Sound — 9
To start with, the majority of metal nowadays has been plagued very clearly with slow, monotonic breakdowns, amateur and repetitive riffage, basic 4/4 time signatures, and of course, little to no melody. In the past 6 years, the talented quartet known as Veil of Maya has managed to drift way from this mainstream metal trend, and have created a unique sound of their own. From 'All Things Set Aside' to 'The Common Man's Collapse', Veil of Maya's sound and musicianship have only evolved for the better. Now with their latest record, '[id]', Marc Okubo and Sam Applebaum have shown their true colors in their skill... and writing ability. Each track brings out a graceful blend of chaos and melody, differing in a perfect way for each song. Songs such as Dark Passenger, Namaste, and Unbreakable show technicality and veracity that make for ample amounts of headbanging to each of its breakdowns, while injecting some beautiful, ambient riffs within each song. In more melodic pieces such as Resistance, Conquer, and Codex, a mood is set within each measure that can be further appreciated with each listen. There are also some instrumental breakdown tracks within the album, such as [id], Circle, and Martyrs. However, they don't seem to stand out as much as the instrumentals from 'Common Man', possibly because of the predictability that VoM has put into their breakdowns. Overall, a personal favorite song from this album would have to be Resistance. The most complex, and overall appealing instrumental from the album, is Marytrs.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics of [id] have GREATLY improved from their last two albums. The lyrical theme of each song has many symbolic elements, which are much 'easier' to understand than those from 'Common Man'. The lyrics also seem to have more of a chilled, deeply felt mood that flows from each word that Brandon screams/growls. Examples from the album are:
"Live together, die alone, Created by our own drive to live... Fight on until its know, our purpose, our being here, must be a sign to the path.. to the path that we must take." (Namaste)
"Imprisoned in all of us, a journey.. A true test of being, a struggle in all of us to be human. We all possess the most raw and natural power.. deep inside." (Codex)
Overall Impression — 9
Veil of Maya has delivered a wonderful blend of their own style, into one album that seems to only become greater with each listen. The only downside to this album in my, and many other VoM fan's opinions, is the production quality. Michael Keene shows himself well in this album as an amateur producer who is not well fit for the job. The production may hurt a bit in the overall quality of the album, but nonetheless... [id] is filled with musical masterpieces that make it an instant deathcore classic, that would make any hardcore musician bow to their knees.