Deathcore band Veil of Maya release fourth album ‘Eclipse’
Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2012 00:02
Progressive deathcore legends Veil of Maya are set to release their fourth studio album, "Eclipse" on Feb 28.
Veil of Maya exemplifies a unique brand of deathcore that their label, Sumerian Records, has become well known for.
Sumeriancore, as it has been dubbed by the metal blog scene, expands deathcore beyond the rampant simplicity and redundancy of its song structures (e.g. breakdown after breakdown) and adds something new to the mix.
The band certainly continues to do so on its upcoming release.
The album starts out with "20/200." This opening track is burgeoning with intensity; it's all about the impacts here. This is how you open a metal album, no extra frills, just sheer hammer dropping brutality.
"Divide Paths" truly gets the album moving at a faster speed. The blast beats and double bass work of drummer Sam Applebaum take center stage, but guitarist Marc Okubo doesn't stay hidden roaring in with technical start and stop riff and an apocalyptic chord progression.
If all this talk of blast beats and technical guitar work isn't your thing, wait until "Punisher" because that's exactly what this track does.
The guitar part is entirely groove, and your head will find itself bobbing up and down 15 seconds in. Synth strings accompany a portion of the tune, but the band and producer did a good job of not making them seem corny or out of place.
Also noteworthy is the hilarious sample used as a time change transition (yes, there is such a thing) near the end of the song.
"Winter is Coming" is the first song that feels really progressive. It's the first one that hasn't been heard a million times by other Sumerian listeners. Blast beats coupled with riffing that sounds like it would be at home in the bridge to a Periphery tune make for a truly unique experience.
Add in the fact the song summarizes in a huge building progression featuring some far more black metal-like high pitched vocals from Brandon Butler and you've got yourself a winner of a track.
The beginning of the next track, "The Glass Slide," marks the first time Danny Hauser's bass work is really brought forward. He lays down an exotic line that works surprisingly well with the sheer heaviness operating around it. It is possible to theorize at this point that the boys of Veil of Maya didn't want to start out the album with their best material.
On first impression, "Enter My Dreams" seems like a song that is very familiar, because it's been heard before, and The Black Dahlia Murder did it better on their album "Ritual."
However, the song is saved from obscure filler track status thanks to a crushing palm mute section that makes the listener feel as though their spine is slowly being crushed (that's a good thing for you non-metal fans).
Aside from the excellent lead work in the intro to "Numerical Schemes" the song is the most stereotypical deathcore track. For a long period of time, it features a simplistic riff (relatively speaking) followed by an Emmure-esque mini breakdown before transitioning into a gratuitous atmospheric synth section. This is a filler track unless you're a devout fan of the genre's cliches.
"Vicious Circles" is up on next. The only thing that stands out about this one is how boring it is. It lacks that third gear that can really save a song and give it a sense of direction. For the second-straight track, things seem really gratuitous. It's like instead of writing a song that flows, they just wrote three or four sections that sounded kind of cool and pasted them together.
"Eclipse" is a nice rebound, being one of the best instrumental pieces I've heard in a long time. Every note change is dramatic; every change in tempo transforms the feel of the song, and it all fits together to form a truly dynamic piece of music. The double bass is also pulled back here, which is a refreshing change of pace.
Rounding out the album is "With Passion and Power," which does so on a strong note. The blast beats and double bass are brought back in full force. The guitar work lends itself strongly to Meshuggah in all its low-tuned, bending glory before fading out a symphonic swirl of machine gun kick drumming.
All in all, this album isn't much different from Veil of Maya's last album "[id]," but it is a solid album that continues to push the boundaries of a stagnating genre. For metal fans it's worth a purchase.