Album Review: Veil of Maya - 'Eclipse'

11 March 2012 | 7:00 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

An aural insight into where metal appears headed.

More Veil Of Maya More Veil Of Maya

Veil of Maya are one of those bands neatly (or rather conveniently) positioned somewhere in between the current buzz that is the 'djent' style and the more traditional technical death metal contingent. They don't belong exclusively to either specific category, nor do they cultivate a sound that pigeon-holes them into one narrow corner. And for that, the group is in a desired position. Essentially, they can have their cake and eat it too. Their overall sound will appeal to both sides of the fence without deterring either.

We can lose the upstarts tag, this Illinois quartet are no longer rookies. Studio album number four 'Eclipse' certainly looks good on paper. Sumerian release, Misha 'Bulb' Mansoor at the production helm and a further two years in between previous studio releases for the band to hone their collective craft. At only 28 minutes, the initial impression is clear. This is a release that presents just the required necessities. Concurrently, doing away with any of the fluff and contrived showboating filler tracks that sadly similar bands seem to feel is important.

The Periphery inspired, instrumental opener '20/200' quickly gives way to the album's first official track 'Divide Paths'. It's heavy, it's precise but lacks an assertiveness. Fortunately, Veil of Maya find their feet with 'Winter is Coming Soon'. The sound is distinguished. The blast beats and double kick are felt, while the contrasting rhythm, which mixes between a heavy tempo and melodic lead lines, is balanced. 'Enter My Dreams' explores the tech-death style Veil of Maya equally appreciate. Sounding like a band that has given The Faceless and All Shall Perish a good playing on their individual iPods, the track is a solid point.

The only small downside is that at moments on 'Eclipse' you feel like you've heard particular passages from Veil of Maya before. It's not entirely a bad thing as they've found a formula that works and want to stick to it, but unfortunately it comes at the expense of some further progression and musical exploration too. Although, it is worth noting that some tracks re-examine elements found on debut release 'All Things Set Aside'.

'Eclipse' is ambitious enough and probably the most well-represented album Veil of Maya have delivered so far to the listener. There is still opportunity to become more bold, dynamic and innovative but 'Eclipse' will certainly do for the time being.

Veil of Maya are a fitting band on the Sumerian roster. And 'Eclipse' again reinforces the group's standing in this new-wave of metal where bands, influenced strongly by traditional elements are giving their own take on things. 'Eclipse' is an engaging listen. Perhaps, hollow in particular points but as a general statement, studio album number four gets an easy pass mark.

1. 20/200

2. Divide Paths

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

3. Punisher

4. Winter Is Coming Soon

5. The Glass Slide

6. Enter My Dreams

7. Numerical Scheme

8. Vicious Circles

9. Eclipse

10. With Passion And Power