Veil of Maya is one band that never ceases to entertain me, especially after seeing them live with Born of Osiris, Carnifex, and Betraying the Martyrs a few months ago. Despite the fact that none of their albums are very long, they're all jam-packed with interesting riffs and groovy breakdowns. Veil of Maya's newest album, Eclipse, is no exception.
The first track, 20/200, is a simple breakdown introduction. While being somewhat of a cliché in metalcore and deathcore, it serves its purpose and prepares the listener for what is to come.
The second track on the album, Divide Paths, is one of the best on the album. It's very upbeat and energetic with a synth-laced breakdown that is sure to make you want to destroy something. All of the riffs on Divide Paths are phenomenal, particularly the one that kicks in shortly after the aforementioned breakdown.
The track that follows Divide Paths, Punisher, is probably the strangest track on Eclipse. There is a sound clip near the middle that I'm unable to identify (it reminds me of Charles Manson and his delusional prison rants). While this sound clip is very odd, the band somehow, against all odds, actually makes it transition into the next part of the song incredibly well. I was extremely surprised when I heard the sound clip, but even more surprised when I heard they interlaced it with the rest of the song.
Next up is Winter is Coming Soon, which has quite a few riffs that sound like something After the Burial might write. It does, however, still maintain the trademark Veil of Maya sound. Winter is Coming Soon is probably one of the most melodic tracks on Eclipse and is also one of my favorites.
The Glass Slide starts out with a riff that might sound familiar to many Veil of Maya fans. Upon first listen, I was thinking Mowgli Part 2, but then the song got going and I was thinking Namaste Part 2. Regardless of how similar it may sound to previous Veil of Maya tracks, it is not too similar, nor does it detract anything from the album.
Following closely behind The Glass Slide is Enter My Dreams, which slightly reminds me of Crawl Back. The drums are very fast-paced and Marc Okubo throws in some ambient guitar riffs for good measure.
After Enter My Dreams, we get Numerical Scheme, which starts off with an ambient riff that sounds like something that would have been featured on Born of Osiris's latest outing. The the song gets going, however, it starts to get groovier and less ambient than the intro.
Vicious Circles, the first single from Eclipse, is up next. This song really surprised me when I first heard it several months ago and it is still one of my favorite tracks from Eclipse. The synth intro and short interlude were completely unexpected. The best vocal delivery on the album can probably be found in this track, with Brandon Butler screaming "I will become, become like the wind" over the technical and calculated drumming and riffing.
The title track is one of the weakest on the album. It's essentially one of those minute-long breakdown interludes that plagued [id], just a bit longer and with less breakdown. In other words, it's basically just filler. I can't say, however, that I didn't enjoy Eclipse a bit. Using ambient guitar riffs instead of a breakdown as an interlude is somewhat of a new idea for Veil of Maya and I feel that it works well.
With Passion and Power rounds out the album quite nicely. Great guitar riffs combined with solid drumming and vocal delivery make this track a solid note to end the album on.
Misha Mansoor of Periphery produced Eclipse and his production is a step up from the production of Veil of Maya's previous album, [id]. One other thing that I feel the need to mention about the album is the length. This should come as no surprise to people that have been listening to Veil of Maya for any substantial amount of time, but Eclipse is on the short side, clocking in at barely over 28 minutes. When I discovered this, I was slightly disappointed. Now that I have actually gotten a chance to listen to the album in full, I'm not really disappointed with the length. It doesn't seem like it's too short, for whatever reason. While I don't necessarily have a problem with the length this time, I would not complain at all if Veil of Maya wrote an album that was close to 40 minutes in length (take the hint, guys).