Cycles Wicked Maraya - Cycles (Mausoleum Records) 1994

1. "Another Day" (3:44)
2. "Jacob's Dance" (3:58)
3. "Resurrection" (4:43)
4. "Face in the Mirro" (3:59)
5. "Johnny" (04:12)
6. "Watching Over" (3:35)
7. "Alone" (3:47)
8. "Winter's Garden" (3:43)
9. "Forever " (4:47)
10. "Sign of Heaven" (3:19)
11. "The Legacy" (6:33)

Wicked Maraya are one of those bands that were lost in the depression days (daze) of the 1990's. After the release of this CD, the band shortened their name to Maraya and changed styles a bit. However, they left us with this heavy metal gem. "Cycles" is similar in style to bands like Vicious Rumors, Sanctuary and even later Metal Church at times. However, even these descriptions are deceiving as Wicked Maraya don't sound exactly like any of these bands. They were quite unique for their time and it really is a shame that more people don't know about this CD. "Cycles" is heavy, creative, progressive and has a lot of groove to it. Unfortunately whenever the word "progressive" is used to describe any sort of metal band, Dream Theater will inevidebly come to mind. However, don't think of Dream Theater-like progression, rather think more along the lines of Psychotic Waltz. The musicianship is probably not quite as complex, but the dynamics from song to song are most certainly comparable. Without going into a song by song description, the standout cuts one the first few listens were album opener "Another Day" and the aptly titled "Sign of Heaven." I must also mention that the opening riff of "Forever" reminded me immediately of S.O.D.'s "March of the S.O.D.", although the comparison quickly changed as the song went in a completely different direction with it's mix of clean guitars and heavy riffs. "Cycles" is a lost gem of a metal album and certainly one that I had not heard of until a decade after it's release. This really is unfortunate as it is far more deserving. (Thanks Shiney)

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