Venue: Mercury Lounge (New York, NY)
Label: Independent Artist
Admitedly, it has been awhile since I had followed the adventures of the band Mahavatar and that made the news about their Mercury Lounge gig something that bore investigation for me. I always hate when I lose track of a band that I like but when you live in NYC there are so many groups to keep track of that sometimes it happens. The last time I caught them was either at the Continental NYC venue which was a great place and now sadly no longer offers Metal fans live music. Someone said that it became a sports bar and I guess that is a good thing because the city certainly doesn’t have enough of those The Mercury Lounge is a great place for a band like Mahavatar because its just big enough to get a healthy crowd inside and with a low stage and no barrier, the audience and band fans can get right up close and personal with the group and maybe even sing into the microphone if the singer allows them to do so. I had learned about this show when I ran into Lizza at the recent Orphaned Land show over at B.B. King’s. Both she and that band originally hail from Israel so she was present to support them. It was a nice surprise for me, but enough about that night and onto the task at hand.
Mahavatar was once signed to Escapi Music and via that label released “From The Sun, The Wind, The Rain, The Soil” and the impressive debut seemed to showcase big things were in store for the group. Sadly the label would dissolve and leave Mahavatar and many other fine artists without a home for their music except in the minds of their fans who wisely purchased the release or those who caught them perform. Over the years the band has also had some changes in the lineup and to my eyes had a number of new players. For me the most noticeable change had been in the guitar duties as gone was long time founding guitarist Karla Williams and in her place now stood Richard Almady. Shahar was the newest guy back when I last caught them and he of course is still in the lineup which is a very good thing. Simon is still holding down the groove on bass but drummer Glenn Grossman was also a new face to me even though he has been in the band since 2007. They hit the stage a little later than was announced but no one seemed to care and all were just excited about the band playing a gig at such a cool place. They would open up with a new song, and interestingly enough that would be the focus of their set list this evening. Lizza looked great in her corset type top and dark sunglasses. Her tattoos were very visible to the crowd and I had to say that she has some impressive ink. Her voice is a darker and growling one but she also has a nice clean register in her command so she switches things up during a show.
The bands new album is not yet available as it is still getting some finishing touches put on it will be called “Rise From Betrayal” and that is a very powerful title. They would only do two songs from the Escapi Music release with the first one being “Cult”, a song that I rather liked. Through it all, drummer Glenn was pounding solidly and new guitarist Richard was really showcasing some good riff chops. The material is definitely in good hands with him on board and I felt he was a perfect compliment to what Shahar was doing. The mood got serious for a few minutes when Lizza explained how the next song “Fallen” was dedicated to her husband Paul DeMauro. He is no longer among us and I learned that the couple had been involved in a motorcycle accident and he died resultant of his injuries. The singer spoke about how he was the love of her life and that she will never forget him. The song worked well even without the dedication and it is sure to become a fan favorite based on its powerful meaning. Life is a fleeting thing my friends so spend the time with the important people around you since you never know what card will be drawn. A few more heavy tunes from the forthcoming were delivered with skill and I have to say that I think this new CD will put Mahavatar back on the Metal map. I liked what I heard and feel that you will as well. New York City has a solid champion of the underground in Mahavatar so watch out for this one. My guess is that we shall here about it by the end of the summer. You can check the bands official site to hear some samples and you will not be disappointed.
If you see their name listed on any shows as an opener you should do your Metal duty and get there early enough to help support them as well. They have a great energy on the stage and it is pure Metal with an interesting groove to it. I’m sure the band will be happy to entertain you.
1. A Prayer For The Insane
3. Hate Factory
6. Warrior Of Light
7. Light Come’s Out Of The Dark
8. Rise From Betrayal
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/mahavatarHQ/