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Maegi - Skies Fall

Skies Fall
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 16 May 2013, 12:49 PM

The sum of all fears can happen, an alien invasion, the world of man destroyed and defenceless. No matter the conflicts and campaigns against one another, the human race can extinct one day. Will unification matter? It is unknown. Hope may be just a prayer or a meaning for something that could have been but is no more. Everything can happen; it can be a long process of suffering or a swift blow that will evaporate all life on Earth. Expect the unexpected my friends. Based on his admiration for Sci-Fi, the Turkish Metal artist, Oganalp Canatan, founder of the MAEGI project / band formed a story of the end, mankind’s final stand at the brink of destruction, but not on the winning side. There were a few attempts to survive the crushing knockback, yet nothing could overcome the massive power of the invaders. Through MAEGI’s Canatan established the grounds for an assorted Metal infrastructure based on Euro and American Heavy / Power Metal with shrapnel of progression. Furthermore, Canatan, which has been quite active throughout the Metal world, invited distinguished guests to take on lead vocals and lead guitars on several of the songs: Chris Boltendahl (GRAVE DIGGER), Zak Stevens (CIRCLE II CIRCLE), Hansi Kürsch (BLIND GUARDIAN), Tim "Ripper" Owens (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, DIO’S DISCIPLES) and Jerry Outlaw (JON OLIVA’S PAIN). So everything was set for something perfect. Actually it wasn’t, as nothing is, but MAEGI turned out to be a wonderful prospect with the debut presentation of “Skies Fall”, via Kardanadam Media, where mankind fails.

Oganalp Canatan proved to be quite proficient with his songwriting. He might haven’t hit point blank in every corner of this release to make it a marvel machine, yet his arrangements sounded so fresh, atmospheric and relatively enchanting. I found interesting crisscrosses between genres, whether 80s classic Metal to the outskirts of progression in a similar notes to DREAM THEATER and late KAMELOT. The most part of the album has its fair share of heaviness, but the compositions aren’t just a straightforward punch in the throat, but meaningful acts in an overall storyline. Even short bangers, like the opener, “Skies Fall” or “Take No Prisoners” were able to fulfill their part in the story with the same grace as the epic tunes. The former number served well as a background to the destruction. Chris Boltendahl shined with his brittle type of vocals and it actually fitted rather nicely to the DREAM THEATER type track that Canatan designed. I liked the rhythms, diverse and smart. The latter sounded like something out the late ICED EARTH discography, Canatan on the lead vocals, reminding Stu Block for just a little, performing with excellence along with two of the album’s most valuable tokens, the singing choir behind Canatan, and the impressive and adamant exchange of overwhelming soloing of Canatan along with guest lead axeman, Jerry Outlaw.

Other than the so called straightforwardness of the tracks I mentioned, there were additional fashions in play. “A Different Fate”, mystified at first like a semi KING DIAMOND with bits of SAVATAGE, gives or takes with keyboards’ setting. The chorus is haunting, beautiful harmonies of the backing vocals, lead guitar licks exquisite and I wouldn’t save for last the best solo of the album, so damn classic. Canatan couldn’t do without a ballad, which I might add was very needed. The acoustic driven “Those We've Left Behind” is like a conclusion, as if the outcome is already known, all that is left is just to watch and let it happen. Furthermore, it is quite touchy and highly emotional. Hansi Kürsch was the right decision for lead vocals on this one, without a doubt a vocalist that evolved to become one of the most unique voices in Metal, and his balladry abilities once again proved themselves. “Demise of Hopes” flickered as somewhat weird at first, probably due to the convergence of the keyboards’ channels into a thing of suspense. On the other hand, it continued as a sort of KAMELOT meets IRON MAIDEN lead guitaring with a sparkle of 80s AOR keyboards. Tim "Ripper" Owens portrayed like the evil menace of this song, he seemed a bit out of context when it comes to the music, yet I reconsidered that notion after listening to him singing the chorus. “In Silence”, a fine closing effort that might be mistaken as a final aria from an operatic act, is another meaty ICED EARTH oriented tune folded with smite of SYMPHONY X, this is what Progressive Power Metal is all about. The choir is this song’s winning maverick.

Closing this one down, Oganalp Canatan and his MAEGI project showed another example of a high standard concept album built on Metal’s evolution. “Skies Fall” shared catchiness and articulation, great playing skills, adequate engineering and famous skilled guests as appetizers. The story is touching, dramatic and stimulating, a commended journey for every Metalhead.

4 Star Rating

1. Skies Fall
2. No Response
3. Communications Breakdown
4. Take No Prisoners
5. Hide and Seek
6. Those We've Left Behind
7. A Different Fate
8. The Resistance
9. Demise of Hopes
10. In Silence
Oganalp Canatan - Vocals, Lead & Rhythm Guitars
Onur Ozkoc - Rhythm & Acoustic Guitars
Can Dedekarginoglu - Bass
Semih Ornek - Drums
Ozan Alparslan - Keyboards
Bulutay Günes - Choir Company
Damla Ozdemir - Choir Company

Hansi Kürsch - Vocals
Chris Boltendahl - Vocals
Tim "Ripper" Owens - Vocals
Zak Stevens - Vocals
Jerry Outlaw - Lead Guitars
Record Label: Kardanadam Media


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