Review Summary: To give synopsis to my thoughts:
The sophomore release by Veil of Maya, [id], is an excellent follow up to their big success, The Common Man's Collapse, though I have a few grievances with it, it is all in all a great album.10 of 11 thought this review was well written
This is my first review, I read some reviews on the site, and felt as if some of them were lacking. So this is my attempt to do them one better. The album in question is the highly-anticipated sophomore album of the Chicago-based death metal band Veil of Maya, [id]. The album title references an idea held by Sigmund Freud and his followers that the mind could be divided into three groups: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is the part of the brain responsible for the unconscious thoughts we have, such as killing others, our primal urges to have sex, and other such fun stuff.
That brings us to the basic premise of the album which is, you guessed it, primarily about the mind. Which is interesting because it is essentially a cluster *** from start to finish. **Important note: Veil of Maya is literally one of my favorite bands of all time, so if you catch any bias on my part, do not hesitate to call me out.** Now of course each individuals perception weighs heavily with how much, or how little they enjoyed the album, so try to stay away from being nit-picky and lets just get to the brass tacks.
Like how truly great albums should, IMO, this album is non-stop start to finish, all the tracks flow well into one another, a few times you don't know where the songs end and the instrumentals begin, such is the case with the transition from The Higler to Martyrs. Some argue that the guitar work on this album is "a little less than what was expected" but from an actual guitarists perspective, Marc Okubo explored more into the realm of chord melody rather than sticking to the Major 7th(pardon my technical jargon) based driving riffs he was so acclaimed for on TCMC. Which is admirable in a way, but was met with much skepticism. The vocals on the album were at first glance seemingly thrown together, but to read the lyrics along with the album they seem a bit more well thought out than previously imagined. Brandon Butler also experimented more with layering vocals on this album that its predecessor.
I was completely against all the hype around the album and how they had it in 4 colors, and also had a contest and blah blah blah. Folks need to realize; that was the work of Sumerian Records, its like a bipartisan relationship, VoM makes the music, Sumerian makes the profit. So all these gimmicks and such should not be reflected on the band as they have no say in the matter, because, as any up coming musician can tell you, when you get signed they literally have you by the balls.
The drums and bass, didn't vary much from the last album, though props to Matt Pantelis for attempting to step outside the box with some bass lines. Sam Applebaum followed essentially the same formula for drums as the last album, by following the guitar on drums, and essentially commiting himself as a highlight musician rather than a stand-alone piece of the band.
All in all this album was very inspirational to me as a song writer. The music in general is well thought out and precise. Anyone who calls it a "so-so attempt at technicality" obviously doesn't quite grasp the premise of technicality, in my opinion. Not every band is technical in the same way as the Faceless, or Necrophagist. Oh well, different strokes for different folks I guess.
I hope you didn't find me too lenient, I genuinely enjoy this album and am eager to see what the future holds for this extremely talented band.