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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Mahavatar

From the Sun, the Rain, the Wind, the Soil

Review by Greg Olma

I am glad to see that more female fronted bands are being taken seriously and getting major releases. Bands like Arch Enemy, Lacuna Coil, and Nightwish have opened the door for these new bands. What I like most about these albums is that they are so different from each other that even a casual listener can tell the difference. Mahavatar continue that trend by combining new and old school metal while adding a dash of Middle Eastern flavor to create a unique sound. The songs are original by themselves but together they give the CD a nice even feel. Instead of a rollercoaster ride, we get tracks that flow together in such a way that they need to be listened to as a whole. The main guitarist (also a female) can riff with the best of them and the singer goes from new metal growls to almost angelic singing. If you are looking for something a little bit different but still very much metal, I recommend this release. You won’t be disappointed.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Cult

The album starts off in fine form with heavy guitar riffing. Lizza Hasan sings most of the track in a heavy new metal vocal but before and after the guitar solo, she unleashes some really good angelic singing. The vocals and music give the song a nice light and shade.
By The Numbers

The intro starts out with bass and drums and then we get a little Middle Eastern vibe on the guitars. There are some effects on the vocals during the verses that remind me of Rob Zombie. Even though this track has multiple sections, they all fit together and flow well between each other.
Raw

This is more of a modern metal tune with those “cookie monster” vocals (that seems to be the standard among metalheads). What I like about this band is that they are not afraid to put a mellow part right next to something really heavy. This track is a good example of that.
BH

There is some great heavy riffing in this cut. Hasan sings in more of a heavy style without getting into full growl. This is more of a straight ahead metal tune that has a really catchy melody for a chorus.
Open Your Minds

Moody, dark, and epic are the best ways to describe this piece. It’s a slower track that is a little mellower in sound but not performance. This is the best song on the CD
Psychos

This has a traditional metal vibe for an intro that moves into a more modern metal sound for the verses. It’s not a bad tune but the others before it were much better. I will say this; the guitar solo is exceptionally good on this cut. It also ends with some tribal drums with some chanting/singing on top.
The Prophecy

I can picture Ronnie James Dio singing over these riffs. This sounds like Dehumanizer-era Black Sabbath. It is a plodding rocker up until the chorus which is thrash all the way.
Deep Cobble

The intro is Middle Eastern sounding but the rest of the track is a mix of traditional metal music with new metal vocals. It’s kind of an odd mix but it really works.
Anger

This cut has some of the hard elements of Dream Theater thrown in to really make this song very musical. The more I listen to this track, the more I pick up new parts and nuances and that really help it grow on you.
The Time Has Come

There is a definite Middle Eastern influence on the beginning of this song. That sound keeps coming back for the verses, which is a nice thread to have running through this track. This is a great way to end the album.
 
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