[REVIEW] VEIL OF MAYA // Matriarch

Veil of Maya is an American band signed on Sumerian Records, let’s classify them in the “metalcore” category.

They started in 2004, after several changes of members during all these years, we’ll focus on the recent formation and thus the last album to date.

VOM

Current Members:
Guitar and programming: Marc Okubo
Drums: Sam Applebaum
Bass: Danny Hauser
Vocals: Lukas Magyar

Socials:
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Album: Matriarch
Release date: May 12, 2015.
Label: Sumerian Records

matriarch

Playlist:
1. Nyu
2. Leeloo
3. Ellie
4. Lucy
5. Mikasa
6. Aeris
7. Three-Fifty
8. Phoenix
9. Matriarch
10. Teleute (featuring Jason Richardson)
11. Daenerys
12. Lisbeth

My top 3:
Mikasa
Three-Fifty
Lisbeth

Note:
8/10

Review:

Just by reading the playlist, we’re immediately immersed in a parallel world. For geeks/otaku (like me), you’ll immediately spot “Aeris” (Final Fantasy), “Daenerys” (Games of Throne) or “Mikasa” (Attack on Titan). When you know a bit the band members, you realize that it’s quite normal to have these kind of references!

We attack head-on with the punchy intro “Nyu” which already makes you wanna enter a moshpit at 8am. “Leeloo” is in the continuity of the intro, same energy, a position of choice for this second track. The scene is set, we feel we’re going to get slapped at one point, and it happens a lot, great parts pop up on every track of this album.

“Ellie” slows down a bit the atmosphere, but it’s only an idea cause the riff are always so fast, the drums always brutal and Lukas clean vocals are finally heard . “Lucy” is clearly a compound piece for the moshpit.

It screams and hits a lot until now, after a while you feel like listening to the same songs but everything will change by going to “Mikasa”.

“Mikasa” is THE song of Matriarch, if you have to start by listening to a piece of the album, take that one.

When I first listened to “Mikasa” (first song I listened to and which pushed me to interest myself in VOM), I remained stuck und pleasantly surprised by the vocal level of the singer. When you’re used to core, you know that guys (not all eh, but a lot) are not very good at clean vocals and that your ears are going to bleed.

Here we have a different level, not only a pretty voice and but a different “genre”, a “pop/r’n’b” cachet, we feel immediately the vocal influences of Lukas and this, in my opinion, is the new strength of Veil of Maya.

I tried listening to the old tracks (without Lukas) and unfortunately it didn’t work for me, he brought a new breath to the band.

We continue with “Aeris” (second video from “Matriarch”), which is the “calmest” song on the album but still interesting technically and vocally.

I wouldn’t have selected “Aeris” to promote the cd as a MV but with hindsight, I begin to understand why they chose it. “Aeris” is clearly inspired by the Final Fantasy character, a song filled of hope even in the lyrics. The hardcore fans of the game know what I’m talking about.

I still qualify Lukas as “Justin Timberlake of metalcore”. I’m not saying that in a pejorative way, absolutely not (I like Justin Timberlake, so it’s cool). Just listen to the end of “Aeris” and you’ll understand my position.

I know that I linger on vocals, but it’s what I love, my personal feeling, if you wanted to know more about the number of guitars strings or the cymbals size, you’re at the wrong place.

We’re going on with “Three-Fifty”, a “bouncing” style along with an effective chorus (which stays in your head all day long).

“Phoenix” is a relatively powerful track with a slightly “arabesque” mood on the riffs. “Matriarch” is an interlude coming out of nowhere, appeases the atmosphere, it feels like you’re on an RPG quest, but it sticks to the general vibes.

Aaah “Teleute”, the badass track which includes, probably one of the only guitar solo of the album at 1:22, I suspect the person in charge of this solo to be Jason Richardson (guitarist recognized for its speed and technique).

“Daenerys” is a song that i don’t appreciate that much, I find it relatively soft, although I like the chorus melodies.

We finish with “Lisbeth”, it’s pretty similar to Three-Fifty in terms of “bouncing” and effective chorus.

Let’s summarize, Matriarch is the most convincing release of Veil of Maya so far, thanks to the undeniable talent of the members, but especially thanks to Lukas Magyar. For having seen the band live 3 times (in 2015 and 2 times in 2016), I know they manage to convince the most reluctant people (including everyone I told to listen to “Matriarch”).

I’m looking forward to hear the new album (from what I’ve read, the mastering is on process), which I would be happy to review when it comes out. I also encourage everybody to listen to Lukas side projects, for example this one:

Words by GLORIA

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