Veil of Maya – [m]other (Album Review)
Veil of Maya – [m]other
Released: May 12th, 2023
Lukas Magyar // Vocals
Marc Okubo // Guitar
Sam Applebaum // Drums
Danny Hauser // Bass
On May 4th, Veil Of Maya’s guitarist Marc Okubo tweeted “Y’all talk about djent and metalcore. We talk about Rufus Du Sol, Sigur Ros and Technical Death Metal.” This influence smacks you over the face as soon as you click play on [m]other.
Serving as their seventh studio album, [m]other is a representation of Veil of Maya’s veteran status. Okubo and drummer Sam Applebaum have been a part of the band since 2004, while bassist Danny Hauser and vocalist Lukas Magyar have been members since 2010 and 2014 respectively. However, as the glitchy guitar chugs of the opener ‘Tokyo Chainsaw’ persist, it’s immediately clear that this isn’t a band resting within the comfort of legacy, spending the 10 tracks this album consists of expanding the sonic sights of the Veil of Maya universe.
This audio scenery comes in the form of bludgeoning riffs that catapult into the punchy mix (courtesy of producer Zach Jones), and atmospheric synth sections that transport you into a Tron-like atmosphere. These elements are polymerised on tracks like ‘Red Fur’, where synthwave-esque ecstasy drives into a soaring chorus, before climaxing in an earthquake of breakdowns. These moments are akin to the progressing layers of electronica you hear in a Rufus Du Sol song, or the growing cloud of grimy post-rock passages you hear throughout Sigur Ros’ catalogue. The slow burn of these sounds helps to compliment the album’s more straightforward moments as well. The fast-paced flurries of ‘Disco Kill Party’ pulsate like chaotic lightning strikes in the night, setting the tone for a calmer, gloomy-morning aura you’re greeted with on ‘Mother Pt.4’.
These ambitious horizons Veil Of Maya voyage occasionally run into roadblocks. This cauldron of metal and electronic music proves hard for them to stir at times, with songs like the aforementioned Mother Pt.4’ switches between mellow and menacing. Its constant toggling means neither element has the space to gain momentum, and the end result can be jarring. Magyar is at his best behind the wheel, swerving with ferocious screams, gargantuan growls and airy cleans, but the pandemonium of the roads he navigates sometimes leads him astray. As a song like ‘Artificial Dose’ builds to its giant chorus, Magyar’s laid-back melodies do not match the chaos the rest of the band is creating, turning what could be instances of zenith, into instances of snooze.
Veil Of Maya came into the journey of [m]other with a curiosity to explore, and be creative. It’s admirable for a band with a tenure of over a decade, striving to find new paths to pursue, instead of resting on their laurels, rinsing and repeating the same breakdowns in the name of safe nostalgia. Their combination of ethereal electronics and death metal creates true moments of triumph, where the sounds of a synth lull you to relaxation before Magyar’s growls and Okubo’s guitar crunches slice you the hell up. The wrong turns this album takes sometimes can be a little jarring, but even they indicate a band that has so much more left in the tank. [m]other is a preview of the exciting terrain Veil Of Maya look to continue exploring in the future and a welcome reminder of veterans who have no plans on stopping anytime soon, articulated through a pretty damn solid album.
Veil of Maya – [m]other tracklisting:
1. Tokyo Chainsaw
2. Artificial Dose
5. Red Fur
1. Disco Kill Party
2. Mother pt. 4
3. Synthwave Vegan
4. Lost Creator
5. Death Runner
[m]other is out now via Sumerian Records right here.
Review by Henry Owens @woahhenny