NEW ALBUM "[M]OTHER" OUT NOW
By channeling energy in one direction, force grows exponentially. Veil of Maya harness the individual experiences and talents of four distinct musicians—Marc Okubo [guitar], Sam Applebaum [drums], Danny Hauser [bass], and Lukas Magyar [vocals]—into airtight groove-laden metal accented by fits of instrumental virtuosity and vocal catharsis. This approach has endeared them to a devout fan base with critical acclaim and over 100 million total streams and counting (unprecedented for an outfit this crushingly heavy). The Chicago band draw on the strength of their union on their seventh full-length offering, [m]other [Sumerian Records].
“We’re very focused on what our strengths are now,” observes Marc. “We’re in different spots of our lives, and we’ve figured out a lot more. We’re so excited to be back.”
“We each had more control over what we individually did on the album,” adds Sam. “We took the time to make what we wanted to make. It’s definitely Veil of Maya.”
Veil of Maya have consistently pushed the boundaries of heavy music by pushing themselves collectively. 2015’s Matriarch made major waves, crashing the Billboard US Hard Rock Albums Chart at #2 powered by “Aeris,” “LeeLoo,” and “Mikasa.” The latter has gathered over 25.4 million Spotify streams and counting. In 2017, False Idol saw the band return to the Top 3 of the Hard Rock Albums Chart as “Overthrow” and “Doublespeak” each eclipsed 8 million-plus Spotify streams apiece. The record also incited the applause of LoudWire, Substream Magazine, Metal Hammer, and Invisible Oranges who raved, “False Idol is undeniably Veil of Maya: greatly contrasting the band’s past, it serves as a companion and booster for their older work.” Simultaneously, they toured alongside Animals As Leaders, Upon A Burning Body, Chelsea Grin, Oceans Ate Alaska, and more. In the midst of the Pandemic, they dropped “Outsider,” “Viscera,” and “Outrun.”
Meanwhile, Marc decamped to Los Angeles where he found new inspiration and a creative kindred spirit in producer Zach Jones [FEVER333, Poorstacy].
“I had to get out of where I was staying, and L.A. was a nice change of pace at the time,” he reveals. “We really enjoyed working with Zach. We had tried one song and just kept going. He was able to execute our ideas very clearly. His approach was positive and inspiring. He brought the best out of us and added modern twist, tightening everything up.”
After sharing “Synthwave Vegan,” the band set the stage for the album with “Godhead.” Menacingly pulsating electronics set the tempo only to give way to a guttural scream and methodically chugging riff.
“It’s looking at a very terrifying situation from a third-party perspective,” notes Lukas. “The instrumental made me think of a heist or a bank robbery, so it feels like a metaphorical invasion. You don’t have any control over what’s happening, and you’re scared. That’s the feeling vocally.”
Elsewhere, “Red Fur” layers clean vocals above an airy soundscape only to snap into a head-spinning and hard-hitting groove offset by a hummable hook.
“I got convinced to go to a Rufus Du Sol concert,” recalls Marc. “I was immediately inspired though. The next day, I was like, ’Let’s combine some of this with our style’. That explains the electronic opening.”
“It’s pretty focused on today’s society and the inner dynamics of how toxic it can be,” adds Lukas. “A lot of people don’t seem content unless they’re bringing harm to another person—whether it’s with their words or actions. It’s gotten to a point where it seems pretty unavoidable.”
Inspired by everything from Nine Inch Nails to the E.T. soundtrack, “Mother Pt. 4” continues a long-running series for the band in epic fashion.
“There’s a theory that space travel is in fact time travel,” Lukas goes on. “The music gave me this weird Interstellar vibe. I was really attracted to it and decided to articulate the theory with a story in the lyrics.”
“Artificial Dose” slips from a cybernetic groan into another soaring refrain bolstered by the mind-numbing onslaught of Kevlar-thick distortion.
“It was based on a personal experience,” Lukas states. “You’re stuck in a situation that isn’t any good for you, but the only way to escape is to keep moving forward through it despite the fact you’d rather lay down and die.”
The ride concludes with “Death Runner.” Screams pierce a steamrolling riff rife with pinch harmonics only to subside on an entrancing cello-wrapped bridge. “It ended up really starting the project,” reveals Marc. “We did something different with it.”
In the end, this is Veil of Maya at their collective best.
“I hope you’re inspired to listen to this again and again,” Marc leaves off. “Maybe you’ll hone in on the little details as you go further, and it will musically become a cinematic experience.”
“We’re always growing and doing something different, “ Lukas concludes. “I think we’re all grateful to be doing this after so long.”