Review Summary: Veil of Maya write a strong follow-up to [Id], but not without some critique.
Veil of Maya is a musicians band. Those who play an instrument appreciate Veil of Maya's unique melodic beauty as well as their amazing heavy brutality. You'll find tons of musicians covering the Chicago-hailed four piece all over YouTube. These guys are polyrhythmic guru's, taking influences from prog bands before them.
This band has been around the metal scene for a while now, so they're very well established within the community. Their live shows always amaze and their relentless touring show that these guys got what it takes to be a force to be wreckoned with.
"Eclipse" is their 4th studio effort and third from Sumerian Records. For those who have been a fan of Veil of Maya for quite a few years like myself will no doubt embrace each and every album. For me, this is one of those bands that have crafted a sound that is exciting and original within the veins of the metal genre. Thanks to the fury and amazing technicality from Marc Okubo, as a guitarist, I am drawn to what this band has created. Melodies that will stir up the soul and hard-hitting tight synchronizing drums, Veil of Maya understands how to write blistering, moving metal tracks.
Misha Mansoor of Periphery at the helm of "Eclipse" has moved this band into a new prestine production and also new musical avenues that weren't previously explored. The tracks off "Eclipse" seem more solidified as they have more traditional song-structures, especially for a progressive band like Veil of Maya. Not that that's a bad direction, but something listeners will have to get used to upon listening to the new songs.
As much as I love this band, and have the utmost respect for their talent...the times that I have listened to all the tunes, I will say that I feel something is missing. "[Id]" being my favorite album from this band...what I felt was missing were those brilliantly-executed "swooping-emotional" riffs that were present in songs like "Resistance", "The Higler" and "Codex" off of "[Id]".
"Vicious Circles" has it, but "[Id]" had amazing progressive riffs sprinkled throughout. "Eclipse" is by no means a bad album, albiet, just a different one from what fans have got used to.
Marc's guitar tone is different as well, as it has more of a metalic texture as some like to dub "djent-y". Awesome as it sounds, I believe Marc had a tone prior that was very unqiue and for metal-purists, could easily be identified in the sea of generic guitar tones.
Tracks like "Eclipse" though work well and paints etheral-like imagery. Polyrhythmic heavy patterns are still prevelant, sounding faster and tighter than ever. "Winter Is Coming Soon" shows the new musical avenues Veil of Maya embark on as Misha's influences are revealed here. Each track flows well into the next.
Many have a problem with the mere 28 minutes this album clocks in on, but this doesn't affect my rating as their other records weren't anything drastically different.
"Eclipse" proves that Veil of Maya still can punish us and stand out in a scene that is well-known for being unoriginal. Even though I feel it wasn't the album that I imagined after listening to "[Id]" countless times (and also "The Comman Man's Collapse"), it's still a very decent effort. I have no doubt this band will continue to invent amazing heavy/melodic sounds in their future.
Hoping the next record is more progressive with those captivating "swooping-emotional" riffs Veil of Maya produce so exquisitely, "Eclipse" sits as a solid record in their already amazing catalogue.