Veil of Maya
Eclipse


4.0
excellent

Review

by John Henry Pitts, III USER (10 Reviews)
February 29th, 2012 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An anthemic statement by a band that plays like a re-worked medley of their previous work while sticking close to a tried-and-true formula.

Veil of Maya, for the few who haven't been formally intro'd, are a Chicago-based progressive Deathcore quartet. Strangely, they have always been a band with wide familiarity amongst the metal community, but unfortunately with only a niche appreciation. Their 4th studio album, Eclipse, will do little to change that fact.

The easiest way to describe VoM's Eclipse is as a sonic bridge between the progressive extremes of Animals as Leaders and the brutal extremes of All Shall Perish. The album opener 20/200 begins with a synthesized aural display that quickly shifts to the signature Marc Okubo polyrhythmic breakdown that is instantly reminiscent to [iD]'s mosh erupting track "Martyrs."

Those not already converted to the VoM brand of metal will feel quite alienated by this album, as Marc throws in a cheeky lead riff nod to [iD] album favorite "Conquer" before breaking into a *ridiculous* hyper palm-muted, blast beat filled study in grind metal on Eclipse's 2nd track "Divided Paths."

In all honesty, the two tracks "Divided Paths" and "Punisher" can easily rival anything done by technical masters All Shall Perish. For those who may have found Veil of Maya's previous material too lacking in testosterone, I dare you to listen to album standout "Punisher" as it *fully* lives up to its name as one of the most original, yet catchy "deathcore" songs released in recent years.

Credit must be given to where credit is due, and Marc Okubo is definitely deserving of it. His ability to create such evocative songs, whether they err on the side of brutality or cosmic transcendence, is all the more amazing given the fact that he relies not on overtly dropped-tuned, extended range guitar chugging (he still rocks the Ibanez 6-string tuned to Drop B), but on ingenious chord voicings and composition.

Not to say that Veil of Maya's evolved sound is completely bereft of expected deathcore extravagance. Common criticism of previous album [iD] was mostly due to it's overall flat sound, although most would agree that VoM live performances were a completely different, and thankfully, much more dynamic affair. Recently acquired bass wunderkind Dan Hauser remedies this situation by allowing his intricate 7-string bass playing skills to give low-end depth and nuance to a band that was sorely lacking in previous recordings. (Check him out here: http://youtu.be/H8rsyeM_67Y)

A special award *must* be given to VoM drummer Sam Applebaum, as he is quickly becoming one of the most underrated but talented drummers in the game. His playing, while not as fast as Shannon Lucas (The Black Dahlia Murder) or Jon "The Charn" Rice (Job for a Cowboy) is none the less just as technically impressive. He actually may be VoM's saving grace along with Hauser when most listeners begin to tire of Okubo's prog melodic leanings.

Album centerpiece "The Glass Slide" will probably be the "make it or break it" point for most listeners. Similar to [iD]'s "Mowgli," it serenades the listener with an almost Prince of Persia-esque inspired guitar lead. By far the most ambitious song on the album, it definitely showcases the epic, multi-layered approach that VoM have taken on Eclipse.

Touring cohort and producer Misha Mansoor (Periphery) imprints a lush, almost video game soundtrack-like quality to Eclipse. I couldn't help but think of anime composers like Yoko Kanno (Macross) Kenji Kawai (Ghost in the Shell) and Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy) when listening to many of the digitally enhanced tracks on Eclipse. I'm sure both Okubo and Mansoor would be pleased at the nerdy references to say the least.

Overall, it is Marc Okubo's style of guitar playing that will endear (or repel) most listeners to VoM's latest offerings. Ironically, due to his classical influences and high pedigree, his playing, while virtuosic, rarely surprises in the way a more self-taught, less-technically gifted player might.

I hesitate in calling Veil of Maya a "musician's band" because they could easily be enjoyed by a wide range of music listeners (quite similar to Metalcore influencers Between the Buried and Me) BUT . . . if the words "diminished 5th" and "diatonic scale" do little to get your attention, you may feel you missed the memo when all of the cool kids start raving about Veil of Maya's latest. Just be sure wear a nice pair of shades when you check out the "Eclipse" tour later this year.



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user ratings (578)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
TheLycan (3.5)
And all they had was just...talent, endurance and inspiration....

kilipeti (3)
Biggest letdown for the year, another band swimming along with the melodic bands. Michael Keene knew...

RosaVein (4)
Veil of Maya write a strong follow-up to [Id], but not without some critique....

pizzamachine (3.5)
Head banging all the way to the bank, "Eclipse" showcases the unchangeable deathcore act at the top ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Aphrodisiac
February 29th 2012


1739 Comments


"can easily rival anything done by technical masters All Shall Perish."
haha

saucy
February 29th 2012


342 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"7 string bass"

What.

ssj4gogeta17
February 29th 2012


86 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the bassist plays a 7 string bass

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TedVZBAcdE

sexpoi
February 29th 2012


599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not a bad review but this comes off kind of fanboyish. I don't personally see how this is anywhere close to the techicality of Animals as Leaders or All Shall Perish. The guitarist, while good, is also still lacking in the variety department. Most notably in all the songs that you said sounded like songs from [id]. Just thought that I would point that out. The mixing also sounds just as flat because they still lack drums that aren't triggered up the ass and there is an obvious use of a noise gate which can be good but not when overused because it takes away from the overall inflection of the guitarist and the mood in general that the band is trying to portray.

MalleusMaleficarum
February 29th 2012


14392 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the production on here is bad

Eulogize
February 29th 2012


2969 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You're bad

Mickeymau5
February 29th 2012


1614 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Response of the decade

MalleusMaleficarum
February 29th 2012


14392 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lol

saucy
February 29th 2012


342 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Holy shit. I stand corrected.

Also, prod on this is miles ahead of [id].

krig9412
February 29th 2012


794 Comments


So I'm listening to Divide Paths and I noticed two things

1. It sounds nothing like grind

2. Did they fucking rip off a minor riff found on Meshuggah's ObZen? It certainly sounded like it.

That said, well written review, even if I don't agree. The negs are unwarranted.

AlasKenColors
February 29th 2012


159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Their little intros and interludes are getting tiresome. They don't really even go into the succeeding song. Luckily there's just "20/200" and "Eclipse", in which i feel the latter is at least different and is at least cohesive with the rest of the album.

AlasKenColors
February 29th 2012


159 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Their little intros and interludes are getting tiresome. They don't really even go into the succeeding song. Luckily there's just "20/200" and "Eclipse", in which i feel the latter is at least different and is at least cohesive with the rest of the album.

jwyles4
February 29th 2012


311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules, nuff said.

toolguitarkid
February 29th 2012


265 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

god no...production is flat. and i saw them a few years back when i was into them, and was severely disappointed.

grindpantera
February 29th 2012


12 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Man, you guys are rough, haha! (You'd think I was reviewing the new Emmure album or something??)

Honestly, I didn't even care for Veil of Maya until I saw them last year with After the Burial, Within the Ruins, et al. I had [iD] for over a year, but found it boring every time I tried listening to it.

Don't really disagree with any of the comments here, although I wonder what *new* music you people listen to since most recent metalcore/deathcore albums are trashed by the online community.

Guess I should just listen to old Suffocation records and call it day??

grindpantera
February 29th 2012


12 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And I'm sorry, I'm listening to "Pure Evil" by All Shall Perish and "Punisher" by VoM back and forth right now and I stand by my comparison.

Marc doesn't have the technical (soloing) chops of a Francesco Artusato (or Tosin Abasi,) but again, you guys make it seems like All Shall Perish is LEAGUES away from Veil of Maya as far as musicianship. And I'm fanboyish??

For the record, I've been an All Shall Perish fan since 2005. Didn't care for Veil of Maya up until a few months ago.

My 2cents.

porch
March 1st 2012


8460 Comments


I wonder what *new* music you people listen to since most recent metalcore/deathcore albums are trashed by the online community.


there is no other music


sexpoi
March 1st 2012


599 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

No one said you were fanboyish. I said the review comes off that way because it sort of sounds like a fan with bias towards the band wrote it. Also, Awaken the Dreamers and Price of Existence are both better than anything VoM has ever written, especially in the songwriting department

asaf
March 1st 2012


889 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is a great album; def an addition to their discography. not as memorable as id but certainly a step in the right direction to perfecting their sound.

rahulmenon
March 3rd 2012


64 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

28 minute br00tz fest. I like.



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