Ohio natives Mayfly call small label Voluminous Records home. They are amongst only three bands currently signed to their roster. While Voluminous may not be a well-known label at this point (founded in 2006), their commitment to the Christian faith and Christian artists is highly respectable. Their webpage states: "Although we don't require that the music be specifically Christian in theme, we do expect members of each band on the label to be Christian and act in a way consistent with a follower of Christ." It goes on from there, but that is a strong statement in and of itself. Mayfly themselves bring a sound with strong nu-metal elements mixed in with some more modern alternative metal elements. The band calls the sound "recycled nu-metal." Their sound has been compared to early era Deftones and they draw influence from the likes of bands such as Underoath, As Cities Burn, and Dead Poetic. Their newest EP, Vereor Deus Non Dogma, is a Latin phrase which translates to "Fear God, Not Dogma." Before you even get to the music the horrific album cover of a man in a gas mask holding a large knife to another man's throat will surely grab your attention.
The EP opens with a spoken word track entitled "Choice." The track won't give you much insight on the musical direction, but it does set the tone thematically. The words, "To fear is to separate; the fear of God, or a fear man made," as well as the remainder of the piece gives the basis for the album title's meaning. The guitars kick in full force to open "Infidel Castro" and it doesn't take long to figure out what these guys are all about musically. The rapid paced guitars throughout, coupled with the headbanging breakdown halfway through, make it a nice start. Folks like me, who miss the band Staple, will be pretty stoked by Darin Keim's guest appearance in "Jihad." A loud bomb raid siren fittingly opens the song about a holy war. While the term is not used in the exact Muslim context, it works well within the lyrics of the song. While "Eternal Respirations" definitely carries a darker Deftones/nu-metal vibe musically, its melodic chorus brightens it up a bit. "Skylights" is up next and goes back to the more rapid pace found earlier in "Infidel Castro." The track actually turns out to be one of best tracks on the album and features some more hardcore elements and even some Project-86 like moments vocally. "Fiasco" is the last actual song carries more of a Dead Poetic "Vices" sound. It's the softest tune on the EP and probably stands the biggest chance of radio success. After several solid tracks, unfortunately, the EP ends with a remix of "Eternal Respirations." This nu-metal jam gets turned into an industrial travesty. The electronic elements sound a bit cheesy overall and the song suffers greatly. This one should have been left off.
Mayfly have, in a sense, resurrected a style of music from years past. While there are some bands still using that old nu-metal sound, it's not nearly as prevalent today. Some people claim that nu-metal ruined rock music, while others will argue that nu-metal actually saved the genre. Whatever your opinion on the matter, Mayfly have done nothing short of putting themselves on the map as a band to watch in the future. Vereor Deus Non Dogma is nowhere close to perfect, but it does offer up quite a few enjoyable moments. While a direct comparison to the Deftones is a stretch for me (Chino's voice makes the Deftones sound in my opinion), the musicality of the EP is definitely leaning that way. The musicianship is respectable and the lyrics are good. If you're looking for something new that can also flash you back to the days when Korn and other nu-metal acts dominated the airwaves, Mayfly is probably a pretty good option. Keep your eyes peeled for what Mayfly and Voluminous Records do next.- Review date: 2/8/14, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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