REVIEW: Veil Of Maya – Eclipse


Artist: Veil Of Maya
Album: Eclipse
Genre: Metal
Label: Sumerian Records

I am a very dynamic man. That isn’t to say I think I’m very deep and interesting, I’m thinking in a more sonic, and simple way. I value my quiet, but I’m also extremely childish and like to be loud every once in awhile. My motorcycle, for example, has a little valve in the exhaust system that opens up at 7,000 RPMs, making it louder, and for some, more irritating, but this little valve entertains me to no end. Several thousand miles later, and I still haven’t grown tired of it, I’m a man of simple pleasures. But the root of this childish fascination is a bit deeper than that, it all started with music, when I began to notice the depth created by the juxtaposition of loud and quiet. If something was loud to begin with, and then it got a bit louder, that isn’t very impressive, there wasn’t much depth to it, it nearly went unnoticed, but if a song went from nearly nothing to that same volume, there was a whole new force behind it, a level of power that wouldn’t be possible with only a slight decibel shift. The power of music isn’t found behind melodies and rhythms, its almost exclusively rooted in the dynamics of the song. Sure a wall of sound can hold a tension and power of its own, but its different, its not as shocking and memorable, and frankly, it gets old rather quickly. And this is my biggest qualm with metal, maybe I really am just a child that likes noisy things, but I feel like for something that is supposed to be so powerful, it really feels flat and boring entirely too often, bands fall victim to the wall of sound entirely too often. By all accounts though, Veil Of Maya is on a different level than most metal bands, they seem to know what they’re doing, I was fairly convinced their new album Eclipse would have some solid depth to it.

Almost immediately my confidence was even further bolstered, “20/200” opened the album with a hard hitting assault that all metal albums should be able to hit with, but few do. And as the album progressed, I was only more and more pleased with how it turned out. Since metal is such a complicated genre, especially the variety played by Veil Of Maya, it needs those occasional drops down to nothing to snag the attention of the listener again, and keep all the sounds from just bleeding together into white noise, and pulled this off brilliantly. However, if I’m honest, a bit later in the album, towards the end, the barrage of notes began to take its toll, and there were a few moments where I caught myself simply not paying attention, as Eclipse faded into background noise, and whether it was just a fickle attention span on my part, or an actual mush of notes from Veil Of Maya, well that is up to the listener to decide, but for the most part this was a non-issue throughout the album, and the few instances I did notice my attention drifting away, it was brought back by the music itself, not simply me realizing that I was supposed to be paying attention to the album, and I think that proves that this album isn’t just made up of just a few flashes of brilliance before it fades into mediocrity, this album, aside from being technically fascinating, manages to keep the listener hooked, and if their attention strays, Veil Of Maya have no trouble bringing them right back.

I don’t think anybody out there would question the ability of Veil Of Maya, that’s as close to fact as anything in the music related can be, but the execution of this skill is up for analysis every time new material is dropped; good music and interesting music are two completely different things. They aren’t mutually exclusive traits, but one does not imply the other. And while the “good” in Veil Of Maya isn’t likely to go away, the “interesting” will never be a guarantee, but thankfully we don’t have to worry about this right now; we can have our cake and eat it too when it comes to Eclipse, and that’s become entirely too rare. Eclipse acts as further proof as to why Veil Of Maya are exemplary leaders of their genre, and how they have really earned that spot at the top.

SCORE: 8/10
Reviewed by: Mike Hogan

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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