Michael Maas – Illumination

Michael Maas - IlluminationMichael Maas – Illumination

I’m sure many of you have heard of the composer Michael Maas. If not, he was born in Germany in 1983, and has been composing trailer music since 2012. Even though he has composed music for trailers for that short time he has  managed to get recognized by different trailer libraries in America, such as Dos Brains, Really Slow Motion and Immediate Music. He has already been featured in the Arabesque campaign of the prominent piano company called Steinway and the promo of the Peggy Guggenheim collection. In 2013 Michael has created his own trailer house together with Christoph Allerstorfer. On 25 August 2013 he released his second solo album, which I would like to review here now. 

Tracklist

1 The Conclusion
2 Belarius
3 Rise to Fall
4 Far Away from Home
5 Morpheus and the Dream (feat. Felicia Farerre)
6 Digital Breakdown (feat. Christoph Allerstorfer)
7 Cubitus
8 Umakanta Se (feat. Martin Hasseldam)
9 Phelicitas
10 Revenge of the Earth

The album includes 10 tracks which reach from emotional to drama.
As we know from his first album, he is really great at arousing emotions with the piano, that is why my favorite Tracks are the slow emotional piano tracks. (Morpheus and the Dream, Far away from Home, The Conclusion) Morpheus and the Dream features the amazing vocals of Felicia Farrere who you propably have heard in compositions by Jo Blankenburg or Phil Rey. It is a small masterpiece which has an immediate calming effect. Far Away From Home is a piano track that consists of relaxing Strings, flutes and choirs and wich gives you a heavenly feeling. Because of the really beautiful interaction of the piano and the flutes, I listened to the track 3 times in a row and I think that it is a masterpiece. The Conclusion is a slow piano track wich mixes the piano, a gentle female vocal and aggressive synths together to a really calm and cinematic piece.

Far away from home:

The album also includes 4 dramatic tracks (Rise to Fall, Digital Breakdown, Cubitus, Phelicitas)

The first track Rise to Fall starts slowly with strings and a female voice and builds up tention till it ends with loud percussions and choir. Track 6 of the album (Digital Breakdown) is a big and loud trailertrack which has got a really dense sound to it but in my opinion it could feature more synthetic elements to fit the title of the track and may miss a really catchy melody.
Then there is the track called Cubitus which is a track of powerful percussion and huge brass, it builds up tention right from the beginning again I can`t remember a strong melody line but I absolutely love the percussion work and the soundeffects which are featured in this track.

Phelicitas (number 9 from the album) is a dark but emotional trailer track which starts really slow and gets more intense over the time. The sound is absolutely beautiful and the mix is stunning. You can feel this epic sound, but still can hear every single instrument.

Now last but not least the track Umakanta se which features Martin Hasseldam (a trailer music composer himself) has this ethnic ethereal vibe to it. The track features really great percussion (recorded by Martin Hasseldam) which are creating a driving rhythm in contrast with the airy choir in the background. This track is definitely a high point of the album!

Standout tracks

-Revenge of Earth
-Far Away from Home
-The Conclusion
-Umakanta Se

Conclusion

Who knows the first album Memoria by Michael Maas, will notice that Michael has taken a different path for his new release. There are less piano tracks than in his previous one. Michael definetly has his particular sound and style. If you like it or not, depends on you but for me its always a nice journey to listen to his music. Personally I think that the strongest tracks are the piano tracks but again, listen to his album and make your own opinion, but one thing is for sure, you can look forward to hearing future music by him.

The album is available for purchase on Amazon and Itunes.

Watch the album promo here:

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