Monday, April 2, 2012

Veil Of Maya Shine On Eclipse

Veil of Maya have just unleashed an album that is sure to catch the attention of listeners and critics alike. Their new album entitled Eclipse surpasses the high expectations already placed on this young band. It’s the follow-up to 2010’s [id] which was a hailed by many as being close to perfection. So, how do you follow-up such a ground breaking release? It’s not always easy, but you dig deep into that create reserve that truly talented artists have and you raise the bar on yourself. That is exactly what Veil of Maya has done.

The album opens with the instrumental “20/200”. It’s barely over a minute in length, but it definitely wets your appetite and makes you anxious to hear what’s next. It leads us into “Divide Paths” which is brutality at its finest. The riffing of guitarist Marc Okubo combined with the drum attack of Sam Applebaum creates a sense of brutality at its finest. What a lethal combination these two guys are!

At times, Marc and Sam seem like two young kids competing for their parent’s attention. Maybe it’s a case of that that game “I can do anything you can do better”. “Winter is Coming Soon” is a prime example of that. The drums and guitars are insane on this track! It’s almost staggering to listen to them and not be in awe of their sheer power and intensity.

There is a lot of attention being given to the production quality of this album. Producer Misha Mansoor of Periphery listened to the vision that the band had and he delivered in a major way. The band wanted the production to be over the top, with a big, more detailed sound. I think all you have to do is listen to one song to be able to hear how substantial of a difference there is. The drums have definitely been brought more to the forefront and counter the barrage of riffing being done.

“The Glass Slide” is another standout track for many reasons. It packs all the intensity that you would expect as well as the intricate layers of guitar work. The vocals combine the lower end, growls with the higher end screams that work really well on this song. The song also has that big, orchestration sound near the middle that adds such depth to the song.

I have never been much of a fan of instrumentals from a metal band of any genre, but Veil of Maya may have swayed my opinion on this matter. “Eclipse” is such an amazing song that showcases a different side of the band that is rarely heard. This track isn’t necessarily a ballad, but its pace is somewhat slower than the brutal assault of most songs by the band. Marc and Sam are somewhat more somber on this track. The intensity from both is there, but it’s more melodic than on the other tracks. It’s a very cool composition from the band and showcases a side of them that should be tapped into even further.

The album is solid from beginning to end and all the guys have really stepped up their game. It’s still hard to believe that the album has ten tracks and clocks in at just 28 minutes. I can see how people can view this as the glass being half full or half empty. They could have put tracks in there to lengthen it out, but you don’t want to put filler in there just to adhere to what a normal album length is suppose to be. It’s 28 minutes of intensity and brutality and you get more in that 28 minutes than a lot of bands pack into an album twice its length.

Although short in length, this album packs quite a punch and is highly recommended. If you are into metal core or progressive metal or if you just like to crank it loud and headbang, then Eclipse by Veil of Maya is well worth the investment. This one deserves a second listen immediately following your first to truly appreciate the depth that this band has to offer.

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