Hailing from none other then Chicago, Illinois, Veil Of Maya's latest release All Things Set Aside literally had me on the edge of my seat within the first few seconds. Their opening track, which also happens to be the wonderful introduction, is a breathtaking display of the chaos that is set to follow. No vocals, but plentiful spiraling and technical sludgy guitars, bone rattling percussion and little bits of effects added here and there prepare the listener for what is in store. Or does it? My thoughts of a "solid" record almost immediately changed as the vocals came with the next track. However, upon a further listen I found myself become much more interested. In a theme that seems to be attached to my latest reviews, I was more captivated with the insane musicianship. Veil of Maya's artwork is also interesting and gives you a nice insight of the gore and blood that this group of guys find themselves attached to. Here we have a women peering out what seems to be a window covered in blood, organs and whatever else you can pick out of the mess that is this picture. All Things Set Aside has its strong points and its weak points. Veil Of Maya has successfully written a pummeling album chock full of brutal Swedish influenced metal carefully laced with that American technical metal sound.
Adam Clemens' vocals for the most part are deep growls that reach a rare peak every now and again. They can best be compared to Guy Kozowyk's (The Red Chord), as they are both deep and burly. However, the music is quite contradictory. The guitarist, Marc Okubo, absolutely with out a doubt makes this record what it is; vicious out of this world guitar work. It is clear that he takes note of many bands out there and draws his influences well. He is able to simply take one genre of metal and fuse it together with a completely different genre and create something outright striking. This record is not in the least bit predictable. The music changes so expeditious, that once again you will feel your face melting away as the album progresses. The title track off of All Things Set Aside is where things certainly come together. The percussion is dead on and in a tiny break down you get a great feel of Sam Applebaum's amazing talent. The double bass is exact and awe-inspiring. The guitar is brutal as always, and the growling vocals run with everything quite well. This is one of the best tracks Veil Of Maya has to offer.
Veil Of Maya have not set out to honestly generate music that is original, but they have created a record that is without a doubt going to keep your attention. As I previously stated, Marc Okubo is my selling point on this record and is by far one of the stronger guitarists that I have heard in a while. It is simply amazing how he is able to re-create and mutate his sound and direction with each song. You will not find any basic guitar work through out All Things Set Aside and that is a promise. This is a super group of outstanding musicianship that will be on the up and up in the near future. Veil Of Maya have released an album that I will be playing over and over again as I patiently wait to see what their next release will bring to the table. Do yourself a favor and check out the future of metal.