Sound — 7
"Eclipse" is the fourth release from windy-city based metal band Veil Of Maya. Released in 2012, this album showcases the maturation of the band into something all together different from the rest of the deathcore scene. Not only are the guitars heavy and melodic, but a number of the songs feature ambient symphonic breaks that serves to only bolster excellent arrangement of instruments and song structure. "Eclipse" produced by Misha "Bulb" Mansoor, who is the guitarist of the Maryland-based metal band Periphery. Mansoor also is credited with some of the songwriting as well and his influence is rather noticeable on "Punisher" and "Enter My Dreams." The albums runtime is a little short in comparison to their previous releases at just over 28 minutes; however in that short time the band takes you on a journey of furious guitar shredding and expert drumming.
The sound is very technical in nature like the bands previous releases, and is only achieved with a single guitar player. This is no small feat to pull off at all, in studio or live which the band does very well I might add. The composition of songs contains a number of different items from riffs to melodic higher octave fills of notes and chords. Prior to Mansoor being brought on board, the band did this very well, but his involvement I think only refined their sound.
Lyrics — 7
According to the band the underlying story told throughout the album is related to a woman the band met while on tour in Italy was blind throughout half of her life, and had her vision restored by staring directly into a solar eclipse. The paragraph in the liner notes goes on to say that "there is much more to the magnitude and magnificence of a solar eclipse than meets the eye." Sounds like a pretty awesome theme to base a metal record on if you ask me.
Since the release of "Eclipse," vocalist Brandon Butler had left the band however (as you will read in the section below) there is hope for new music on the horizon.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall the sound and composition of "Eclipse" is quite good. Every element added by the band has a purpose and they all fit at the end of the day. My only complaint is the length of the record but all 10 tracks belong on the record, no filler or "skip" songs in my opinion. I would recommend this album to fans of After The Burial and Periphery as they share a lot of similarities. I would replace my copy if it ran off.
There have been rumors of a return of the band to the studio after some of the core members have came and went since "Eclipse" was released. There are a few one off shows hear and there (according to the Sumerian Records site) keeping fans hopeful of a full return. I'd definitely keep your ears open for any news of a show close by or a new album in the near future.