Veil of Maya – [m]other

Veil of Maya – [m]other
Sumerian Records 
Release Date: 12/05/23
Running Time: 35:00
Review by Rory Bentley

Chicago Tech lads Veil of Maya have been plying their trade for a fair old time now, bucking the trend for mid noughties scene-adjacent bands by continuing to build their fan base and commercial success and it’s easy to see why. With their latest release the band have produced a taut 35 minutes of head spinning juddering riffs and butter smooth melodic hooks that never stands still but also never overstays its welcome.

Opener ‘Tokyo Chainsaw’ is very aptly named, with crushing riffs, feral vocals and mechanical drums it feels like being in the midst of a panic attack as Meshuggah-style atonal chords stab away in the background while the band twists you up like a pretzel. It is a fat-free no nonsense assault that in many ways sums up the album’s biggest strength.

Wasting no time ‘Artificial Dose’ lands another shot right between the eyes with choppy guitars and an almost Industrial undertone. The band is a lot mathier than I remembered, and this is a pleasant surprise, however I did find the transition into the clean chorus incredibly jarring. I’ve often struggled with savage Tech and Deathcore bands throwing in sung vocals that sound too saccharine amidst the brutality and I was concerned I was in for a rough ride in that respect, however later examples of this approach are much more successful.

[re]connect has a more Deftones/Postrock vibe to the clean sections which feels more tonally consistent with the more Prog approach to the rest of the song, despite the verses constantly going for the jugular. ‘Red Fur’ is perhaps the most successful integration of melody on the record, managing to merge human emotion with machine-like chaos pretty darn seamlessly, adding a sense of fun to the chaos while still sounding absolutely mental. Despite being an easier listen in many ways the band  still finds space for a breakdown that sounds like a dial-up modem crossed with a malfunctioning dishwasher. Nice.

It is this sense of gleeful fun that stops these songs feeling like a mere technical workout designed to give the fret-watchers a semi-on. ‘Disco Kill Party’ sounds like European techno colliding with early Periphery, and ‘Synthwave Vegan’ contains zero Synthwave but plenty of synths that feel like they’re just being elbow dropped until the keys fall off. ‘Lost Creator’ also manages to bring a garish dayglo sense of tacky fun to what is essentially a Black Metal song at its core, which can a way better than I’m making it sound.

Throw in the kitchen sink-yeeting majesty of ‘Mother pt. 4’ and the sworn enemy of subtlety that is closing track ‘Death Runner’ and you’ve got yourself a very strong album that avoids the fatigue-inducing pitfalls and indulgences of so many Tech-Metal bands. It’s utterly unhinged but it never forgets to get the listener involved in the madness.

‘Red Fur’ Official Video 

01. Tokyo Chainsaw
02. Artificial Dose
03. Godhead 
04. [re]connect
05. Red Fur
06. Disco Kill Party 
07. Mother pt. 4
08. Synthwave Vegan
09. Lost Creator
10. Death Runner

Marc Okubo – guitars
Lukas Magyar – vocals
Danny Hauser – bass
Sam Applebaum – drums


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rory Bentley and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.