…a band of untamed and unrelenting deviants joined to create something chaotic yet beautiful.
Cuneyt Caglayan: Guitars & Music – Levent Ultanur: Vocals, Story & Lyrics
Jørgen Karlstrøm: Guitars – Ove Hagen: Bass
And welcoming our new thunder maker Bjørn Dugstad Rønnow on Drums. Welcome to the family brother!
Photography with the courtesy of Andreas Meer
“Nightmare Years” is available for purchase in digital format on our web store.
Why not buy it directly from us and support our next production! Go to our STORE
After many years playing in various bands we found and met one another in Oslo Norway and joined to create this project.
At the helm is Cuno, an uncomprimising musical leader, a maverick, creator, innovator. He has lead his earlier project “Ominous Grief” through concerts and festivals in Turkey and Eastern Europe before he moved and settled in Norway 5 years ago.
Joining up with Levent on vocals, Cuno started recording the album Nightmare Years in the summer of 2013.
The music has been categorized as ‘Progressive melodic blackened death metal’ in a review in the Metal Gallows magazine.
Cuno and Levent have created a concept album of various musical styles and an impressive soundscape created by Cunos exceptional production skills. While parts of the music can be brutally aggressive the band often receives the complement about the sound being soft and detailed.
The aggressions and the melodies of the guitars merge into a dream landscape as Levent delivers the passions and pains of life brutally and sincerely, as he voices the various monstrous personas of this concept album. While Lucas, a session drummer from Poland, lets loose a thunder storm upon the listeners, shaking them with his precise and fluid style of drumming, giving new depths to these songs.
We made our first music video; for Nightmare Years, and received more hits on our premiere release site Metalwani.com then all the other releases around it… But then the band went into a kind of an hybernation mode… Having problems with our drummer we lost the momentum and hope for a while… But then in the summer of 2016 we met Bjørn and things quickly evolved. We regrouped in a few days and started pounding away regularly again and soon we were back on top of our game…
Now we are soon ready to play live again and ready with 11 new tracks for our second album. Så We are VERY excited and can feel that 2017 is going to be a year to celebrate.
Follow us everywhere to catch the updates and concert announcements coming soon!
“Nightmare Years” is available for purchase in digital format on our web store.
Why not buy it directly from us and support our next production! Go to our STORE
[toggle name=”The Story” open=”false”]
Our protagonist is a man who is a decended of an ancient order who were duty bound as watchers, regulators, protectors of the human race. This task was giving to them by a race which came from the stars to seed this planet, and to raise human species to learn how they once flourished to become the beings they are…
Throughout eons the order regulated the evolution of the human race by influencing societies from within; from within religions, politics, industry and media…
Where our story starts, we see the son of “The Sumerian” looking outside of his Manhattan window to a world in crises.
The powers that be, with the manipulation of “The Sumerian” have instrumented a worldwide collapse. The reason was simply that they were missing control over the societies which, for decades, they have manipulated by among other things; religion, conspiracy theories, materialism… The discovery of the internet and social media had made it so that people could ask questions and demand answers in bigger groups and louder voices…
This was always expected… A species had to always go through a crises which brought it to near extinction evolve. So the planet, and the world societies, through 100 years of calculated actions was brought at the brink of a global holocoust, a cataclysm…
In “The Sun of the Sumerian” the son of the summerian is introduced by his father to the great plan of their ancesters… He reacts with disgust and anger…
“Im irate aflame, I hate my ties to this enation; I am no permutation.
Your God is so plain, as truth to a liar. Emancipate me! I can’t stand this feeling.”
Throughout the first four songs the son and the father have heated arguments… The son can not comprehend and rejects the philosophy of his ancestors… He feels at once dutybound by tradition and full of regret that he is who is…
His father tells him that there was no space for hope as all was constructed some 8000 years ago… But the father is also conflicted, he askes his son to follow his heart… While he, the son, needed support he is now left to his own devices… and with his final words in “A False World” he repeats Jesus´ famous final words.
“All hope was broken, under these stars some eight eons hence.
Tomorrow, rise by my voice son, return and rescue us.
To recollect, the resurrected. “Father, why have you forsaken me?”
Of course the wealthy were prepared for this, their escape plan was as old as the extinction plans, and since the 50´s they were constructing what was going to become the ark “Colossus”. A spaceship which would carry those who could afford to the nearest solar system with a planet that would sustain human life… “Gliese 667”. A planet that is 1000 years away at 1/50 of the speed of light…
The ark was constructed on the dark side of the moon… Last thing to be installed was the propulsion technology; a plasma reactor engine. The conspiracy theories of aliens, the space missions, the abductions; all were staged to keep the earth population assleep.
In “Morning Light” the son is talking to his true ancestors, his “gods”, cursing them that they have no soul:
“Take each cynical turn to get what you lust after. Cant love. You´re hollow, and insidious. You live to disdain and thwart…”
At the end of the song, he is called to the Colossus and it is nothing short of a shameful death sentence;
“Morning light, fades away. End of days, my life fades away. At last all my sorrows will end. My destiny is paved with shame.
I escape today in my ark, its´s a light discourse. And the siren calls, as i feel lost.”
As the earths ecosystem reacts violently to years of abuse and throw tantrums, the governments start to shut down… The final hit that sends the world into chaos is the electromagnetic pulse weapons that simultaniously disable and destroy all electronic devices and electric centrals. Humanity is sent back a 200 years in one day…
As he is taken to Colossus in “An Ancestral Memory” he realizes his helplessness, and his dreams alter as he starts to form a new plan;
“I recall the city; blackened. I´m divided. Inaugurated, I´m on my way to shape the future. A false justice eroding all my dreams.”
At the end of the song, as Collosus embarks on its journey a final surpise awaits him, a sight that will push him to new heights of confusion and anger.
He first sees the planet covered with black strom clouds, volcano ash and lightning, and then he sees the worst of it all; he sees what seems to be coffins launched out into cold empty space from the very spaceship he is on… This is the incredible nature of men, the circle within a circle, a greater evil with evil; as the highest of the order, after having used their resources cast out most of the passengers in their hypersleep chambers.
“Betrayed, as my yearning defines my haunted awakening. Im bound as they´re cast in silence into space. Ended my life.”
After this the point at he loses what had remained of his humanity…
On earth people fight for survival, some hide as best they could… But the hunger and the planets furious weather get the best of them and they perish… Few who were more resourceful hide deep beneath the planets surface… those who have access to heat and water survive…
First part of the song “At The Edge of Life” talks about the evolution which is happening to those who hid underground…
“Elegy, in terminal fear sung. To the dark i was drawn. On the precipice poised yet calm.
My empathy, in sobriety sown. From soil untainted born, For two centuries grown, the will to live again.”
With all the knowledge they already had, these more enlightened and intelligent of the humans form a much more united, resourceful society during the 200 years they have lived underground. They are now ready to go back up to earths surface. “Sunrise…”
The second part of “At the Edge of Life” is about the son waking up from his hypersleep… He has planned this ahead and has programmed the system to awaken him… He has a plan; and he knows that he is loosing his soul, that what he will do is madness… (We hear a recording of his orders to the system which gets more and more aggrivated towards the end and is cut abruptly…)
“Disarray of sudden reanimation, and their sanity lost. My great end game. The parsecs driving me mad, and so the vacated. And my last sacrifice would be so cold.”
He hears “The Sumerian” talk to him in his mind, as if in apology and consent for his plan, understanding finally the folly of their ways; “Your withered soul I weighed my son, ahead of time. A blessing for your loss of light.”
Song number six “Gliese / Æra” represents the planet which humans named Gliese and the locals named Æra. There cannot be any words written for this planet since the inhabbitants are not of our type of species and do not have language as we do… they communicate with sounds what we would call music… They are a planet of oneness, where all the species and the planet live in symbiosis as one being and the reach of their senses is as far the borders of their solar system… They are aware of the aproach of something alien… They are nervous.
Our title song “Nightmare Years” tells the story of the son as he takes his revenge upon those who as far as he knows threw the human species into extinction.
What he has done is to program the hypersleep chambers to stop their dream stopping injections to the hybernating humans. Without this drug the humans dream for a years before they are awakened in a state of schizoffrenic madness. There ensues a blood bath among them… They massacre eachother in their madness. As he watches it all from his safe hiding he speaks out to the misguided humans and the ancestors he never could understand, and to his creators; telling them that this is the end of their evil.
“Hate? We all dissent. War aggressor, this is your last egress. And you kill, in that you are contagious. Yet you have no life, this is your last array.”
In “The Great Divide” We are back on planet earth and with the humans on the planets surface. Their evolution has continued for hundreds of years and through centuries of empathetic and united reform, they have changed form as it follows function… and their new chosen function is unision and oneness; they shed their physical bodies…
“Persists, the mindful. We celebrate now, fertile. A fistful, together, will to fly. Revealed, potential divine.”
We´re a lost constant revived. Outgrowing form doomed to rot. Phylogeny of life.”
“Birth Of Sentience” is where we see the rise of the Homo Sentient. A species at once peacefull yet full of insight and memmory of their history. Now evolves behavior, stripped of dissonance.
“In vitro births, pasts failures, and with the sight of the benign, we tamed the flame.
Crossing into sentience, the obsolete are left behind, and strife, into emptiness cast. Exalted feelings, ingrained at once.”
The refferance to “The Friend” is from Homo Sapiens history as they recall the teachings of John Saltmarsh a Quaker priest in the 16th century who “He argued strongly for religious toleration and liberty of conscience. He considered that heaven on earth was possible and believed in universal salvation”. ref. wikipedia
Their new state of existence allows them space travel far beyond the wildest imaginations of the now ancient Humans;
“Shimmered and stretched, the vivid lights inside her… Energy of nature weak in my fists. Time bends, wishes come to tears, infinity ten folds.”
They travel instantaneously to Gliese…
“Rise! It´s time, I´m free to rise now and seek the light of a far away star. I´m in the wake of a harmonious bonding, the righteous, designated as divine.”
They, through their evolution attain status of divinity.
“Of Hypocricy, Hate and Fall” is where we meet “the son” in his final act.
In the first part we meet the growing madness of the son; now alone in a spaceship full of rotting bodies and ghosts.
He contemplates, he halucinates; but still there is a little control and conscionce left in his tormented mind… He believes he is the last of a species gone wrong, and by committing suicide he will end it all.
“Stray, the embryo lethal. As it´s my penance, Im afraid to fail. A way to slay, the beast I know in my heart, cold.”
At the helm of Colossus the planet Gliese now looms ahead of him;
“Left to anarchy, in one day, I medicate yet have a panic attack. I leave sanity, my mind so raw. I have to take a stand, it can not end now. I´m enthralled by time…”
and he means to finish what he has started…
He receives lucid thoughts… Thoughts emanating from Æra; the Homo Sentient Æra pleeds to him…
“No change, nor flow now. And our life is peaceful. We´re one, the same old. Our existence whole yet numb. “
and almost as an answer another voice enters his mind from the stars
“The kind you represent, the last of our curiosity. All but one silent now. Your legacy was doomed to end, as all things must end.”
This is “The Ancestors” who originally set human life in motion as a way of recording their own historical development; as if in a giant petri dish experiment.
The Colossus is now heading full speed into the atmosphere of Æra, on a cataclysmic collision course.
“The Simulacrum of Reality” is somewhat a part & apart from the linear story. Its an Epilogue. The final thoughts of the author… on humanity, on belief, on existance… As they are the closing words of the Ærans and the ancestral, eternal, cosmic Gods…
“August one your life is chained, your forces spawn me, to fight til the death, your child.
A heart immaculate? What might a God seek? Listen to me! All this´s unreal, cut the rope!”
But then question purity or if a God needs anything…
“Can you think away reality, and be born, in through a simulacrum of reality.”
And if anything really exist, if we do, or is it all a simulated reality…
The final conversation of the Ærans and the Gods:
Gods admit that they had to sacrifice the human species to learn of their emotions which a re long lost to these eternal beings.
“Without the sacrifice of all these worlds, for the wisdom of the spectrum of human emotion, we would have been lost.”
What are we without the variations of life?
And at the very end;
“You ought to have observed my soul. We might resolve to evolve in your minds.”
Having achieved a level of existence which is unbound of physical form, Homo Sentients can now exist without being bound to planets.
They can now infiltrate the thoughts of those ancient beings and merge with them and exist forever.
[toggle name=”Sun Of The Sumerian” open=”false”]
A trick to distort my sanity,
My mind at play?
Heart speaks to me impatiently,
I feel dismayed.
More explosions… Where is the hope now my life was built upon?
Radio interruptions… For those who wowed by this life imposed upon.
End of inhumanity, with a final blow.
The fall of power.
Can this be the end of days?
Escape from the tears of resentment.
It´s a cold death at the end.
Like angels asked to feed off the void.
Im irate aflame, I hate my ties to this enation;
I am no permutation.
Your God is so plain, as truth to a liar.
Emancipate me! I can’t stand this feeling.
Tonight As I stand awake in fright!
Murderers as crucified recast.
Countless iterations just to stir up more fights.
A beacon for the awake, now, you´ve got to run to…
It is too late now!
Remember your faith, you are my dissector..
But these deaths wont save the race now!
You´ll await my consent, vast is this ocean.
Awaits my ancestors, for my return.
You´ve divided and desecrated us, assimilated,
forcing misdemeanor to rise…
To end this tyranny, saving these lives son, you must end even your own.
I know this insanity, But justice can or cant be fair to save innocence.
Is this it? Your fate… Searching for self hate? A curse, fright, flight!
Or is your heart locked up in one fate?
[toggle name=”A False World” open=”false”]
You´re more than should´ve been realized,
The cross diseased you bore, killed hope for centuries.
An ancient entity with all cunning for adversity, born.
We reprimand your life and bourn.
We´ll end this war.
You´re unseen and you decimate.
Can incinerated thorns be your crown?
You´re a slave to the power, a dead man forever.
A loosing game you play.
Doubt in your eyes, in your stances and your reasoning.
Weak in your seminal thoughts primed to misuse trust.
In this life reigns a sensory of pretense,
“If your faith is lost…” complacency.
And the media, foul, keeps them mortified.
Because it´s with lies a false world you sell. “The world we sell.”
Second flood? Death to the underdog.
Gods demise? Decided, and my word buys consent.
“…sustain fatalities on all coasts, you are alone to fight its might…
The world will go under, a complete collapse… You are not predicted to survive.
So make peace and kiss your loved ones goodbye.”
Night has come, you´ve fallen!
Forfeited your function, you´re locked inside once precious contradictions;
Year zero, prolonging the end.
A brave pure race, rising, from the ashes, tall.
All hope was broken, under these stars some eight eons hence.
Tomorrow, rise by my voice son, return and rescue us.
To recollect, the resurrected.
“Father, why have you forsaken me?”
[toggle name=”Morning Light” open=”false”]
You war against your nature.
A cross borne crazed, you sold your destiny.
You misunderstand the ocean.
A way to cope, dichotomy.
Born to hate, what you are.
In your fight, you´re rigged to fall.
Cold, dry dissection.
Take each cynical turn to get what you lust after. Cant love, you´re hollow and insidious. You live to disdain and thwart…
One more war ridicules, “one last fix” fallacy.
With all now derailed, I cant fulfill my legacy.
Why fallen usurper?
With my vestigial power, i cant sell…
Why escaping traitor?
Within my madness i´m lost. We run away into time.
And wont you tell me where have I gone wrong?
Where depredation reigned.
When it was time to care some.
Who was trying to break his chains?
Desecrating even Gods into a slaves.
Morning light, fades away.
End of days, my life fades away.
At last all my sorrows will end.
My destiny is paved with shame.
I escape today in my ark, its´s a light discourse.
And the siren calls, as i feel lost.
[toggle name=”An Ancestral Memory” open=”false”]
Enforced convictions are all it takes to sink away, the way for the mired.
The lie instigator, he´s been here.
I think to tear off their masks, wake up these sleepers.
Awake under the light of the sun.
My intervention would be all too late…
Asleep too deep now to mind my voice.
Afflicted and cast in stasis, in essence dead today.
You were my education.
Industry´ll save all your minds beyond my life.
One last contravention.
Fears that will alter ones fate.
I´m here, the last curator.
I recall the city; blackened. I´m divided.
Inaugurated, I´m on my way to shape the future.
A false justice eroding all my dreams.
What if i wanted to break?
Theres nothing left, run away.
Give it all up leave no trace.
Theres no one left, fly away.
I know now what to do with you. I need you to kneel with me.
One last crusade.
Suspicious i sail, despite my doubts, away today.
A misapprehension and all my nerves aflame.
As young Earth rises, an ancestral memory.
And my eyes tear as Colossus embarks.
Betrayed as my yearning defines my haunted awakening.
Im bound as they´re cast in silence into space.
Ended my life.
[toggle name=”At The Edge Of Life” open=”false”]
Elegy, in terminal fear sung,
To the dark i was drawn.
On the precipice poised yet calm.
My empathy, in sobriety sown.
From soil untainted born,
For two centuries grown, the will to live again.
Disarray of sudden reanimation,
and their sanity lost. My great end game.
The parsecs driving me mad, and so the vacated.
And my last sacrifice would be so cold.
The sorrow for a lost civilization.
And now history lost, one true rebirth.
My fall shadows this end. Dreams now unsated.
And my one last secret vice will be so cold.
Your withered soul I weighed my son, ahead of time.
A blessing for your loss of light.
[toggle name=”GLIESE 667 / Æra” open=”false”]
[toggle name=”Nightmare Years” open=”false”]
This dawn, it burns my flesh.
Asleep I dream, so something´s wrong.
A crusaders pennant serves me a sense of fragmented recollections
of a hopeless nightmare where i died.
Red… My assassins dead torso.
With my empirical need to slay,
Im a historical animal.
“You lived in a world where you relied in a god,
My adversary, you should have known me in your heart.”
Now I run scared from faceless abominations, whats this masquerade?
Sick now, theres no absolution,
Blood is mighty and loss is my curse.
“There was a Seeker in you history.”
Sin? Im unafraid. I´ll take my time, and laughing
I´ll break the fools accursed to hail my name.
My world burns far away.
Hate? We all dissent.
War aggressor, this is your last egress.
And you kill, in that you are contagious.
Yet you have no life, this is your last array.
[toggle name=”The Great Divide” open=”false”]
A black cave does prompt resolve.
Immanence cold, locked in stone.
Just cause alleviates some, but then all underrated subside.
The wistful forever seem to die.
Surreal, our stories divide.
We´re deep conscience alive.
Forgoing ones condemned to die.
Stowaway of life.
I, once a beast in time, shallow, fight again to evolve.
The avoidance, dismissed as meekness by the vulgar state of our lives.
Lost my guise.
Persists, the mindful.
We celebrate now, fertile.
A fistful, together, will to fly.
Revealed, potential divine.
We´re a lost constant revived.
Outgrowing form doomed to rot.
Phylogeny of life.
[toggle name=”The Birth of Sentience” open=”false”]
Rise! It´s time; i´m free to rise again, by decoded association.
Takes hold, a tide of scenarios strife.
With gusto, there is the road Im willing to walk.
Astray, this cyclic discord.
It cant fake no pity.
Repressed; i´d lived with my wraith.
Now evolves behavior, stripped of dissonance.
In vitro births, pasts failures,
and with the sight of the benign, we tamed the flame.
Crossing into sentience, the obsolete are left behind,
and strife, into emptiness cast.
Exalted feelings, ingrained at once.
I was a Friend. Trials of blood, unstained.
Authority restrained. Unbound, I was afraid.
“Shimmered and stretched, the vivid lights inside her…
Energy of nature weak in my fists.
Time bends, wishes come to tears, infinity ten folds.”
Attenuated. Did you know my name?
Now that you´re berated, belittle not thy shame.
“Would you like to know it all?
If this creation could be something much more?
Instead of rotting, grow, embraced within a star.
Believe it or not you are entitled.”
I was afraid. Trails of blood, sustained.
Conformity maintained. I was ordained.
Rise! It´s time, I´m free to rise now and seek the light of a far away star.
I´m in the wake of a harmonious bonding,
the righteous, designated as divine.
[toggle name=”Of Hypocrisy, Hate and Fall” open=”false”]
Stray, the embryo lethal.
As it´s my penance, Im afraid to fail.
A way to slay, the beast I know in my heart, cold.
Bestowed, my stealthy soul It´s leaving out through my eyes,
in accord, to find that miracle. Don´t know all your lies in the past.
Life, cast aside. By one act, witch, you´re choosing to bind my life into dark.
Left to anarchy, in one day, I medicate yet have a panic attack.
I leave sanity, my mind so raw.
I have to take a stand, it can not end now.
I´m enthralled by time…
With no cross to bear now; time and space, Im merged in.
As a ghostly invader of your hypocrisy, hate and fall.
As foretold, our steady soul shines constant inside the stars.
We are bored to fight that ridicule. Pray strike us, the wrath of the gods.
Prowling agony, blinding day. I meditate yet have a terror attack.
I see Gliese, God! So alike.
Im alone to act, a straw man, I´ve got to let go.
I´m controlled by time.
No change, nor flow now.
And our life is peaceful.
We´re one, the same old.
Our existence whole yet numb.
“The kind you represent, the last of our curiosity.
All but one silent now.
Your legacy was doomed to end, as all things must end.”
[toggle name=”A Simulacrum Of Reality” open=”false”]
August one your life is chained,
your forces spawn me, to fight til the death, your child.
A heart immaculate? What might a God seek?
Listen to me! All this´s unreal, cut the rope!
Can you think away reality, and be born,
in through a simulacrum of reality.
We try to read your mind, drowning in calculations, even apply genocide.
I cant take more than this!
Life! Maybe the host is I.
In these degenerate times, I´ll make you mine.
“Without the sacrifice of all these worlds,
for the wisdom of the spectrum of human emotion,
we would have been lost.”
You ought to have observed my soul.
We just might resolve to evolve in your minds.
[toggle name=”Vendetta Metal Magazine” open=”false”]
November 10, 2014 by Polaris
There are plenty of surprises in this world. Do you remember the match in the football world cup when Germany beat Brazil 7:1? Well, to me that was (positively) surprising. Or do remember the anxiousness before the release of ‘St. Anger’ and the first listen to that album? Again, I was (very negatively) surprised. And now come Maahlas! Hell, what a surprise! This band is the baby of Cuneyt Caglayan who left his homeland Turkey to settle in Norway’s capital Oslo. Together with his brother-in-arms Levent Ultanur (and with the help of the exceptional drummer Lukasz Krzesiewicz) Cuneyt has created an album which leaves little room for criticism and which I would consider one of the best debut albums of a blackened progressive metal band.
The first thing that jumps onto you when pressing ‘play’ on your mp3-player (unfortunately, the band have only released ‘Nightmare Years’ as a digital album) is the incredible playfulness of the band. The guitars are polyharmonic on countless occasions, the riffing is fresh and performed without any flaws, the vocals use a style which I like very much and are somehow reminiscent of newer Decapitated, though slightly weaker.
All in all, Maahlas play a wonderful mixture of all the good elements of Soilwork, to Dimmu Borgir, ending with prog-Opeth. But they don’t steal or make the styles their primary guiding stars, but instead they merge to become a very unique Maahlas-style. Indeed, there is, sometimes more, sometimes less, death metal, there is black metal, there is progressive metal. And all this is Maahlas. And this style holds a tremendous amount of power and energy that wants to be unleashed. Not only because of the incredibly tight drumming that pushes the music from below, but also because of the ultra-precise and impressive guitar works (take the awesome thrash riff in ‘The False World’ for instance). The production could have been a bit more supportive of this pressure and here and there sounds a little flat, but that’s complaining on a high level.
In ‘An Ancestral Memory’ the band also show that they are capable of very poppy, catchy melodies that have the potential to elevate them into the metal Olympus while then dropping deeply into the pits of darkness, when the song turns into a low-pitch, head bang-inviting (death) metal compactor. Although the band do delve into heavier, ‘deathier’ realms of the metal empire, they never lose track of a melodic undertone. This is something I enjoy to the most and which I often lack in death metal anyway. Probably the utilisation of keyboards and synths does contribute to the melodic atmosphere that accompanies this album… wait… I mean that this album creates.
The diversity on this album is indeed impressive, but could also be considered its greatest weakness, because the songs could be considered too compressed for some. Meaning, that there is simply so much in one song that it lacks a coherent structure and is difficult to clearly differentiate from the others. But, mark my words, emphasis should be on ‘could’ here. I see the diverse complexity (or complex diversity?) merely as a sign that ‘Nightmare Years’ simply needs several, probably infinite, spins until the listener is really able to grasp what he/she has experienced here. The riffs themselves are not that complex, but it is the changes within the songs that make it all very ‘full’. Add to the diversity in riffs also the awesomely implemented tempo changes, such as in ‘The Birth of Sentience’.
Maahlas leave me deeply impressed by their debut. If this is where they start off, I see two options: either, this band will become the new superstars and find themselves touring the world soon, or there is no way that they can ever reach the greatness of ‘Nightmare Years’ again. Let’s see! But until then, if you dig awesome music that holds something for everybody that like aggressive music, this album is a must!
Rating: 9 / 10
[toggle name=”Metal Gallows” open=”false”]
September 4, 2014 by Shivam Kalra
Metalheads are always the curious ones, who – support their artist regardless; local, mainstream or underground. They only want new and good music to listen to. One fine day this curiosity lead me to Metal Archives, to listen to something close to exactly what I like. And advanced search lead me toMaahlas who had recently released their debut album, ‘Nightmare Years’.
Maahlas is a two- piece band from Oslo, Norway started by guitarist Cuneyt Caglayan in 2013when he moved from Istanbul, met vocalist Levent Ultanur and decided to start a band. Norway?Must be black metal was the first thought I had. To be precise, the band can be categorized as a ‘Progressive melodic blackened death metal’. It was the first time I had heard black and progressive in the same sentence which, naturally forced me to check them out. I had made up my mind about how the band would sound like; Opeth with some black influences and melodic guitar solos.
‘Nightmare Years’ is a concept album and being a huge Ayreon fan, I have a thing for concept albums. Firstly, black and progressive metal in one sentence and then a concept album!? I had no reason to miss out on this one. It took me 2-3 weeks of continuous listening to understand it.
“More explosions…where is the hope now my life was built upon
Radio Interruptions… for those who vowed by this life imposed upon.
To end this tyranny, saving these lives son,
You must end even your own
I know this insanity, but justice can or can’t be fair to save innocence”
These lyrics mark the beginning of the album; with ‘Sun Of The Sumerian’. Unlike other black, death or melodic bands, Maahlas is nowhere close to brutal and are even farther away from typical black or death metal. It’s a progressive band with death and black influences. High tempo bass drums blending into strong riffs with beautiful and elegant growls (Yes! beautiful and elegant growls).
This is followed by ‘A False World’ which has a melodic intro leading into hard hitting riffs and those lyrics are sure to move the listener. My favorite part comes when Levent sings “Year zero prolonging the end…” where that music in background just reflects what an extra-ordinary guitaristCuneyt is.
This album tells a story of collapse of the human race and the rise of a new, evolved race; ‘Homo-Sentients’ which is also represented in the album cover, realized by Aybars Altay. The cover image shows the decline of Homosapiens with many holes which represent their imperfections and the evolution of Homo-sentinents which are perfect, and reaching up towards the light.
‘Morning Light’ has lots of black metal influences fused with perfectly set up guitars. ‘An Ancestral Memory’ follows with lots of hypnotic riffs to blow your mind away. ‘At The Edge Of Life’ sounds like a black metal ballad, choruses in the background are like orders from a war which can be heard in almost all tracks.
Creating music is an art, and you can’t just sing all the time and suppress the music. A good band knows when to shut up and the instrumental speak the thousand words. Maahlas do just that as they give us a short break with ‘Æra’ from the journey they took us on. Story orated by the acoustic guitar is worth a million words which the band could not ever express with lyrics. Second half commences with the title track ‘Nightmare Years’ which is one of the best tracks of the album. Lots of variation is shown by each and everyone in guitars, vocals, bass and drums. This song is a treat in itself .It will immobilize you for the 4-minutes it lasts, making you one with it. As the album progresses with ‘The Great Divide’ and ‘The Birth Of Sentinence’, it just shows the height of musicianship by Leventand Cuneyt and how much effort has been put into the music.
‘Of Hypocrisy, Hate and Fall’ prepares for the ending of the album. The intro will give you wings. The song is extremely emotional, heavy, yet at same time so soulful. I almost thought the album ended, but so commences the last track; ‘Simulacrum Of Reality’. A perfect mix of harsh and melodic music, as the Homo Sentient speaks to his God,
“You ought to have observed my soul
We might have resolved to evolve in your minds”
And with those words the album ends. ‘Nightmare Years’ expresses a lot of emotions. It is a musical journey in itself. The album has been mixed, mastered and produced by the guitarist Cuneyt Caglayan, who even played bass and wrote all drum tracks for the album. Top notch musicianship displayed here by Cuneyt.
In a nutshell,this album is a genre defining masterpiece… I haven’t heard such a massive album in a real long time. It is hands down the best album of this decade after Kreator’s ‘Phantom Antichrist’(2012). Maahlas with their debut can easily compete against the biggest names in metal with whole of their discography. You’ll have no idea of what you will be missing if you don’t check this album out.
[column size=”1/2″ last=”true”]
By clincking one of the links below you will be taken to our sister website Netoscope.no where you can then purchase our single or album safely with Paypal.
Thank you for your support. You ROCK!
This album was written, produced and mixed by Cuneyt Caglayan at his home studio in Oslo, Norway.
Cuneyt also composed and played all the guitars, bass and the synths on this recording.
The story, lyrics and vocals by Levent Ultanur
Drums were also composed by Cuneyt and recorded by Łukasz Krzesiewicz in Poland.
The album was mastered by Tom Kvålsvoll at Strype Audio in Oslo, Norway.
Thanks to Peter ‘Lestath’ Les at RED SUN Recording Studio for drum tracking time with Lucass.
Maahlas is being promoted in the U.S. by Mike McCoy II of The Metal Detector Music Promotions.
Łukasz Krzesiewicz – Drums
Lukasz is a maniac drummer from Poland whom Cuno found on you tube. And we are glad he did, cause he really did bring Cuneyts drum thinking and writing to life. Check out his video channel on you tube for inspiring drum lessons. Also his drum tracking video of “Of Hypocricy, Hate and Fall” is a video we cant have enough of watching… Thanks for your efforts Lukasz.
Atle Johansen – For his amazing vocals on An Ancestral Memory
Atle is an old friend who was visiting our recording studio one day and while plaing around with vocals we found out that he had an eiree and haunting quality to his voice… We quickly worked him into An Ancestral Memory and it very much completed the song. Thanks a lot and do take good care of them vocal cords.
Aybars Altay – For an excellent cover art
The cover of the album represents at once the fall of Home Sapiens as they are crumpling and sinking with many holes which represent their imperfections and the evolution of the Homo Sentient, perfect and fertile towards the light.
Aybars created a sketch very close to this in the period of 24 hours or so… We had only 2 more revisions before we ended up with this cover art. And we are very happy about it. Thank you so much for your time.
“Nightmare Years” is available for purchase in digital format on our web store.
Why not buy it directly from us and support our next production!
Levent Ultanur // Tlf: +47 413 01 957