"From the Sun, the Rain, the Wind, the Soil" (Escapi Music; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

While I may not have been as enthralled with "From the Sun, the Rain, the Wind, the Soil" as our respected reviewer, Jason Savage, was with the band's "Demo 2000," there's no denying the fact that Mahavatar is a very talented and original band. With their unique vocal stylings and solid metal sound, Mahavatar make "From the Sun" an interesting listen, even if it isn't the kind of CD that will find its way back to my player on a regular basis.

The songs here are heavy, mostly mid-paced grinders that sometimes really grab your attention (as on "Cult") but sometimes just miss (as on the pedestrian "Open Your Minds"). For the most part, however, the impressive musicianship and their singular and dynamic vocal style will hold your attention.

The production here is a little monotonous at times and that detracts a little from the music's potential power. Still, you can certainly feel it as you listen, and sometimes that's good enough.

I haven't had the opportunity to hear the band's "Demo 2000" (reviewed below) but I'd be curious as to how the songs that also appear here differ. I'll bet the band has grown a lot in those six years and I hope it's not another six years until we hear more from Mahavatar.

Mahavatar: Lizza Hasan - vocals, djembe; Karla Williams - guitars, congas; Szymon Maria Rapacz - bass; Shahar Mintz - guitars. Guest musicians include T-Bone Motta on drums, Roi Star on drums and Miko, keyboards and floor tom.

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"Demo 2000" (Demo; 2000)

Reviewed by Jason Savage

Mahavatar - or M-ind H-ypnotic V-ision T-owards R-evolution, if you will - has risen from the streets of New York city. The band, as a whole, is comprised of different international parts, each adding their own key ingredients to the melting pot. 

Formed in the summer of 1999, Mahavatar consists of Israeli vocalist Lizza Hayson, Jamaican guitarist Karla Williams, Polish drummer Peter Lobodzinski and then bassist Benjamin Surf. Their bio had this to say: "Through their shared desire for freedom and mind exploration through music,  these four souls set out to create the sonic atmospheres that would speak to a new generation of listeners hungry for a sound that tapped into emotions not yet experienced." Now that's the longest sentence that I have ever read. 

Another interesting line states: "Mahavatar ... an energy that needs nothing but itself to survive ... physical as well as spiritual immortality ... deathlessness." More deep-seeded philosophies to ponder as I prepare to spin this demo. 

After several months of rehearsing, Mahavatar entered Bomb Shelter recordings in NYC and produced their first work, entitled "Promo 2000." One hundred copies were printed and distributed  amongst friends and industry types. The reviews were very promising. In October 2000, bassist Eddie Gasior joined the band. Their current demo entitled "Demo 2000," after just one listen, has captivated me with its memorable hooks. Read on and join my journey, already in progress ...

Track one, "BH," begins the trek with a very different vocal barrage. Lizza shows off her range,  which rides the extremes. One minute she fronts with a deep throaty dirge into growls that end up in a beautiful Middle Eastern wail. Karla's fretwork is also impressive as she opens with a Rush-sounding chord progression. She then blends elements of hardcore and thrash as Eddie and  Peter contribute a solid rhythm.

"Open Your Minds" picks up the pace with heavier chords and more haunting voice projections. The song itself is trancelike and I find myself enveloped wholeheartedly by it. It has a gothic feel to it but the guitars keep it from falling totally into that genre.

"The Time Has Come" is the epic track here, winding its way through my mind for nearly seven minutes. Lizza's heritage shines through on this hypnotic trip. The Middle Eastern feel lulls me into a place I have never been and I am consumed by it. I simply cannot explain what I am hearing here but it is very original and addictive.

The final track, "The E Song," brings this excellent presentation of mind and body and spirit to a close. Its aggressiveness blasts me out of my daze and kicks me square in the balls. I find myself wishing there was more. Four songs really can't do this band justice. I will await their full masterpiece with grandiose anticipation.

In closing, Mahavatar really turns over a new leaf. They are original, they are honest and sincere and they are very talented. Maybe being from different cultures adds a new dimension that most bands don't share. I can't seem to categorize them which is a good thing. Another writer described them best ... he called them "Trance Metal." That ladies and gentleman, sums it up. Keep your eyes open for Mahavatar, they may be taking over a world near you soon.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:59:46 -0400 .