Deathcore is a sub-genre which has not really taken off since its emergence only a few years ago. It is sometimes seen as almost a derogatory term by some bands, other times it is a direction that has been moved away from, therefore it would appear now that it was a ‘flash in the pan’ movement. In 2012 very few bands can arguably be considered as part of this genre; Veil Of Maya certainly being one of the main players nowadays.
Admittedly, I had not given Veil Of Maya a proper listen to before, but quickly going through their back catalogue was very welcoming; the band managing to incorporate the death metal and hardcore breakdown hybrid a la Suffocation which the genre is renowned for with Meshuggah sounding math riffs to make their own almost unique sound. So how does the brand new album “Eclipse” sound, with the genre almost dead in 2012? Rather well as it happens.
First thing that has to be said is that if you are looking for Veil Of Maya to try to reinvent themselves or the genre, or try anything remarkably new, then you will be sorely disappointed. This is Veil Of Maya doing what they do, no divergence, no questions asked. If you are a fan of Veil Of Maya, you will be very pleased, but there will be precious few converts here. What “Eclipse” has however is a collection of the band’s strongest songs. Tracks like ‘Punisher’ and ‘Divide Paths’ especially are absolutely pummelling, yet still contain very hooky grooves to draw you in as well. A couple of times, on ‘Numerical Scheme’ and ‘Vicious Circles’, there are relatively misleading moments, like intros that sound like they’re venturing in to more progressive territories before coming full swing and returning to the regular formula; and here’s the album’s flaw.
Upon listening to “Eclipse” it does, sadly, soon become apparent that despite the strength of these songs they aren’t so much ‘very similar’ as ‘near identical’, at least on first listen. It will take several listens before songs can really be told apart from one another. The band have to be commended however for avoiding what seems to be the popular niche at the moment and not tossing in a couple of overly lengthy songs; all tracks are short, snappy and to the point and are more immediate for it, I salute Veil Of Maya for that. “Eclipse” does not exactly set the world on fire, but with an almost surprisingly strong collection of songs, it maybe shows that there is some life in Deathcore just yet. Maybe.