Veil of Deception

Deception Unveiled Veil of Deception - Deception Unveiled (independent) 2013

1. Phoenix Out Of The Ashes [intro] (:23)
2. New Day Rising (4:45)
3. The Entity (4:03)
4. Broken Faith (4:10)
5. Myth Of Glory (4:07)
6. Earsplitting Silence (5:08)
7. Inner Circle (5:18)
8. The Cross We Bear (4:27)
9. End Of My Time (4:23)

Hailing from Austria, Veil of Deception are an independent, five-piece band that straddle that blurry line between hard rock and heavy metal. I was already familiar with vocalist Daniel Gallar from his work with Nephwrack and The Naked Show. Gallar has a very charismatic vocal style, that reminds me at times of Christopher Scott of Precious Death. Musically, Veil of Deception utilize a lot of groove based, heavy riffs to drive the songs.

After a short instrumental opening, "A New Day Rising" is a mid-paced, dark and doomy number driven by crunchy guitars and Gallar's distinctive voice. Follow-up track "The Entity" picks up the tempo and intensity quite a bit. This speedy rocker is probably the one that grabbed my attention the quickest on the album. "Broken Faith" opens with a dark and dissonant musical introduction before morphing into another up-tempo track with a chugging riff. The cleverly titled "Earsplitting Silence" is a straight-forward heavy metal song with Gallar's high soaring vocals offsetting the darker, down-tuned guitars and bass. "Inner Circle" leads the listener on a bit of a roller coaster ride, starting off as an acoustic ballad and building to another up-tempo rocker. With two guitar players in the band, I was expecting more lead work, and perhaps even some dual leads, a la Thin Lizzy/Iron Maiden. However, there wasn't much of that to be heard. Instead guitarists Gerd Metzl and Dejan Jorgovanovic stick to chugging riffs and straight-forward guitar licks. 

I must confess, on my first listen "The Entity" was the only song that really captured my attention. However, with repeated listens the entire album really started to take hold. Veil of Deception are an oddity in today's fragmented metal market. With bands trying to fit neatly into the many sub-genres of metal, many of which include vocalists that sound like clones of one another, Veil of Deception seem content to just be a heavy rock band with a vocalist who is both unique and charismatic. 

Roots Veil of Deception - Tearing Up the Roots (independent) 2015

1.  Dream Within A Nightmare (1:54)
2.  Stench Of Fear (6:07)
3.  This Is My Reality (4:26)
4.  Personal Holy Grail (5:03)
5.  Shadows On The Wall, Pt. 1 (3:25)
6.  Summer's Dying (4:29)
8.  End Of The Road (4:31)
9.  Redemption Mode (2:40)
10. Of Lunacy And Sands, Pt. 2 (6:04)

Coming two years after their debut, Austria's Veil of Deception release their "sophomore" album titled "Tearing Up the Roots". This album is an improvement in every way over the debut. The production is better and the songwriting is more memorable and slightly more diverse. Even the cover art is an improvement over "Deception Unveiled".

The album opens with a short instrumental intro that blends some haunting clean guitars with heavy riffs and acts as an intro to the up-tempo "Stench of Fear". The opening riff sounding like a machine gun as the riff rides on the building rhythm section before unleashing on one of the band's heaviest tracks. This song is definitely thrash-influenced, but would probably be better labeled "groove metal". As with the debut Daniel Gallar's clean, smooth voice offsets the heavy riffs. "This is My Reality" brings the tempo and the aggression down a notch, adding in more melody and slower tempos. This mix of tempos and moods is one of the positive improvements with "Tearing Up the Roots". Follow-up track has a bit of a modern metal opening with a buzz-saw bass guitar intro. This song brings the tempo back up slightly but doesn't match the intensity of "Stench of Fear". "Summer's Dying" is one of the album's highlights. Daniel's vocals seem perfectly suited for this moody, dark and slightly melancholy track. The album ends with a six minute long, groove-laden track titled "Of Lunacy and Sands (Pt.2)".

Veil of Deception stepped up their game with "Tearing Up the Roots". Better songs. Better production. Just all around better than their debut. (Though it too is a very worthy listen.) This band isn't about following trends in music, or trying to be heavier than the next band, nor are there any vocals that sound like an angry drill sergeant yelling at a lazy cadet at boot camp. This is groove laden heavy metal with melody and clean, honest vocals. Buy it and support independent music.

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