2023 & 2024 INTERVIEWS & REVIEWS
CLICK on Photo for INTERVIEW / REVIEW Site
2024 First Week Radio Charts!!!
AND #10 on Metal Contraband Top 50 Metal Chart!!!
THANK YOU TO ALL!!! 2024 WILL ROCK!!!
WICKED MARAYA ended 2023 #6 on NACC Top 30 Heavy Charts
& #13 on Metal Contraband Top 50 Metal Chart!!!
January 3, 2024
KICK ASS Review from MetalWim Van Grunsven of METAL TEMPLE!!!
THANK YOU to Pjotr Gilin @ Zware Metalen for the AMAZING REVIEW!!!
WICKED MARAYA – CHAPTERS
Written by Pjotr Giling on 20-12-2023 at 23:55.
Although the start of Wicked Maraya in the 80s of the last century was plagued by setbacks, with the low point being that the actual debut album remained on the shelf due to the bankruptcy of the record company at the time, the band had a huge impact in 1994 with its debut Cycles. Progressive heavy metal that could easily compete with bands like Queensrÿche, Crimson Glory and W. A.S.P.
The band name was catchy and had its own identity and strangely enough in 1995 it was decided to shorten the name to Maraya. Two less progressive but nevertheless still good albums were released under that name, namely No Hope for Humanity...? (1996) and Counterculture (1997) after which the band disbanded in 1998.
In 2011 the band was revived, and the original name was restored. The first feat of this reformation saw the light of day in 2016 and although the songs (except one) sounded new to the public, they were the songs that had been left on the shelf in the early 90s. Now released under the name Lifetime in Hell. However, two new tracks have been recorded and added to the album; Fall From Grace and Suicidal Dawn.
It's 2023 and we're finally hearing from Wicked Maraya again. On November 20, the EP CHAPTERS will be released, the first fresh new material from Wicked Maraya. Eighty percent of the band is still original. Only drummer Mike Nack has been replaced by Rob Liano. CHAPTERS contains five tracks with the simple titles Chapter I through Chapter V.
The EP opens quietly with a semi ballad which reminded me of Phoenix Rising by Annihilator. Lou Falco is still very good in voice and it's good to hear that Wicked Maraya can still produce solid metal.
Chapter II immediately kicks into high gear. Galloping drums and ripping guitars. Recognizable sound that we also know from the album Cycles, but also new. Vocally, Lou goes wild again. The raw outbursts in his voice come to the fore again, although the high notes that were so characteristic on Cycles are hardly audible here.
If I could put a genre stamp on the third track, I'd go for an epic doom song. It's completely in line with the music of Wicked Maraya and it's clearly their own interpretation of a doom metal track. Think slightly of the Tony Martin period of Black Sabbath.
A tight mid-tempo metal track with ballad-like verses is the basis for Chapter IV. The slightly progressive character of Wicked Maraya is still present and ensures that there is always something to discover in the music.
Judge for yourself about Chapter V, the track that preceded the release of CHAPTERS.
It's good to hear that Wicked Maraya is still capable of producing heavy metal with a progressive twist. Especially since this is actually the first new work in seven years. If you are not familiar with the work of the gentlemen, I advise you to listen to the album Cycles in its entirety.
CHAPTERS is not about a concept, but more about the variation that Wicked Maraya is so good at. If this is a prelude to a new full-fledged album, I can't wait for it to be released. Wicked Maraya is back!
THANK YOU Ana Alvarado @ End Sessions!!! (Translated To English)
"For lovers of euphoria and chaos we bring you a soundtrack that we assure you will make you lose control, they are "Wicked Maraya" and we simply present them as the recommendation of the day because when listening to their song "Chapter V" we have been shocked because they present us with a dark and aggressive sound which every metal lover will love... With a raw, gritty and epic sound, this band takes us into an environment in which it will be impossible to feel involved, unlike conventional metal, this track gives us an atmospheric game that will make your hair stand on end through its melodic choruses that will make you feel the true meaning of the word "Energy", That's why we're sure you'll love this song and as a fun fact we can tell you that this song also has an Official Video Clip that we're sure will reinforce your experience."
THANK YOU to Filip CD from Hell Spawn Magazine for the AMAZING REVIEW!!! 95/100!!!
Belgian to English Translation:
The Dark Days are coming again. As an annual habit, I then ask myself what to do. This often means that we start putting together our annual lists, because we have already had the best releases around this time. Not this fall, dear reader! SUDDENLY, almost out of nowhere, there is "CHAPTERS", the first digital release from the American WICKED MARAYA. For those who don't know the group, a brief history. WICKED MARAYA's debut, called "Cycles", was released in 1994 on our own Belgian Mausoleum label. A release that ended up in many annual lists. The band didn't really make a breakthrough. Grunge was simply on the rise. 2 years later "No Hope For Humanity...?" was published. and in 1997 "Counterculture" was born. These 2 gems appeared under the name 'MARAYA' and showed a slightly more progressive band. For years we heard nothing more from the band until Wicked Maraya suddenly released "Lifetime In Hell" in 2016, which turns out to be the precursor to the debut that was never released. So, now that you're along, we can talk about "CHAPTERS", a release that fits seamlessly with the debut. We get 5 new songs, each of which is simply a Chapter in itself. WICKED MARAYA still brings traditional, melodic heavy metal, which is correct down to the last detail. It should also be mentioned that the Current Line-Up is almost the same as at the time of the Debut. Only Drummer Mike Nack has been replaced by Rob Liano. The only downside (Old Soul that I am) is that this is a digital release. Quite a shame because this product really deserves a tangible expenditure. Anyone who knows the band has already downloaded these "CHAPTERS". The Boys promise us even more music and performances (hopefully on European soil) in 2024. I'm looking forward to it!
THANK YOU for ALL the SUPPORT!!!
THANK YOU so much to Keith Clement of Metalheads Forever Magazine - Official!!!
So great talking with you for our 1st Interview about the NEW Wicked Maraya EP - 'CHAPTERS'!!!
Wicked Maraya – EP Chapters
written by Edwin Knip December 2, 2023
On this new EP, this American melodic metal band delivers 5 new Chapters.
After the band has released three albums in the nineties, it remains quiet for a long time. Until the album Lifetime In Hell was released in 2016 as proof that the band is still alive and kicking. And now there's an EP with five new tracks.
With dark grooves and solid drumming and bass work, the band delivers five strong songs. The titles range from Chapter I to Chapter V. Compared to the line-up on the debut album Cycles from 1994, only drummer Rob Liano is not from the original line-up.
Vocalist Lou Falco, bassist-keyboardist John Iadevaio, and guitarists Daniel Malsch and Michael Iadevaio are still present. The songs are easy on the ear, they have a strong melody line. The band alternates sturdy, rough pieces with subtle musical accompaniment. As a pleasant surprise, Falco is supported by a children's choir in Chapter V, which gives the song an extra layer. All in all, this EP gets a good pass.
Wicked Maraya – EP Chapters
From New York we introduce you to the metal band WICKED MARAYA formed at the end of the 80's, currently made up of Falco on vocals, John Iadevaio on bass, Michael Iadevaio on guitar, Dan Malsch on guitar and Rob Liano on drums.
Their style adheres to the sound of classic and progressive metal and they have a great recording career.
This year they are back with a new EP that will be available on November 20 on digital platforms.
Under the name of CHAPTERS, this great production will have 5 CHAPTERS, the sound is majestic, the sound evolution is of a new level, reinventing and bringing new nuances to his style.
Wicked Maraya – EP Chapters
Although Wicked Maraya was unknown to me, the roots of this band go back to the early years of the nineties. A year after their first demo 'Wicked Maraya' (1993), their debut album 'Cycles' followed. Then came 'No Hope For Humanity...?' (1996) and 'Counterculture' (1997) after which it remained silent for a long time. They broke that silence in 2016 with 'Lifetime In Hell', songs that they said had been considered lost for a while. Now the band is back with an EP, which contains five songs. Musically, they haven't deviated from their well-trodden path of melodic metal, where strong songwriting always provided heavy grooves. Big melodic vocals and a sonic experience with moody, emotional layers, in other words blowing you away by a wall of sound. This new EP is a twenty-minute tribute to their debut 'Cycles'. In the ranks we find vocalist Falco, guitarists Michael Iadevaio and Daniel Malsch, bassist and keyboard player John Iadevaio and drummer Rob Liano. Musical guests include backing vocalist AJ Larsen and The JT Lambert Choir on the closing track. The mixing of the album was done by Daniel Malsch in the Soundmine Recording, mastering by Troy Glessner at the Spectre Studios and the cover artwork was done by Georgi (Moon Ring Design). Between the titles 'Chapter I' to 'Chapter V' we find songs that build up slowly, but also that erupt into power metal with abrasive vocals as in the second part. A dark undertone is always the common thread here. Sometimes a Spartan rhythm can be maintained, as in the third part, or the other way around, as afterwards. As a result, the intense drumming is beautifully displayed. A crushing arrangement on a slow thumping cadence in combination with powerful vocals ensures that a strong dominating feeling prevails. This is compensated for in the closing 'Chapter V' with the warmer sounding backing choir "The JT Lambert Choir", despite the iron fretwork that cuts.
All songs evoke a dark feeling, an atmosphere of resignation and submissive surrender to a greater power.
There are 5 heavy performances, each in a bombastic production, which makes this feeling even more pronounced.
You have to experience the music, because you will be immersed in an atmosphere that will hold you for about five minutes.
For me it creates a rather oppressive feeling, but I can totally imagine that some of them will be gone.
Rocking Klingon (80)
Tracks: 1. Chapter I 2. Chapters II 3. Chapter III 4. Chapter IV 5. Chapter V.
Audio Interview - True Metal Lives