Veil Of Maya – [m]other


Formed in the Windy City in 2004, Veil Of Maya’s career has been characterised by change and progression. Over a period of twenty years, they’ve expanded their sound, introducing progressive elements, until what is left is something truly original and awe inspiring. Album number seven, the cryptically-titled [m]other continues very much in that spirit, and has set a level of creativity that others can only hope to follow.

The six years that have elapsed between Veil Of Maya’s last album and [m]other represents the longest gap between albums in the band’s discography. In the fast-paced world of music, that can be an eternity and the momentum the band gained from their previous two albums (both crashed into the Billboard 100) could easily have been lost. Their current record has had a difficult birth, with much of the music they initially recorded for it being scrapped. But, out of adversity comes strength, and this situation has only fired up the band’s resolve, and if any proof were needed to their current vitality, then opening shot ‘Tokyo Chainsaw’ will set the record straight. Full of vocal gymnastics from Lukas Magyar, ‘Tokyo Chainsaw’ arrives like a bullet from a gun (in which you can see your reflection) while the staccato riffing from guitarist Marc Okubo only serves to disorientate the listener. It’s a blast of white hot sonics, and one that sets a dangerous precedent for the next 35-minutes. However, Veil Of Maya are a band who fully understand the physics behind musical dynamics: there’s plenty of light and shade on this record that finds dark mirrored by light, quiet sections juxtaposed by loud, and brutal metal tempered by a melodic sensibility. Much credit must go to drummer Sam Applebaum, who (in tandem with bassist Danny Hauser) mixes up tempos with reckless abandon and dictates the pace, to ensure that things never become staid.

It seems as if the notion of an old-school album is making a comeback, and [m]other is one of those rarefied albums that, from the opening blast to cataclysmic closer, presents all killer, and no filler. It’s a record that ebbs and flows perfectly, and takes the listener on a musical journey that encompasses ethereal, breath-taking highs and skull-crushing lows (and sometimes in the same song). Housed in a sleeve that’s rich in symbolism, [m]other is the kind of album that you can quite easily lose yourself in, and it’s one you’ll keep returning to again and again.

Track List:

  1. Tokyo Chainsaw
  2. Artificial Dose
  3. Godhead
  4. [re]connect
  5. Red Fur
  6. Disco Kill Party
  7. Mother Pt. 4
  8. Synthwave Vegan
  9. Lost Creator
  10. Death Runner