The Mayan Factor
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The Mayan Factor

Baltimore, MD | Established. Jan 01, 2002 | INDIE

Baltimore, MD | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2002
Band Rock Alternative




"The Mayan Factor In Lake Ch' rating 4.0"

The Mayan Factor
In Lake 'CH

Review Summary: If you think you've heard everything in music and haven't heard The Mayan Factor, think again.

The Mayan Factor are an extremely unique find in contemporary rock. As a modern progressive group, The Mayan Factor cannot be defined by the sludgy-prog of Karnivool, the metal and psychedelic induced sound of Porcupine Tree, or the spastic fire of the Mars Volta. The Mayan Factor offer quite a disparity in the genre; their earthy and open sound is something that can hardly be discovered in other groups throughout progressive rock. Those of you familiar with Thrice’s “Alchemy Index’s” would discover a great deal of similarities in the resonance of the “Earth” disc and The Mayan Factor’s debut “In Lake’ Ch.” The band utilizes acoustic guitars and other tribal sounds to create the ambient feel, but doesn’t lack in the intensity department. In fact, despite the fact that electric guitars are hard to come by in The Mayan Factor’s music, the band still rocks.

To more fully explain the sound of The Mayan Factor, close your eyes and picture a deserted plain with a campfire. The mysterious acoustic riff of opener Warflower fades in and the fire builds in intensity as the song progresses. Its tribal ambience seems to fit the situation, almost in a literal sense, and lead singer Ray-Ray reluctantly exclaims, “On my way to the classroom, lit the fire, it's a burning desire, murder, water is needed.” Ray-Ray’s vocals a versatile in several different ways, and most importantly contain a great deal of tension that complement the music so eloquently. The example of Warflower with the campfire may appear a bit too literal, but purely reflects what The Mayan Factor’s music is all about.

Ray-Ray’s clean and distinct vocals are a defining characteristic in the band’s music. He is often calm and composed, and when the track builds in force, he threatens to lash out. However, despite what is expected, Ray-Ray rarely does. With that said, emotion does not cease to exist in his vocals, Beauty and the Beast serving as a tremendous example. As one of the more ballad-type tracks on the album, Ray-Ray is very delicate and soothing, but there is a certain sorrow in his voice. The passion is conveyed through his composure as he hints, “Fame never goes your way, pain never goes away, say I’ll be here tomorrow, for today.” His versatility is displayed in the final tracks of the record, in a way in which separates The Mayan Factor from other bands. He raps. In fact, the listener does not discover what the band is all about until midway through the sixth track on the album. Ray-Ray’s rap comes out of nowhere and stuns the listener in Son of Sam – Prophecy. Just reading this without listening to the record the rapping seems corny, but actually makes the experience all the more interesting. With this particular style, Ray-Ray has actually developed a more aggressive vocal performance, and complements the forceful nature of the track with great precision. The outro of Going to Pieces serves along the same concept, and is Ray-Ray’s most vigorous performance of the record.

The highlight of the record does not come into play until the final track, and begins with a line from The Doors’ song Riders on the Storm. Focus – Reborn is “In Lake’Ch’s” fifteen minute epic track, and is split into two different segments. The “focus” section is dynamically brilliant; building with tension as Ray-Ray raps, and suddenly dying down to just an acoustic interlude. The track is quite innovative, utilizing wind sounds as a dramatic effect. The outro of “focus” is where Ray-Ray loses it for the first time on the record as the track fades to silence. “Reborn” offers a much more sentimental feeling than developed on the rest of the record, but is rather short lived with the rap vocals coming back in with “And everybody get the f*** up.” The tension of the entire album seems to be resolved when the track returns to its calm nature, and fades out with Ray-Ray singing once again.

“In Lake’ Ch” is an outstanding debut for a band that has a great deal of potential. When listening to the record, nothing seems to stand out as spectacular, and many of the tracks blend into each other. The album may suffer from a lack of variety, but is an extremely interesting listening experience. Many may be turned off by the rapping, the fully acoustic sound, or the similarities in each track, but altogether define what The Mayan Factor are. “In Lake’ Ch” is one of those debuts that gives both the fans and the band hope that something magnificent could eventually ignite from it.

Recommended Tracks:
Beauty and the Beast
Focus - Reborn - Sputnik Music

"The Mayan Factor - In lake 'ch /"

The Mayan Factor - In Lake 'Ch
Competently constructing a dreamy soundscape of variable textures, tempos and emotions, and then packaging them all together as intricately layered prog-rock, The Mayan Factor's "In Lake 'Ch" is a true indie gem. Catering to the darker senses of progressive melancholy ala Tool and dredg, while also harboring a distinct modern rock flair, this MD based outfit have a seemingly limitless appeal to their sound. As such their music is more than capable of enlisting a variety of different listeners within their fan base, especially those who would not often stand side by side.
Moody and brooding without sounding depressed, the bands music is inherently solid footed thanks to its weighty rhythm section. Balancing this bass heavy performance with wispy acoustic guitar passages and sure-footed drumming, not to mention some haunting extra instrumental additions, the songs tumble and engulf themselves in their own complexity, yet rarely leave the listener confused. This musical confidence exuded makes the introspective vocal performance all the more impactful, and while an underlying sense of aggression is continually present, the band remain positive and for the most part avoid any showings of testosterone laced machismo.
However, while the disc starts off in earnest and has its roots fully drenched in expansive rock elements, around halfway through the band oddly begin to add in some elements of rap-rock, which ultimately seem out of place and disjointed. Although the only traces of the infamous genre generally surface in the form of a rap-like vocal deliveries, the group still morph into some weird hybrid of Linkin Park/Limp Bizkit meets dredg, and the album could have done entirely without this odd concoction. Aside from those aforementioned forays into the unexpected however, this quintet remain quite impressive and show boundless potential for future offerings if they can manage to factor out the current loose ends.

(3.5 / 5)

The Mayan Factor
In Lake 'Ch
1. Warflower
2. Aim For The Sky
3. Nothing Really
4. Beauty And The Beast
5. Forplay
6. Son Of Sam
7. Prophecy
8. Going To Pieces
9. Focus
10. Reborn -

"The Mayan Factor / 44 /"

The Mayan Factor - 44
Sans the ill-advised forays into rapcore, The Mayan Factor's "In Lake 'Ch" was an impressive album that quickly built the band a loyal fan base. Taking their time to construct a worthy follow-up, the Maryland-based outfit have now resurfaced with "44", an album that sees them moving into heady territory with a firmer grasp on their rock roots, while simultaneously letting go of the existential prog-rock of days past.
Where "In Lake 'Ch" would often bring about moments of dredg-like euphoria and Tool-reminiscent complexity, "44" instead retains a far more earthy feel. Very organic and distinctly rock and jam oriented, the bulk of the material included here falls in line beside that of Wintersleep, or in some instances, even groups like the Dave Matthews Band. Down home and humble, the subtle finesse employed routinely downplays the majestic undertones the songs seem to thrive upon.
That is not to say that the band have abandoned their love for layered instrumentation or sonic elaboration however, as there is still much in the way of acoustic, piano and percussive bonuses. It's just that that their material now sounds more inspired by groups like Nirvana and Pink Floyd rather than their modern-day counterparts. An engulfing listen to be sure, "44" also carries on the bands somewhat confrontational and socially-aware lyrical style, though one has to listen quite closely to pick up on it.
In the past the band may have been more direct in such an expression, but their greater display of maturity on "44" astutely shows just how far they've come in such a short period of time. Whether haunting with repetition, aggressive with rock n' roll hunger or plodding along with an almost cumbersome amount of depth, the approach taken here is almost always natural and endearing. Admittedly things have been dumbed-down a bit and may now appeal more to an older audience as a result of the influences the group now channel. But "44" is still a thought-provoking listen that should resonate with anyone who prefers to stray from the musical norm.

(3.5 / 5)

The Mayan Factor
Mothership Records
01. To Kill A Priest
02. Terrorist
03. Propaganda
04. Hopi Elders
05. Ventrilaquist
06. Gosia
07. Yesterdays Son
08. Bondage
09. A Red Gone Blue
10. Jack Nicholson
11. Recon
12. Self Storage -

"The Mayan Factor / Yesterdays Son"

Review Summary: A truly beautiful way to say goodbye.

When art rockers The Mayan Factor announced the release of an album a year after the band’s lead singer, Ray-Ray, died of a heroin overdose, the news was met with both surprise and confusion. The group’s third album Yesterday’s Son isn’t an album of new material written post-Ray-Ray’s passing, the band has stated that the songs appearing on the album all began as demos that were written and partially recorded in sessions years before the tragic loss of their singer. As an act of closure, the band has re-recorded new instrumental tracks to back the original vocal takes from their vocalist, and bundled up the newly finalized versions of the originally unreleased tracks as their farewell album to their fans.

What’s most impressive about Yesterday’s Son is how cohesive it sounds. Even though the vocal takes are a few years old, the music flows very naturally around Ray-Ray’s singing, so much so that it’s as if he was actually recording the music with the band. The production seamlessly brings every element together, and the finished result feels very much so alive, something that many posthumous releases of unreleased songs understandably lack. You can really feel the care, effort, and emotion that was poured into the heart of these songs.

The musical quality of Yesterday’s Son is as brilliant as it's ever been for the band. The layered contrast between the delicate acoustic strumming and shimmering electric guitars makes for a simply gorgeous atmosphere that projects imagery akin to a sunset on a spring day: the sunlight feels soft and dwindling, but it always seems brightest as its fading into the horizon. The visual of the brightness of the sun on a distant horizon is an image fitting to that of Ray-Ray’s vocal performance, in that it has a bleak sense of poignancy, but it’s also warm and comforting with a glimmering assurance of hope. Ray-Ray sings in a rustic low-tone, reminiscent of iconic grunge outfit Pearl Jam’s frontman, Eddie Vedder. The band also keeps short recordings in the album of Ray-Ray briefly speaking in the demo sessions before the tracks start, his voice haunting these songs and making them feel as full of memories as looking through a photo album.

It’s also apparent that The Mayan Factor haven’t lost a step when it comes to their ability to give modern alternative rock a subtle ethnic twist that goes a long way, as the usage of kongo drums for percussion is still present in the album. Though it’s not clear whether or not the songs on Yestrday’s Son were expanded upon since the original demo sessions, or just re-recorded. These songs sound great, but they originally just started out as random demo tracks that never had the chance to be filtered or organized through the process of making an album when they were first conceived, and the mission of the band was to simply finish these songs up by working with whatever vocal demos of Ray-Ray that they could, instead of furthering the songs any more than that. The album is more of a way of just wrapping up what was formerly undone, and though it really can’t be helped, with only seven tracks it’s more of a collection of unreleased material as opposed to a proper album.

Due to this, the album lacks a bit in sonic variation. Every song is along the same lines as one another, and there’s nothing like the jazzy rock cuts that were featured on previous Mayan Factor albums to be found, only songs that have flares of sweeping melancholia and neo-progressive rock flirting, though the band really cannot be faulted for this as it’s probable that songs of another flavor never had a chance to be created before Ray-Ray’s passing.

All in all, Yesterday’s Son is a strongly emotional powerhouse of a tribute to their late lead singer, and one that packs a walloping punch to the heart at that. It shows the band playing in top shape despite their heavy loss, and acts as a heartfelt way of saying goodbye to their fanbase. -


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


One word to describe The Mayan Factor is haunting. A listen to any song and you will never forget it. To hear either their melodies or lyrics is to be renewed.Together they blend into an irresistible force of inspirational creativity. Bridging the abyss of unreal to real, the spiritually dead to the vital, these guys are genuine, their warmth contrasting with the vapid corporate chill of modern culture. Living samplers, each man engulfs a smorgasbord of musical styles but they never tack anything on because they can do it. Their music wells from the wellspring of their souls. The old medicine is dead and with it spring. The last tricks have been tried, the last tapestry of their lies woven. The system is corrupt. The system is bankrupt. We await the wall to fall. Turn your ears to the new dispensation. Turn your hearts from the grave.Tune your hearts to the heart of

Band Members