Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I'M BACK! [Matriarch Review - Veil of Maya]

Hey everyone! I know it's been a while since I posted a review or anything, but I'm back. I will also be creating a new format for my reviews and be going a little more in depth. Midterms had me swamped with plenty of other personal issues but I will now be posting a review or an update at least once a week. Now that that's out of the way... the new Veil of Maya album dropped yesterday, and I'm gonna tell you all about it.


Matriarch is by far Veil's best written album to date. While some fans man not feel that this is Veil at their best, this is definitely their songwriting at it's best. This is the first album to incorporate clean vocals, and guitarist Marc Okubo said that was something that the band had been talking about implementing for quite a while, before they even landed their new vocalist, Lukas. While even I was a little skeptical of the introduction of cleans, they couldn't blend any better and Lukas' voice is truly outstanding. Alright here's where I may lose some of you. I actually think Lukas is an upgrade from Brandon. He seems to have a wider range of screams as well as a great singing voice that is proving very intuitive for Veil. 

For those of you thinking, "Oh this isn't Veil of Maya anymore", let's put those thoughts to rest. This is Veil of Maya. I can hear similarities to The Common Mans Collapse on tracks like LeeLoo and Teleute, while they manage to incorporate so many new sounds at the same time. This is by far the widest variety of sounds that we have seen to date on one of Veil's albums. However, some sounds and ideas do feel a little out of place and almost dumbed down compared to the rest of the material on the album. Matriarch is a masterfully crafted metal album and all the boys in Veil are showing what they have evolved into. 

Track rundown:

LeeLoo - Alright this one is something special. If you're looking for the good old chaotic riffs and mind boggling rhythms of TCMC and even id, this is going to be one of your favorite tracks on the album. It features an intro riff that will melt your face while you groove all at the same time. Lukas layers over some brutal screams and Sam is clean as ever behind the kit. Dan also sounds great as the bass isn't hidden in the mix and everyone's contribution is able to be picked out while listening. This track also features some really neat effects in order to create atmosphere, and the second half has some rhythms that will leave listeners lost, but more than satisfied. 

LeeLoo: A

Mikasa - This was actually the second single released from this album, and that's for a damn good reason. This is a kick-ass song, from start to finish. The heavy A sections give us plenty of what we want, but then we hear something new from Veil... choruses. Lukas really shines on this track because we are able to see the contrast from his screams and cleans so clearly. It's a track full to the brim with beautiful melodies and bellowing growls and exposes us to these new sounds of the band. 

Mikasa: B+

Three-Fifty - Being a personal favorite of mine from this album, I have a lot to say about this song. First of all, it's fast. Opens with a blistering intro and then transitions listeners into a slow-flowing break section featuring Lukas' cleans yet again. This slow section returns with more emphasis and we really get to hear a lot of Lukas on this track. The final third is where this one picks up. Marc's riffs just fit. It's as simple as that and he has clearly spent A LOT of time writing this album. There are also some great layers added for texture behind the main riffs and rhythms. 

Three-Fifty: A-

The Verdict:

So, is Matriarch worth your time? Without a doubt. This is some of the best work of one of the best modern metal bands around. Veil of Maya is proving to be like a fine wine, they are getting better with age. While many people will avoid this album all together due to the use of clean vocals, I really ask you to open your mind and give it a listen. I guarantee that there's at least one track that new and old fans alike can get down to. From start to finish this album just feels complete and full of wonderful musical ideas. I think that the inclusion of cleans has pushed them to new boundaries and will only further their music endeavors even after this album. 

Matriarch  = 9.2/10

Check out my favorite track from the album below!

PS - I was lucky enough to see Veil of Maya last night for the album release show. It was my first time seeing the band live with Lukas, and they played a great combination of new and old material. He really displayed his chops with some older tracks like "It's Not Safe to Swim Today" and "Resistance" while also absolutely slaying all of the cleans and screams from the material that he has written. Was impressed with the whole band as always and it was one hell of a show. 

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