The Mayan Factor
44


3.5
great

Review

by Mike Allen USER (107 Reviews)
January 14th, 2010 | 44 replies | 13,663 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A tragically ignored band releases their second and final solid record.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

The Mayan Factor’s debut “In Lake’ Ch” was an album like none other. This 2003 release would have been easy to miss, due to the fact that the band is virtually unknown. In fact, The Mayan Factor do not even have their own wikipedia page. In what little information can be found about the band, The Mayan Factor are listed as an alternative, folk, indie, and progressive rock band. In actuality, the band’s sound is not just one of those genres, but rather a fusion of all of them. The elements of folk and progressive are most prevalent in debut “In Lake’ Ch,” in which has a very “earthy” ambience. Seldom using electric guitars, the band had crafted a sound that has yet to be replicated to this day. “In Lake’ Ch’s” atmospheric feel and occasional rapping made for an intriguing and rather original experience; not to mention there was some extreme quality in the music.

Quite possibly due to the lack of commercial success of “In Lake’ Ch,” or the lack of recognition that the album received even underground, The Mayan Factor decided to alter their distinct sound. With their 2004 release, “44,” The Mayan Factor opted for a much more accessible and mainstream sound, while sacrificing a great deal of the originality displayed in their debut. “In Lake’ Ch” had your typical progressive rock format; covering up to 55 minutes of music in just eight tracks. On the contrary, “44” is constructed in much more of a commercially-friendly format, with only two tracks exceeding six minutes. Unfortunately, this would prove to be one of the factors weighing the record down, for “In Lake’ Ch’s” progressive nature is virtually non-existent here.

Unlike in The Mayan Factor’s debut, electric guitars play quite a large role on “44,” not necessarily providing the rhythm, but rather some excellent and fitting leads to complement the songs’ acoustic nature. While “In Lake’ Ch” was concerned with progressive song structuring and a tribal ambience, “44” includes a wider range of instrumentation. The electric leads are a focal point of the music, along with Ray-Ray’s passionate vocals, and the occasional keyboards and strings. Not unlike the debut, “44” presents the opportunity for Ray-Ray to stand out more than anything in the sound of The Mayan Factor; his clean, yet versatile tone seemingly perfect for the music. The acoustic guitars and open sound are what intensify the music, but it is truly Ray-Ray that provides the amount of tension to increase this intensity. In “44” the nu-metal style rapping was dropped from Ray-Ray’s arsenal, much to the pleasure of the few fans of the band.

Amidst the multitude of ballads that seem to dominate the time span of the album, is the haunting and clinically depressed Jack Nicholson. In an album in which, the majority of the ballads on the record tend to blend into each other and lack in originality, Jack Nicholson reigns supreme. Possibly named for a villain that actor Jack Nicholson has played (the joker?), its lyrics are blatant and terrifying. “A kiss of a snake in the woods by the lake, it haunts me. Calm down, calm down, calm down, grab the knife. Calm down, calm down, calm down, slit her throat.” Following track Recon falls into the category of the album’s low-key tracks as well, and utilizes the mysterious vibe and wailing lead guitar, well enough to separate itself from its counterparts. What is introduced in “44” that was not entirely conveyed in “In Lake’ Ch” is the raw energy and edge that can be associated with Terrorist. One of the better songs that the band has written, Terrorist displays The Mayan Factor at their most authoritative moment.

As the guitar soars and Ray-Ray’s “Tick, tick, booms,” grow to an intensified level, the campfire metaphor can justifiably be tied back into Terrorist, just as it was Warflower. “44” did mark the end of The Mayan Factor’s innovation to an extent, but more significantly contained the tension that has placed the band head and shoulders above its peers. Currently, The Mayan Factor are no longer an item in the music world, and the reasons for this are unknown. An inability to reach a large or even moderately sized fan base may have been the Achilles heel for The Mayan Factor, who have at least left a legacy with those that have heard them. Both “In Lake’ Ch” and “44” showed flashes of brilliance, and barring a few major flaws, had the potential to be absolutely fantastic records.

Recommended Tracks:
To Kill A Priest
Terrorist
Ventriloquist
Jack Nicholson
Recon



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user ratings (97)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Bobby Barrett (5)
44 is an intense album that takes you on a journey through pain and war....


Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
January 14th 2010



6088 Comments


Did not enjoy this as much as some of you did.

AnotherBrick
January 14th 2010



9766 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hopi elders is still my favorite track by these guys. too bad you didnt like it as much as others but hopefully you'll give these guys a listen every so often now.

great review though man, even though i would disagree on the rating haha

Prophet178
January 14th 2010



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Factor opted for a much more accessible and mainstream sound, while sacrificing a great deal of the originality displayed in their debut.


Exactly why I dislike this. Great review again.

AnotherBrick
January 14th 2010



9766 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

aww prophet a 2.5???? it still has some great songs on it..damn i want these guys to get back together haha

EVedder27
January 14th 2010



6088 Comments


Thanks guys. I would love to see them get back together and write another In Lake' Ch type album, without the rapping. Would be awesome.

Prophet178
January 14th 2010



6397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, Lake 'Ch is far superior to this. The mainstream sound of this is so generic and average that I barely ever want to listen to it.

AnotherBrick
January 14th 2010



9766 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i've read that they are back together but anything is so fucking tough to find on these guys idk if its legit or not

Powerban
January 15th 2010



2380 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is one of those albums where I'll sit there for a few minutes deciding whether or not I should grab it. Solid review as per usual.

As for them getting back together, that's really excited me. You can see they have that spark in them to creative a classic album. Hopefully they don't try and focus on being "mainstream" like they were trying to. You could even see it in the lyrics how much they wanted to get noticed on In Lake Ch'.

Let's hope if they reformed they step back and say "hey, let's just make an album that sounds cool" and not go for the moneyshot. More than likely, they'll make more money by making an album that sounds good rather than trying to break mainstream.

BigHans
January 15th 2010



26455 Comments


Cant say I know much about this band, I did like that song Warflower you rec'd on your decade list. Good review.

EVedder27
January 15th 2010



6088 Comments


Thanks guys. BigHans if you get any of their albums get In Lake' Ch. Much more experimental and original.

PayneTiger777
January 15th 2010



4368 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Woooah, someone actually reviewed this! Good review, but I disagree with your rating. This is my third favorite album of all time. Jack Nicholson and To Kill A Priest are my favorite songs. I love the lyrics in Jack Nicholson.

EVedder27
January 15th 2010



6088 Comments


Thanks dude. Counter review possibly? Would be interesting to see your points.

PayneTiger777
January 15th 2010



4368 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, I really need to get back into reviewing. I'm a writing major and I need to write more. I still have a review for Cire I need to post up at some point. I'll do one for this as well.

EverythingEvil2113
January 22nd 2010



1278 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I absolutely love this so I'm excited to check out their other album if it's supposedly so much better.

EverythingEvil2113
February 17th 2010



1278 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think I'm in the minority here but I actually prefer this to In Lake Ch.

AnotherBrick
February 17th 2010



9766 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

paynetiger would agree with you everything. and both are fucking amazing

DoubtGin
April 14th 2010



6687 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

holy shit, did anyone know these guys are back together and working on a new album ?


bumped this to a 5 btw.

AnotherBrick
April 14th 2010



9766 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i now love you. check the review for in lake' ch. i posted some info about the new album

Slipping Away
May 28th 2010



1261 Comments


I should probably check this out

bungy
August 29th 2010



8843 Comments


Bondage needs more attention



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