Release DetailsLABEL Cruz Del Sur Music
RELEASED ON 2/15/2005
Go With The No!
posted on 2/2005 By:
“Who the hell is this band?”, I thought to myself as I pondered the new release from Mahavatar. A brief internet research session later, I discovered they were a traditional metal band built around a Jamaican-born female guitarist and an Israeli-born female vocalist. OK, you got my attention. What could possibly bring together two individuals from two entirely different countries and cultures? Of course, it must be music – the universal language. Good thing, too. There aren’t enough female vocalists in this sub-genre (or lead guitarists, for that matter). Odd for a genre known for its high-pitched screams. The women usually end up doing the gothic thing (Tristania, Nightwish) or the death thing (Arch Enemy, Sinister). Anyway, I’m sure they’d both slap me right about now, because even though they are the center of the band, Mahavatar is not out to make a statement about women in metal – they just want to make metal.
This is an interesting listen, to say the least, difficult to pigeonhole with much accuracy. I guess I could say it sounds a lot like Pain Museum, but without the same degree of musical mastery (and really, that bunch is hard to top). Vocalist Lizza Hayson sticks to a growl akin to Angela Gossow without sounding so much like Cobra Commander. Unlike Gossow, however, Hayson incorporates clean vocals where appropriate, making tracks like “By the Numbers” even more interesting, with a gruff-verse-to-clean-chorus approach, or combining them in “Open Your Minds”. This is all mid-tempo traditional metal so you’re not going to find a lot of double bass or scorching guitar solos, although one gets the impression that guitarist Karla Williams is more than up to the task if ever needed, best indicated by the solo in “Psychos” – not necessarily played fast, but played well. The band as a whole really show their chops on album closer “The Time Has Come”. At just over six minutes, they have the chance to go through multiple time and style changes, and do so without getting too boring or self-involved.
While the presence of two attractive women may be a detriment for a band who wants to be taken seriously, it is worth your while to look at the whole rather than the sum of it’s parts. It’s a solid piece of straight-forward metal any way you look at it. It’s not going to set the world on it’s ear, but with the right exposure, they could make an impact as a band putting a modern touch and a fresh face on the traditional metal formula.
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