On February 6th, 2024 Veil of Maya hit the stage at The Underground in Charlotte, NC with Angelmaker, Until I Wake, Reflections, and Alluvial.
Alluvial, a progressive death metal band formed in 2016, returned to Charlotte for another performance, marking a significant contrast from their previous visit. As an avid fan, having witnessed their earlier performance this past fall at The Underground in Charlotte, I couldn't shake off the disappointment from the lackluster reception they received then. However, on this occasion, Alluvial bounced back and gave the full performance I anticipated and more! Gone were the issues that plagued their previous performance – the sound was finely tuned, allowing every intricate detail of Wes Hauch's incredible guitar work to shine through with crystal clarity. The crowd, buoyed by the newfound energy, transformed into a seething mass of enthusiasm. Gone were the passive onlookers; instead, the venue pulsated with raw energy, punctuated by the sight of several crowd surfers riding the waves of Alluvial's riffs. The setlist showcased the band's music well. From the intricate melodies of "Ulysses" to the thunderous assault of "Bog Dweller" and the haunting intensity of "Sarcoma," each track was performed with precision and passion, cementing Alluvial's status as a force to be reckoned with in the realm of progressive death metal.
Reflections, a progressive metalcore band hailing from Minnesota, brought their electrifying presence to the stage next. Leaving a mark with the audience, this is a performance that resonated with vivacity and fervor. From the moment they took the stage, it was evident that Reflections was on a mission to captivate and enthrall. Their infectious energy was palpable, radiating from each member as they immersed themselves wholeheartedly in the performance. There was an undeniable chemistry between them, and it was clear the love they have for their craft. As they delved into their set, Reflections commanded the stage with an effortless confidence, their music pulsating with raw intensity and unabashed emotion. It was quite a fun experience! One of the most striking aspects of Reflections' performance was their sheer exuberance. They looked like they were having the time of their lives up on that stage. Their enthusiasm was infectious, inciting a fervent response from all in attendance. Several crowd surfers rode the waves of euphoria, propelled by the irresistible force of Reflections' music. The drums, in particular, were a standout element of the performance in my opinion. They were loud and commanding, yet precise. Reflections did a phenomenal job getting the crowd hyped up for the following band, Until I Wake.
UNTIL I WAKE
Buffalo, New York's Until I Wake descended upon the stage next. With the recent addition of vocalist Jaali Cypher, the band's dynamic energy reached new heights, captivating the audience from the first note to the last. Cypher wasted no time making his mark, infusing the performance with an energy that was impossible to ignore. His boundless enthusiasm was on full display as he leapt off the stage into the pit between the stage and barricade multiple times, bridging the gap between band and fans. While Until I Wake's music may not particularly have been my cup of tea, there was no denying the infectious energy and palpable excitement that permeated the venue. The crowd was fully immersed in the experience, singing along to every word and feeding off the band's relentless energy. The setlist for the night was a rollercoaster of intensity, featuring standout tracks like "Blue Beam," "Nightmares," and "Octane." Each song hit with an impact, drawing the audience deeper into Until I Wake's performance and leaving them hungry for more.
Hailing from North Vancouver, British Columbia, Angelmaker brought their thunderous deathcore onslaught to the stage, leaving audiences reeling from the sheer force of their sound. With a lineup boasting seven members, the stage was set for an epic performance that would shake the very foundations of the venue. From the moment they took the stage, Angelmaker's monstrous sound engulfed the audience in a tidal wave of brutality. With two vocalists at the helm, it was as if they were engaged in a visceral battle to see who could unleash the most guttural and disgusting vocalizations. Their dueling deliveries added an extra layer of intensity to an already ferocious performance, leaving no doubt that Angelmaker is a force to be reckoned with in the realm of extreme metal. Beyond their relentless sonic assault, Angelmaker proved themselves to be more than just purveyors of brutality – they were entertainers in the truest sense of the word. Their setlist featured tracks like "Radiance in the Light of a Dying Sun," "Godless," and the aptly titled "Suffer Forever." Each song hit with the force of a sledgehammer. In the end, with their monstrous sound and larger-than-life stage presence, Angelmaker proved once again why they are a must-see act for fans of extreme metal.
VEIL OF MAYA
Hailing from the heart of Chicago, Illinois, Veil of Maya returned to the stage with a vengeance, delivering a blistering performance that left the crowd in awe. As veterans of the metalcore scene since 2004, they brought a wealth of experience and a relentless energy that electrified the venue from start to finish. From the opening notes of "Tokyo Chainsaw" to the closing strains of "Mikasa", Veil of Maya commanded the stage with an undeniable authority. The crowd, comprised of die-hard fans singing along to every word, fueled the band's performance with their unbridled enthusiasm, transforming the venue into a swirling sea of movement and energy. The crowd seemingly came to this show just to crowdsurf, they were nonstop the whole performance! However, it was impossible to ignore the slight hiccup in the sound mix, which seemed to favor the thunderous onslaught of Sam's drum triggers over the intricacies of Mark's guitar work. Despite this, Veil of Maya soldiered on, their unwavering determination shining through as they delivered a setlist packed with fan favorites and crowd-pleasers. Newer additions to their repertoire like "Synthwave Vegan" and "Red Fur" showcased their continued evolution as musicians and songwriters. Perhaps the most exciting to me were the additions of “Whistleblower” and “Doublespeak” from my personal favorite album of theirs, False Idol. Despite the sound mix hiccup, the crowd remained fully engaged and immersed in the experience, a testament to the band's enduring appeal and magnetic stage presence. In the end, Veil of Maya proved once again why they are a force to be reckoned with in the world of metalcore. With their unrelenting energy, razor-sharp musicianship, and unwavering dedication to their craft, they delivered a performance that was as electrifying as it was unforgettable, leaving fans hungry for more long after the final notes had faded into the night.