Veil of Maya "False Idol" Album Review

Words by Spencer Prather

Especially with metal bands, bringing new elements into the sound is somewhat risky territory considering fan reception; and clean vocals are one of the riskiest. Veil of Maya, known for their prior deathcore sound, first delved into this with 2015’s Matriarch, pursuing more of a prog metal/djent feel; but even with the clean vocals, there was no debating the heaviness of the album. Their newest effort, False Idol, kicks it up an even further notch, finding a balance between heavy, technical riffing and melodic, progressive soundscapes. Vocalist Lukas Magyar, guitarist Marc Okubo, bassist Danny Hauser and drummer Dan Applebaum have come together for an album that can have metal fans of all archetypes banging their heads to just the same.
After the ominous introduction track “Lull”, any questions of whether or not this album would pack punch are quickly answered with “Fracture”, with an intro one would likely hear while having an epic battle with demons on a Tron bike. Singles “Doublespeak” and “Overthrow” follow, the former getting in touch with the band’s djent influence and the latter bringing some good old-fashioned prog heaviness (with an outro that’s arguably one of the best moments off any Veil of Maya record).
The album has some very intriguing aspects that follow these tracks; “Whistleblower” features bouncy guitar riffs that are almost nu metal in influence. The heaviness is cut back a bit on tracks like the ethereal “Manichee”, taking a direction that may catch longtime listeners of the band a little off guard. It’s clear to see the balance the band has found with tracks like this, though; the frantic “Follow Me” makes for a headbanger that’s not the best to listen to while driving, and the sludgy “Tyrant” that follows is certainly one for the old-fashioned Veil of Maya listeners. The album concludes with “Livestream”, almost a duality of the two influences heard throughout False Idol; Magyar and company finishes out with a poignant, yet inspiring statement of accepting oneself, and the album ends.
False Idol may take a while for those wanting a more deathcore-oriented sound to digest, the scene Veil of Maya established themselves on with their earlier efforts. The soundscapes the band constructs on a lot of these tracks won’t admittedly be for everyone; all in all, though, it’s made for a very well-composed collection of metal that is certainly worth a purchase. From the sound of it, Veil of Maya has nowhere to go but up, both in heaviness and intricacy; and if False Idol’s any indication, it’s going to be a heck of a ride.

 Favorite track: “Livestream”