progressive metal having formed in 1989 in the far western city of Frastanz, Austria situated directly next to the tiny micronation of Liechtenstein. This band released three albums in the 1990s with the first one being this debut titled BEHIND? After a long hiatus MAYFAIR returned in 2013 with "Schlage Mein Herz, Schlage" and then released another couple albums after that.

While the lineup has changed in its second coming, the early members included Mario "le Fate" Prünster (vocals), René (guitar), Mötle (bass) and Little (drums). Despite having been together for over three decades now, MAYFAIR still remains a mysterious and oddball band which sounded a bit different than anything that has existed ever since. The original 1993 release of BEHIND? featured six strong tracks that barely seeped past the 29-minute mark on the General Inquisitor label but has since been reissued in 2013 on the Pure Prog label with a bonus CD of unreleased tracks, various demos and alternate versions of the tracks.

While coming off as an eccentric style of progressive alternative metal with a hypnotic cyclical loop riffing style that reminds a little bit of Tool, MAYFAIR adds the exotic flair of exquisite ethnic percussive nuances with sophisticated drum rolls and varying percussive sounds as well as implementing what sounds like Euroopean folky melodic touches making it all sound quite unique. What really makes MAYFAIR stand out though has to be the dramatic vocal antics of lead singer Mario Prünster who has the flamboyant tendencies of Devil Doll but sounds a bit like a trippier Geddy Lee of Rush at times. What also comes to mind is the metal version of Gnidrolog at least in terms of the vocals and idiosyncratic unorthodoxies.

BEHIND? implements a very hypnotic atmospheric approach yet features strong bass grooves, grungy yet melodic guitar heft and a nice diverse palette of percussion. The compositions are fairly short for progressive metal with no tracks exceeding six minutes but the composiitons are a bit avant-garde in how they unfold. In some ways, MAYFAIR reminds me of an alternative version of the French band Ange as it comes across as somewhat theatrical yet carries an alternative metal heft in vein of Tool and similar 90s alt metal bands. Despite the influences MAYFAIR sounds utterly unique with plenty of creative mojo firing on all pistons. Not the heaviest or fastest metal you could experience but certainly one that carries mystique and subtle beauty.

 Fastest Trip To Cyber-Town by MAYFAIR album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.78 | 9 ratings

Fastest Trip To Cyber-Town
Mayfair Crossover Prog

Review by Aldebaran_Well

4 stars None of us expect music industry to be fair. In fact, it is impossible to count the good bands that got wasted due to poor promotion/management. Here in Progarchives, we have the opportunity to bring some justice back and pay well deserved respect to many artists for their past work. The fact that this the first review of such a good album, released 16 years ago, really makes me sad.

Mayfair hails from Austria. I got to know them by the late 90's, at that time the greek Metal Hammer magazine used to mention them very often at Prog metal specials, always including them between the most underrated bands. This album cannot be considered as metal, as there is not one heavy, distorted riff in the 53 minutes of its running time but I totally agree about how underrated it is. The quite melodic nature of ''Fastest trip?'' must have disappointed many Mayfair fans back then, who regarded ''Die flucht'' as their masterpiece. ''Die flucht'' is great and highly recommended too but ''Fastest trip to cyber- town'' is absolutely one of a kind, a true gem. Sadly enough, they disbanded after this.

Now, how can I put Mayfair's music into words? One first approach, considering styles, would be to describe the music as a strange mix of prog metal/rock with some kind of alternative rock, while light gothic, electronic and pop elements add color to this surreal canvas. Styles don't matter much though, because Mayfair's music is mostly about feelings and emotions that very often contradict one another. There is romanticism and there is irony, a deep sense of melancholy and humor, there is love and isolation, intellectuality and a soft caress of madness. If I had to put it in one word, always the first that comes to mind is: Bittersweet. A bittersweet taste that resembles nothing. One has to experience this kind of art to put a name on it.

The man mainly responsible for delivering all of the above is Mario Prunster and his weird, magic voice. I'm talking about a voice that is impossible to describe copy or imitate. His thin tone brings to mind similar pitched singers from bands like Savage Garden, Placebo or melodic Crimson Glory but no other relation with these guys. His mellow, theatrical, schizophrenic performance is the crucial factor that bears Mayfair's identity, the reason to love this music or not. He's not alone of course; his bandmates do a great job too. The wonderful rhythm section of Little and Motle provide a very solid and melodic prog background, along with clever loops and samples, very beautiful musicianship indeed. My respect and admiration to Rene's guitar work too, one of the few prog guitarists who use his instrument, not to demonstrate his playing skills but to fill with the right notes all the empty spaces and support each song's mood at the same time. A special reference must also be given to the guest musicians and especially J.Hanson Bertschler, whose synth/sequencing and piano work contributes very much to the final result.

The songs range from 2 to 6 minutes long. Their structure is quite simple, without long solos and instrumental parts, so Mario sings his cyber stories over normal, straightforward forms but this normality is discrete excellence disguised and many surprises hide within the songs. The opening ''Things will get better'' begins with a weeping guitar theme and ends up with a grunge solo combined with a chromatic sax. ''BG how was PG pure'' is built upon a flamenco pattern and ''Trip'' is almost insanely psychedelic. ''Waterproof'' is a deep, heartbreaking melodic song which can tear you apart and is a followed by a song entitled ''Wonderbra's driver'', that begins with a ''La bamba'' sample and turns out to be a cool, funky tune. ''The 90's'' is probably the album's darker track, ''I've never stripped in public'' is based on the cello and a classical piano, while ''Walking different'' sounds almost like new age! All these so different elements are tied up together by Mario's vocal lines in a way it all makes sense. The experience is almost like you're watching many short films in a row! (Those who've seen the movie ''Holy Motors'' may understand?) For me the best songs of the album is ''Cyber Wanda'', where upon a grungy, psychedelic riff in the veins of early Pearl Jam, a Philip Dick novel like tale unfolds and ''Bye, bye Mr. T'' where a didgeridoo intro leads the song into a sad marching groove, before it explodes in the second part into a heavy prog dynamite and a wah wah synth sends it to space!

The album flows perfectly throughout its duration. Unfortunately for me, in King Pest records first print, the lyrics are translated in German. So, when a Greek like me tries to understand every word sang by a fellow with a slight Austrian accent, well, don't expect literal analysis! The enigmatic cover is worth mentioning too, while it is not of particular quality, I've spent much time staring at it, wondering what the meaning of that smile is. The only thing I'd change is the production, which is quite narrow and thin. A better production would support the band's playing and arranging charismas in a much more sufficient way.

For me, this album is a 4.5 star and is definitely on my 1998's top 10 and my 90's top 100 lists. I would dare to give it a 5 but, since for now this is its only review, I don't want to seem like an exaggerating fan. The band is together again since 2010 and I hope they have a better chance this time, if the prog world starts to care about Mayfair. Still, don't take me for a fool when I say to you that this is a very unique and special album that is worthy of your attention, time and money.

 Schlage Mein Herz, Schlage... by MAYFAIR album cover Studio Album, 2013
2.09 | 3 ratings

Schlage Mein Herz, Schlage...
Mayfair Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

2 stars The album title translates to 'Beatt my Heart, Beat', and is the first new album in 15 years for this German outfit. Some of the songs are in English, and some in German, hence the German title. It has been really interesting to read some of the reviews of this album, as there are plenty of people out there who are calling this one of the finest albums of the year, and extremely happy that Mayfair are back on the scene again. But, there is a huge part of me who wonders if that emotional attachment has clouded their judgement as while this is an okay album it is never really anything more than that. There is a lot going on in terms of influences, with Rammstein, early Floyd, Radiohead and Porcupine Tree being just some of the more obvious. There re times when the music is direct, but for the most part it is dreamy and drifting, which is one of the issues I have with this as there just isn't enough impact here. It is something that I have both listened to intently and have played in the background while doing other things, and take it from me in the latter it just disappears with no real impact.

At times it is extremely atmospheric, and is often dark, and there are even some riffs here and there, but for some reason this doesn't come together and gell as it should.

Thanks to chris s for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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