Veil Of Maya

Eclipse

Written by: AP on 05/11/2012 12:21:13

As one of the original proprietors of the technical deathcore movement, Veil of Maya have always enjoyed a certain degree of respect, even outside of the genre. This is, as this fourth studio album "Eclipse" proves, mostly due to the fact that Veil of Maya is not the archetypical deathcore band that thrives on teenage scene kids' love of brutality and breakdowns over everything else, but rather a band with immense technical ability and a sound understanding of what constitutes good songwriting.

Clocking in at just 28 minutes, "Eclipse" is the band's shortest album to date - shorter than some EPs that are sent to us for review. In contrast with their previous three releases; "[id]", "The Common Man's Collapse" and "All Things Set Aside"; it is not simply the brainchild of guitarist Marc Okubo, but rather a co-written effort by him and the producer, Periphery's Misha 'Bulb' Mansoor; a joint enterprise which bears fruit in terms of the richness of sound here. With all but 4 of the songs safely below the 3-minute mark, the approach is compact and efficient, devoid of unnecessary meandering and senseless chugging. Indeed, everything on "Eclipse" seems to have a strong purpose, and as a combined result of this and the short running length, the album never manages to bore.

What you should expect is a collection of short blasts of odd time signatures, stop/start dynamics and lush melodies, under the canopy of electronic and orchestral samples. Songs like "Divide Paths", "Punisher" and "Winter Is Coming Soon" represent the above description with little variety between them, but those looking for diversity need not be disappointed either, as longer takes like "The Glass Slide" provide a slower and more textured style of song. These are welcome additions that ensure "Eclipse" remains intriguing throughout. It needs to be emphasized, however, that what Veil of Maya are doing on "Eclipse" is by no means unique or innovative. But as a technical deathcore band, you're unlikely to find many others that play the genre with more proficiency than these boys.

There are moments on "Eclipse" that are downright fantastic, such as the dazzling "Numerical Scheme", with its layered guitars and twirling lead melody, or the following "Vicious Circles" which flows from furious death metal into a unforgettably groovy mid-section around the 01:40 minute mark. It is strokes of brilliance such as these that lift "Eclipse" above so many of Veil of Maya's contemporaries' releases, and I suspect the partnership with Mansoor has at least some part in the outcome. For a fix of fury and instrumental excellence, you'd do yourself a favour by snatching "Eclipse" off the shelf of your local record store.

8

Download: Divide Paths, Winter Is Coming Soon, The Glass Slide, Numerical Scheme, Vicious Circles
For the fans of: After the Burial, Born of Osiris, The Contortionist
Listen: Facebook

Release date 28.02.2012
Sumerian Records

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