Live Review || MaYan @ Dynamo, 9/2/2019

For those unfamiliar with the name, MaYan a Dutch symphonic death metal band which was started off as an Epica side project and grew into an entity of its own from there. Last year, they released their third studio album, "Dhyana", and have kicked off 2019 with some celebratory shows to promote it. I got to see them in Eindhoven, at the second "special set show", where the band, consisting of members of Epica, Stream Of Passion, After Forever, God Dethroned and Orphanage, would perform a second set with fan-favorite hits from those bands. Now THAT was interesting!

During the first part of the show, MaYan perfectly displayed the varying inspirations and nuances of their recent release. I think it's safe to say that, once hitting the stage, the band was just as excited as their fans were (see exhibit A below; vocalist George Oosthoek, who was at the forefront most of the time, didn't miss a single chance to make faces for the cameras). While we were off to a vibrant and very energetic start with bangers like "Saints Don't Die", it wasn't long until the ferocity came to a halt. The ballad "Dhyana" found both female singers, Laura Macri and Marcela Bovio, on stage accompanied by an acoustic guitar, courtesy of Merel Bechtold, and a cello, played by Elianne Anemaat. After this little breather, the carnage continued with "Rebirth From Despair", "Maya (The Veil of Delusion)", the very impressive "The Flaming rage Of God" and "Set me Free". I must admit, however, I was I little gutted that they skipped "The Power Process", a personal favorite from "Dhyana".

Exhibit A
Short intermission and on to the second part of the set, "the classics". A chilling "Mea Culpa" sounded, introducing "Monster" by Stream Of Passion, followed by "a song from the 90's, [...] called 'Ancient Rhymes'" by Orphanage, where the three singers in the back formed a beautiful choir as the cello returned on stage. Three songs in and there's no challenge like giving a classical piece a metal twist. Enter Laura Macri, executing Pergolesi's "Stabat Mater". Shortly afterwards, Marcela Bovio walked back on stage with Mark Jansen to perform a mesmerizing version of After Forever's "My Pledge Of Allegiance"-and I'd be lying if I said that a good part of the venue (myself included) didn't attempt the octave jump. Judging by the crowd's excited reactions throughout the whole ordeal, it's no wonder why symphonic metal flourished in the Netherlands in the first place. Keep that in mind, as Epica's "Fools Of Damnation" started and the fans went nuts. So far I haven't noticed any comparisons being made and I'm particularly happy. When the ladies returned for "Run For A Fall", feelings were all over the place so, even when Marcela missed the first few lines, she had a packed venue singing back to her. After a couple more "classics", the band returned on stage for an encore, this time consisting of "Human Sacrifice" and "Bite The Bullet". The chemistry between all members of the band is incredible, and seeing them interact and tease each other on stage is really entertaining. Their performance was top notch and they certainly deserve bigger recognition. To me, it was the best way to spend a Saturday evening.

All pictures courtesy of Dearohwell photography

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