Wednesday, 26 February 2014 13:23

Veil of Maya Visits Grand Rapids at the Advent of New Material

Written by  Robby Hartley
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Veil of Maya wsg. Erra, Reflections, Oceans Over Earth, Designs
The Intersection's Stache Lounge, Grand Rapids

March 20, 6 p.m.
$13 advance, $15 day of, (616) 451-8232

The last time Chicago-based Veil of Maya visited Grand Rapids was in late 2011, when its latest full-length album Eclipse (2012) was looming on the horizon. The band returns to town at the onset of spring, and it will find itself in more familiar territory than geography alone.

Veil of Maya had every intention of releasing a new EP by the end of last year. After resigning to its pioneering metal label Sumerian Records, new material was written but the band was forced to delay the EP due to scheduling conflicts and heavy touring. Instead, the single “Subject Zero” was released online late October 2013, and the remaining material from the EP is being absorbed into what will be the band’s upcoming full-length album this summer.

We were kind of frustrated that we couldn’t put out what we’d worked on so we just put out the intro for it,” said Guitarist Marc Okubo, on "Subject Zero."

Subject Zero” begins with a rising combination of xylophone, keys and orchestral strings that echo the musical experimentation of Eclipse - that is, before delivering the swift, low-tuned guitar crunches and palm-muted notes basic to Veil of Maya’s sound, often typified by the subgenre “djent.” The band started performing “Subject Zero” live this winter on its past headlining tour. 

A lot of the comments [online] were kind of weird ... but when we played it live, like how it’s supposed to be - it’s supposed to be a live song - it translated really well and you could tell that people understood it a lot better,” Okubo said.

Volumes guitarist Diego Farias will produce the upcoming album, drawing a more thorough sound out of the band.

Diego’s kind of like a more commercial mainstream radio style producer, and I really like it. It sounds really big and wholesome,” Okubo said. “It’s definitely going to sound like the new Veil of Maya. It’s not going to sound stagnant.”

At little more than halfway through the brainstorming process, the band is still accumulating a pool of new musical chunks necessary to start recording. Among those chunks are cut-up samples of rap songs, influenced by Farias and destined to strike listeners by surprise like the sample found in Eclipses “Punisher,” which humorously jabs at a djent critic on YouTube. Until then, the band’s forthcoming second headlining tour will only lead it closer to completing unfinished business.

This will be our last tour in the states before we record our new album so we’ll be learning a lot from this tour,” Okubo said. “We’re probably going to be putting forth our all-out aggressive attack and see what gets the best reactions, and trying to write new music with that in mind.”

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