Near Life Experience

Mayadome - Near Life Experience ©1999 Siegen Records
1. Restorepair
2. Scent Of Lilac
3. Praise Me For I Have Sinned
4. Able To Feel
5. Pride Painted Grey
6. Angina Closing In
7. Near Life Experience

On their sophomore release, Mayadome come into themselves in a very powerful way. This is a tremendous album, a credit to the energy, drive, and emotional investment the group has made in the songs they've produced. The addition of vocalist Bassel Elharbiti gives the already unique sound of Mayadome another wonderful dimension. His voice is over-tracked in many places and is used with effects in other so that you have a hard time getting a feel for what his real sound is. As with their debut disc, Paranormal Activity, drummer Teddy Moller is the song writer and real cornerstone for the group. His drumming is outstanding, head and shoulders above the norm for progressive metal. The drumming doesn't simply carry the rhythm of the songs, it enhances the melody, fills in the blanks and adds so much to the music. He really marches to the beat of a different drum.


Added to his drumming talents are those of his song writing capabilities. All the lyrics on Near Life Experience were written by Teddy. The songs are intensely personal. For example "Scent Of Lilac" is a song about his feelings for his wife and son. "Able To Feel" is about an experience he had with a case during his work with juvenile delinquents. There is a tremendous amount of emotional energy in these songs.

The guitar playing of Fredrik Kjorling is right out front in the mix on this CD. Sebastian Okupski's keyboards are less present but more omnipresent in the songs. They are always there in the background creating a backdrop, setting the mood, or creating atmosphere. They are less in the front in the form of solos, rather it is the guitar that is out front with the swirling solos. Fredrik's guitar crunches and chops, shreds and screams, playing on multiple levels seemingly all at once without sounding too busy or too forced. All of the songs are lengthy and on the order of Pain Of Salvation in terms of complexity and volume of sound.

For lovers of complex and powerful progressive metal that is pushing the envelope far ahead of the pack, this is a must have disc.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 07/2000

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