Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Veil of Maya at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall

Lukas Magyar
The Chicago-based deathcore band Veil of Maya faced a challenge when lead singer Brandon Butler left in September 2014 after seven years with the band. Veil of Maya had formed in late 2004 and Butler joined in early 2006, so his growl and his songwriting became a recognizable signature of the band as its popularity grew. On New Year's Day 2015, Veil of Maya released a new song titled "Phoenix" from the band's as-yet-untitled forthcoming fifth album featuring their new vocalist, Lukas Magyar, formerly of Wisconsin act Arms of Empire. The quartet presently consists of Magyar, founding members Marc Okubo on guitar and Sam Applebaum on drums, and Danny Hauser on bass guitar.

Veil of Maya brought its The Slow Your Troll and Know Your Role Tour to the Marlin Room at Webster Hall tonight. Except for the new song, all of the set was composed of songs originally sung by Butler. No two voices are ever alike, but Magyar did a masterful job of recalling Butler's growling vocals and yet adding a flair of his own. Behind Magyar, a scant three musicians created a wall of metal turbulence alternating between jagged guitar leads and Meshuggah-esque "djent" riffs, a heavy bottom from a seven-string bass and a swarm of blast beats. Opening with four songs from the most recent album before visiting the older catalogue, Veil of Maya mixed elements from an array of metal subgenres, from technical death metal and progressive metal to melodic death metal, with connections to classic thrash and hardcore brutality. By and large so far, the switch in singers changed the look of the band more than its sound.