Veil of Maya | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Veil of Maya performing during the Dance Devil Dance Tour at Emo's Austin in Austin, Texas on May 9, 2023, with Marc Okubo, Sam Applebaum, Danny Hauser, and Lukas Magyar. (Photo: Ralph Arvesen)

For Chicago-based band Veil of Maya, sonic rules are meant to be broken. Take the Chicago band's 'False Idol' album, although the full-length incorporates plenty of major metalcore hallmarks — buzzsawing guitars and vocals that alternate between banshee screams and a cleaner, melodic delivery — the album also weaves in old-school metal thrashing and atmospheric programming with a symphonic touch.

Such boundary-busting is second nature to Veil of Maya. The group originally formed in 2004 out of the ashes of a death metal band called Insurrection that featured guitarist / programmer Marc Okubo and drummer Sam Applebaum. At the time, Okubo wanted to emulate Meshuggah and At the Gates. Accordingly, Veil of Maya's earliest work — including and especially the band's full-length debut for Sumerian Records, 'The Common Man's Collapse' — also hewed toward deathcore and technical metal.

Yet as the band swapped vocalists and weathered multiple other lineup changes, their sound evolved into something far more original. The doom-heavy effort '[id],' which peaked at No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart, boasts dynamic arrangements that add dramatic flair to punishing blast beats, frenetic synth spurts, and brain-bending rhythms. 'Matriarch' — which became the band's highest-charting album — split the difference between melodic metalcore and gnarly technical metal with funhouse synth programming.

Veil of Maya's live reputation precedes them — perhaps because the band has grown into the most popular of road acts, thanks to stints on multiple Summer Slaughter tours, at Mayhem Festival, and on the Vans Warped Tour, in addition to many package tours with heavy music's A-team. It's easy to see why Veil of Maya is in demand, though: Their shows are formidable displays of technical skill and precision, amplified with bone-crushing volume and sound.
Fan reviews:

Best Band in the world! Just a non stop wave of force blowing in your damn face!

Veil of Maya is utterly amazing. everytime I see them play it's mesmerizing. They play with soul and bone crunching breakdowns.

Just Wow! Every band sounded amazing and Veil of Maya put on a masterclass in metalcore. The venue was exceptional.
Setlist for the show at Emo's Austin
  • Viscera
  • Whistleblower
  • Doublespeak
  • Leeloo
  • Overthrow
  • Lisbeth
  • Red Fur
  • Godhead
  • Synthwave Vegan
  • Outsider
  • Outrun
  • Mikasa

Veil of Maya was the main act at Emo's Austin with guests Avatar and Orbit Culture. They continue across the United States with the last stop at the Roxian Theatre in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania on May 28, 2023.

Veil of Maya
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Photos by Ralph Arvesen
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