veil of maya - eclipse

Review: Veil of Maya – Eclipse

Eclipse (2012)

USA, Sumerian Records, Progressive Deathcore

Many older metalheads see deathcore, and even more so Sumerian Records, as vulgar blasphemies (and not of the good kind). But Eclipse, the fourth full-length from Veil of Maya, demonstrates how these don’t have to be dirty words. On this record the Illinois four-piece has evolved to a more mature, yet no less innovative, take on modern progressive metal. And with a running time of 28 minutes, they do so in a very punctual manner.

Veil of Maya shares that abstract, obtuse, fluctuating sound with bands like Born of Osiris. However, don’t let that turn you away if you are a fan of brutal technical death metal, because Eclipse is far more progressive death than djent or ‘core. Veil of Maya’s riffing, which carries the songs, exemplifies the best side of the modern stop-go style, bearing down like sheer, rigidly-planned, walls of cement.  The band also throws in some mathcore discordance, while the leads have a more progressive vibe. Veil of Maya interjects occasional melodic parts, but these are never overpowering.

The vocals are slightly above the midrange, in a metalcore-esque coarse, semi-rasp. Thankfully, there are is no clean singing, nor any brocore group shouts. Similarly, Veil mercifully left out the overwrought breakdowns, instead employing chunkier section driven by polyrhythms. The drums keep the polyrhythms rolling by surging quickly and ticking the off-beats. The bass guitar is well mixed, neither buried nor overpowering. The keyboards are a particular highlight on Eclipse. The synth shines on center stage with the lucid-Freddy Kruger tone of “Enter My Dreams,” or the grand opera keys of “Numerical Scheme.”

Eclipse, although less over-the-top technical than 2010 ’s [ID], is a great listen for anyone open-minded enough to check out the newer scene. From the other side, Eclipse is a great gateway record to get all the djent kiddies more interested in death metal for daddy, especially since it was produced by Misha Mansoor (Periphery). The only thing I could ask for is some longer songs – what could Veil do with something above the eight-minute mark?

Rating: 8.5/10

Author: Witness to the Void        

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