Friday, March 2, 2012

Veil Of Maya - Eclipse

Chicago's Veil Of Maya are a band I've heard plenty about, constantly told myself to check out, but never really got around to actually do until about a month or so ago. They are a band at the forefront of Progressive Deathcore, who've made quite the name for themselves over the past few years, and have a loyal following. This album, will not change any of that. The thing is it doesn't do a whole lot to draw in new listeners.

Seemingly following in the successful footsteps of Born Of Osiris, whose last album The Discovery received loads of attention and praise, Veil of Maya have amped up the synths and djent tones. Now don't get confused, this isn't an album full of synths and synth interludes, it just has a noticeably increased amount.

One fantastic thing about this album is the improvement in production. Not to say Michael Keene's production on the two previous albums is bad, it's far from it, Eclipse just sounds so good. Everything is crisp and pitch perfect.  This is by far their best album quality wise. Periphery's Misha Mansoor did a great job producing.

Although Veil Of Maya fans are usually the type who are more interested in the instrumental work, Brandons vocals are great, and even though some might not enjoy the layering, it seems to work well on this album. He does good swapping between highs and lows. Although I wish there were more low growls because his lows are pretty awesome.

The guitar work is more technical than before and also seems to be more carefully crafted. Marc Ukobu is easily one of the most skilled guitarists in deathcore. He's had a pretty great run so far with the band, but it's interesting that his guitar sounds a a lot more 'djenty' than before, which could be because of Misha's production on the album. The bass does a great job too, and has a few moments scattered throughout where it very briefly gets the limelight, but for the most part it just helps drive the songs.

The drums are another highlight of this album, Sam perfectly executes some complex drumming, while giving some fantastic fills and spot on blast beats. This is easily his best performance to date. Like Marc, thisguy is easily one of the top drummers in deathcore.

My only complaint is that this album is really short. It's their shortest yet. The first time I put it in, I thought my phone didn't copy over all the songs or something because it felt like it just stopped. I would have loved maybe one or two more songs. Although on the other side of things, this album is so tightly knit and well worked together, those extra songs had the possibility of throwing things off. So maybe it's for the best?

Overall fans of the band will no doubt thoroughly enjoy Eclipse, in my opinion, it's their best work to date. It's not the jump that Born Of Osiris made last year, but it's a solid step forward for these guys.

What do you think of Eclipse?

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