Lab Eleven - Exceed The Veil Of Maya

Almost as soon as 'Exceed The Veil Of Maya', the first E.P. release from Italy's Lab Eleven begins (or rather, as soon as the vocals come in) it becomes painfully obvious that the vocals (and to a lesser degree the drums) are too high in the mix to the extent that the music is partially hidden beneath the gutteral and mostly indecipherable grunting. This poor mix is probably the biggest flaw in Lab Eleven's sound and makes it somewhat of an effort to clearly hear what's going on.

The first track 'I Become Her Punisher' starts with some interesting keyboard frippery, and initial expectations are raised that I may be about to hear some innovative industrial/death metal crossover. My hopes are quickly quashed, however, when the keyboards rapidly disappear to be replaced by some 30 minutes or so of regulation riffing & Death Metal vocals.

Musically, this is, at times, a surprisingly melodic offering, certainly not an extreme example of Thrash/Death Metal, In fact, I would go so far as to say it has an old school metal vibe to it in places. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the seven tracks on this cd and, in terms of well crafted, tightly aggressive playing Lab Eleven don't disappoint, it's just that, unfortunately, there isn't enough creativity to get excited about.