Everyone that listens to deathcore at least knows about this album. There’s no denying it, regardless of whether you think it’s good or bad, this is one of the single most influential and important deathcore albums ever. I know that sounds like a pretty major accusation right off the bat, but it’s just something that’s near impossible to disprove. The only other deathcore albums that have been THIS influential on the deathcore sound are Whitechapel’s This is Exile, All Shall Perish’s The Price of Existence, Suicide Silence’s The Cleansing, Ills of Modern Man by Despised Icon, and Allegiance by As Blood Runs Black. ANYWAY, not only is The Common Man’s Collapse amongst the most influential deathcore records EVER, it’s also just flat out awesome.
Yes, Veil of Maya was the first deathcore band to play EXTREMELY complex breakdown patterns. But unlike other bands that have abused that style to the extreme (to the point where it sounds like Emmure, but more complex), Veil of Maya has always had MUCH more to their music since the beginning. When describing Veil of Maya’s music in a very brief manner, I simply say Meshuggah + All Shall Perish = Veil of Maya. So being the most technical deathcore band next to All Shall Perish, PLUS the extreme complexity derived from Meshuggah in their breakdowns.
So the album kicks off with an intro track consisting of a really long breakdown. To be honest, it’s not really a bad thing because it’s in every Veil of Maya record; and they were a huge contributor in starting that trend. The drumming is always the hot topic when it comes to these guys. The drummer’s kick-work is so phenomenal it isn’t even CLOSE to being funny. Not just the speed, but the complex patterns and how he NEVER EVER falls out of time. If someone were to sneak up behind him and shoot him with a 50 caliber at point-blank range (pretty much vaporizing him), he still wouldn’t fall out of time, that’s how solid his feet are. The way the drums sound is also a huge positive element. There are very few cases where the bass drums are this loud and have THIS much bass tone, and everything is still balanced out. Everything about the drums has had the treble removed and the bass turned to 11 (inside joke for you old farts).
The guitar distortion is like nothing else I’ve ever heard in my life. That’s not a good thing or a bad thing, it’s just that the distortion is 100% unique. The guitars have all the sharpness of the treble removed and the rest left in balance. Of course, the 7-string bass is turned to the max for the entire duration of the album. There is not a single SECOND where the bassist falls out of line with the drummer; it’s like the base that the drummer and bassist create is virtually indestructible no matter what condition it’s put in. The vocalist does extremely deep exhaled growls AND screams. Yes, his screams aren’t that high-pitched, but they do get the message across. His growls are as deep as the kick drums and the bass, only FURTHER solidifying the base of Veil of Maya’s sound. The biggest thing that I’m confused about is why THIS band is considered generic deathcore. The only deathcore bands that are at least AS technical as Veil of Maya are Iwrestledabearonce and All Shall Perish. Although I consider All Shall Perish to be the #1 representative of technical deathcore (aside from the fact that they’re one of the best deathcore bands EVER), there is NO OTHER description that I would choose to put on Veil of Maya other than technical deathcore. I haven’t heard their first album (I have yet to find it), but this is Veil of Maya’s LEAST technical album. They’ve gotten more technical with each album over time, but still, you can’t deny the utter complexity of this fucking record.
Will all of that said, there is one downside to this album: energy. In fact, this is the only Veil of Maya album that doesn’t have it. The lack of energy in this album really brings me down some of the times when I’m listening to it. When you listen to songs that were released AFTER this album, like Unbreakable, Vicious Circles, Divide Paths, and Punisher (ALL of them are AMAZING songs and I’d recommend that you look them up if you haven’t heard them), from the point the song starts to the closing guitar riffs, you can FEEL the energy flowing from the speakers through your auditory system. This album doesn’t have that. It has ANYTHING you could ask for in a good metal album: complexity, catchiness, creativity, skill, tightness, and variety; one of the most important elements is missing: energy. This is one of the only elements that, if missing, can just BUTCHER an album’s sound REGARDLESS of how good the music actually may be.
The reason why there are so many people that don’t like this album (not including Sputnik Music cause they hate everything on there) is because it has no energy and, well, literally bores them. And I’ve got to admit, yeah, there’s so little energy in this album that it’s bothersome! Although that may be, for me, at least, it doesn’t totally ruin the album because I like the music it plays, I LOVE the fact that there’s so much bass, I love every single musician and their talent and skill, and I love how fucking catchy they are! In conclusion, I would recommend this to all fans of deathcore and those of you willing to AT LEAST hear an extremely influential album. This gets 17/20.