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Technical & Precise, Yet Awkward...In A Good Way. - 87%

Androcell, April 7th, 2010

Albums like this make me proud. Why? Well, for starters this band and I are from the same hometown(Chicago, IL). There are a number of new bands emerging everyday so it's nice to see that some of them are from my own stomping ground and are also a good listen.

I must first say that the playing style of Veil of Maya may really have to grow on you due to the fact that they really do not sound like your usual deathcore band(or your usual band to begin with). Yes, they are deathcore(*gasps*) but they have a little more progressive playing style then most other bands in their respected genre. Like I said before, they really do not sound like your typical deathcore, though. One thing you may immediately notice about this album(and their 1st album as well) is they don't try to "DOOM" and "BREAKDOWN" and "BREE" you to death like most deathcore bands. Breakdowns are still present, just not overly predictable like one would expect from this genre. The music here sounds like kinda like this:

DEATHCORE - BAD STEREOTYPES + PROGRESSIVE x RANDOMIZATION + GOOD LYRICS = THE COMMON MAN'S COLLAPSE

These guys are indeed very technical and only after 6 or 7 listens would you possibly realize just how intricate they make their music. Guitars are very heavy and guttural yet clean. The shifts from each segment in the songs are usually quick, somewhat unpredictable and even a little odd sometimes. However, it is not without reward. Listening to this album can be like looking for hidden treasure sometimes because a fair portion of the songs sound decent(yet somewhat expected), and then turn around and throw in a guitar riff/solo or a quick number from the drummer(i.e.: the last song - "It's Torn Away") that just puts a smile on your face every time it plays.

If I could give a breakdown of every element I would say the following:

Vocals: Good. The vocalist uses a fair amount of variations in his tone and fits well with the music at every turn.

Lyrics: Very Good. Other bands in the genre should honestly take notes. I prefer not to spoil anything with samples, however, and just leave you to listen for yourself.

Guitars: Strong. Technical, interesting and well placed. Whether it's a hard "chugging" riff to give the "heavy" or a higher pitched shred it's pretty much all good.

Bass Guitar: Satisfactory. Like the reviewer before me mentioned, the bass just follows the guitar and doesn't stand out. Not much else to be said.

Drums: Strong. Possibly one of the album's major highlights if anything. The drummer is more technical and precise than pretty much everything else going on and really helps piece it all together very well. I would have to say that some of the most memorable parts of the album are drum related.

Breakdowns: Good/Very Good. Why? Well it is "core" so breakdowns are somewhat expected here. Conducting From The Grave is a band very good at breakdown placement. Now, while Veil of Maya is not quite as good at it as CFTG, I would still say they can compete with a little work if they really try in the future.

Like I said, this album may really have to grow on you. It's challenging and different and very much a little awkward sometimes. But, if you give it a few listens(and maybe a few more afterward), I am sure you will appreciate the masterful work these guys have put out.

One last note I will add is for anyone who enjoys the album to make it a point to see them live. While the production on the album is good it does not really show just how heavy these guys are in reality.