3/1/2014 - Review of "Meanwhile" by the Illinois Entertainer

Veilside‘s radio-friendly melodic rock qualities follow the path of modern rockers such as Static-X, Nickelback and Shinedown with a subtle yolking of ’80s hair metal and thick, ’90s groove-rock on its third EP, "Meanwhile…" The Godsmack-y opening track, “Sick of Me,” is decorated with a slinky baseline, blustery vocals and huge harmonies. Singer Tony Engel delivers a satisfying raspy and soulful range throughout Meanwhile…, while guitarists Mo Ismail and Russ Odean assemble a battery of dynamic solos. The bluesy, Southern-fried groove and anthemic chorus of “Standing Alone” gets the blood pumping. The band throttles the mood and tempo on the powerful ballad, “My Last Lie (I Promise).” A local musical force since 2006, Veilside delivers a strong EP full of muscle and might. (veilsideband.com)
– KS

12/5/13 - Review of "Meanwhile" by Danger Dog Reviews by Craig Hartranft

Veilside is a promising hard rock band from the Chicago area, offering their second EP Meanwhile .... Here's the skinny, what you need to know about the band and the album.

First, their rock is in the vein of late post grunge melodic hard rock akin to Nickelback. The EP comes with six tracks listed, yet has seventh hidden bonus track. Of the seven, you should listen and enjoy the first four, skip the next two, and catch hidden track. Sick of Me, Maybe Tomorrow, and Standing Alone are hard rocking melodic tunes with good hooks in lyrics and arrangement, with some dandy guitar solos.

My Last Lie I Promise is a terrific duet, Veilside's first and perhaps the best track here. It features Amy Badalamenti, wife of founding, no ex-guitarist, Jon Badalamenti. Of the two I told you to skip, they're mostly just heavy but do have nice guitar solos. The hidden track is the odd man out; it's this light symphonic number with a touch of piano. It doesn't quite fit with Veilside's other tunes, but it sounds really cool, perhaps a future direction if the band tanks anytime soon. There you have it. If modern American hard rock is your thing, you'll like Meanwhile ... Meanwhile, the band should think about cutting a full album. Recommended.


10/10/13 Review of "Meanwhile..." by Crimson Moon Zine (UK) by Pagan Tordengraw

My first brush with Veilside from Chicago, was way back in May 2011 when Tony Engel sent me the bands CD ‘This Time’ to review and from that moment on I was hooked.  Since reviewing their last CD there has been a line-up change with the band saying goodbye to Jon Badalamenti on Guitar and backing vocals and saying hello to Mo Ismail.
The cover is very American with the picture of a deserted ranch deep among the mountainside – you can almost smell the clean fresh air.  It is a fold out cover and on the middle inside there depicts a bull’s head carcass and heaps of information about the band contained either side.
‘This Time’ was an all-out winner so I am hoping that this CD will bring more of the same and having sampled the last one feel pretty confident that this will be another all-rounder.
Sick of Me
Quite a heavyweight track with provocative thundering riffs that are potent with chugging energy and rhythm. Guided by a gravelly vocal drawl that only the Americans have and followed by predatory guitar riffs with enough melody to keep a rocker happy for the entire year this track is quite spellbinding.
Maybe Tomorrow
Melancholic strings melt into electric riffs making it an interesting offering that teases the senses with impressive vocals outlining a good melodic ballad. Whilst the passionate guitar solo becomes inflamed and in which everything becomes clear. This track has a certain amount of classic suggestiveness that commands attention.

Standing Alone
Superb beats and flying fingers that control the fret-board this has oomph and a primal lust that boasts catchiness by the throat. Deliberately probing and confrontational helped along by the rhythmic sway of pulsating madness. Great track!
My Last Lie I Promise
Eerie and intriguing ballad with deftly sculpted riffs.  The vocals are urgent in delivery with additional vocals by Amy Badalamenti who really adds that needed edge of passion to the mix and blends in perfectly with Tony’s harsh growl, making this a superbly haunting and melodic track.
Wicked Side
Down to business this indeed does hold a ‘wicked side’ with gut wrenching rhythms and a force field of well-defined temptation. The guitars scream out languishing in their own fierce world, although not fast in delivery as expected but supersonically heavy none the less.

Come Back Down
This track conjures up the familiarity of an American backdrop of a film set. It’s very poetic in delivery and deliberating in strong reflective guitars and solid beats that mould themselves into an enthralling melodic attitude that in turn is simply brimming with pure rock.
Untitled bonus track
Is a total surprise – as not listed on the album cover boasting a scenic picture of melodic keyboards and cinematic soundscapes, with full orchestral sounds that are as every inch dramatic and heartfelt, rewarding the listener with some strikingly intense and magical moments?
To Sum up:
Veilside have once again produced some very ear-catching elements be them a lot more serious sounding than the previous album and have come a long way on the route of diversity literally pushing them to a more classical feel. Adding female vocals and an orchestral bonus track was, I feel, a good move and simply outlines the bands obvious progression, so they cannot be labelled ‘just a rock’ band.
They haven’t lost their pure rock kick either as the track ‘Standing Alone’ can verify with resounding attitude.  The haunting melodic moments are satisfying and inspiring so there’s something for everyone on this album from rock stompers to orchestral maneuvers. Definitely a heavy classic mix of fire and brimstone that’s ripe for listening!

1/31/12  Review of "This Time..." by the Illinois Entertainer's Kelley Simms February 2012

Veilside’s sophomore effort, "This Time . . .", mixes Godsmack riffs with Sevendust grooves. It’s six-songs of modern rock with huge power chords, multi-layered vocal harmonies, and well-thought out guitar leads. Otherwise radio-friendly with a melodic, hard-rock edge, an odd cover of Kansas’ “Dust In The Wind” – with dual lead guitars swapped for the original’s violin arrangement – adds a galloping, Southern-rock flavor. Veilside possesses a true rockstar mentality and This Time is solidly hard-driving with attitude and spirit. (veilsideband.com)


8/20/11  Review of "This Time...." by Gabor at http://myglobalmind.com/7517/veilside-%E2%80%93-this-time/

There are still enough quality and original bands active in the USA, trust me! Everybody wants us to believe that the once original melodic rock/metal sound has completely vanished since 1991, but the past few years many new bands have popped up all around the USA playing original and more importantly, very melodic rock/hardrock/metal.

The 1990s was a very disturbing period with bands going either the Altrock direction or focus on playing nothing but covers. However, the 2000s saw a change in the music climate and the mainstream music became melodic again and now in the new 2010s decade the appreciation of 1980s rock and metal is huge and thanks to that a lot of new bands emerge and play this style. VEILSIDE are coming out of the Chicago area and although I thought they were more in the Progmetal style when looking at the cover of their CD ‘This time…’, they are in fact a pure Melodic Hardrockband with some heavy groovy Metalish guitar riffs.

Think of a combination of FIREHOUSE, TORA TORA, SKID ROW and TRIXTER, with a touch of the modern way of thinking (STONE SOUR, SHINEDOWN, ALTER BRIDGE…). The lead vocals are spot-on, because singer TONY ENGEL has an excellent voice, while the twin-guitarwork sounds pretty good too. 6 tracks are included and somehow the KANSAS cover “Dust in the wind” is very impressive despite the fact that covers are not my main interest when listening to an album, but VEILSIDE’s version of this classic is excellent uptempo Melodic Metal with Classic 1980s twinguitarwork a la STRYPER.

However the original tunes of the band are more important and they do sound really good, especially opener “Every time you call” and the semi-ballad “Along the way” that both sound like a cross between FIREHOUSE/TEER and ALTER BRIDGE/STONE SOUR. These guys surely know how to write a great catchy hook and a memorable melodic chorus in the classic American Hardrock/Metal tradition.

I am more than impressed by this excellent band, because their mini-CD sounds perfect at all aspects, vocally, instrumental, songwise and also the production/sound quality is top-notch. Despite the 1980s Hair Metal influences, the band does never sound dated or cliché tingled, thanks to some modern touches here and there, so who knows they might become the next big thing in the USA. Let’s hope this band reaches a lot of success in the near future, because they truly deserve it.

Written by Gabor

Ratings Gabor 8/10


From 2/2/11 melodicrock.com:

Chicago's Veilside is currently in the mastering stages of production on their upcoming CD This Time…, the band is working with mega producer Chuck Alkazian (Trust Company, Pop Evil, Slipknot, Saving Abel). The CD contains a melodic heavy cover of the Kansas hit Dust In The Wind. Worldwide release is set for March 2011 with support dates to follow. Catch more info at the bands website www.veilsideband.com.

Read this and other news by clicking the following link:  http://www.melodicrock.com/index1.php


“Lifting the Veil” by Jordan Paterek  (From the Daily Illini Weekender Insert July 2nd 2010)

The music blasts behind me as I try to familiarize myself with “Messin’ Round”, the hit song by the Chicago band Veilside that’s been playing regularly on WILL. It’s an oddly familiar tune, yet modern and polished enough to be on commercial radio rotation. As the song fades into another Veilside ditty, “Awake”, I turn the radio down and look over at lead singer Tony Engel, who is fidgeting with a pair of cell phones. I ask him if he’s ready to begin the interview:

TE: Sorry man, I have the worst ADD and I wanted to turn them off.

JP: So tell me a little about Veilside, how did you get started?
TE: I wish it was an exciting story. The band had another singer that had left and the band went dormant for a year or so. Bob, our bass player, decided to reform it and brought me with to rehearsal. I didn’t even try out, they gave me the gig by default.

JP: No try out? Are you old friends?
TE: No, I didn’t know the guys much at all before joining the band. And I’m not the best singer, and I’m pretty sure I was a lousy frontman to boot when we started. They either had awesome patience or they haven’t figured it out yet (laughs)

JP: Where does the band name come from?
TE: The name was already there when I joined, but what it’s always meant to me, the side that you keep hidden from public. The side that everyone has, but veiled. The dark side.

JP: You said you don’t believe you’re a great singer, have you had any lessons?
TE: I took a few. I learned how to breathe properly because I had a bad habit of over singing. I don’t think I’m terrible, but I’m not a rangy singer. Thankfully, Veilside writes songs that are pretty much in my wheelhouse.

JP: I read you’ve sold over 2500 copies of your debut CD, “Chapter One”. What does that feel like?
TE: It’s a sense of accomplishment just to see the CD in print. The fact that anybody would flop down a few bucks for it is a bonus. I remember when I got the cases from New Jersey, it was like Christmas day. The day of the CD release (June 2008), we must have autographed a hundred copies. It was an awesome feeling.

JP: You mentioned that you’ve become more of a regional band. Are you guys “weekend warriors”?
TE: Honestly, I hate the term. I spend an awful lot of time working on the business that is Veilside. Our shows are predominantly on the weekends, because everyone in the band has a job, but Veilside is a way of life for me (laughs)

JP: So you handle the band’s business?
TE: Well, I do some of it, and last year we went out and got some proper management. It helps to have someone who has been around the scene, knows the pitfalls, and has credibility. We’ve also gotten a lot of nicer opportunities with his involvement.

JP: What kind of opportunities?
TE: Clubs that maybe wouldn’t book an original band. Opening for some national acts (Veilside has opened for Dokken and Nelson). Our manager Tony also runs the Chicago Rocker Newsletter, and featured us on the cover in May.

JP: What do you think the music scene is like nowadays? I constantly read that things are tougher on musicians.
TE: It’s all cyclical. It always has been. I think things may be harder on the national acts that made their money from CD sales. They now have to tour longer to make that up. For bands like us, technology has only helped. It keeps the costs low. It offers avenues to get our songs out.

JP: Speaking of songs, tell me a little about “Messin’ Round”
TE: I wrote the lyrics to that song on a napkin at a pizzeria while out on a date. Our guitar player Jonny came up with the riff and I had some vulgar joke lyrics to it. That song has been the biggest hit on “Chapter One”. Delta Airlines featured it on their rock channel on flights. It’s received airplay on WGN TV, Q101 FM Radio Chicago, WJJO FM Radio in Madison Wisconsin, KEGL FM Radio in Texas, a Polish AM radio station, The Opie and Anthony show on XM Radio, and it was even featured in a semi-porn video (laughs)

JP: A semi-porn video?
TE: Yeah. Sponsors of the Opie and Anthony show used it for a promotional video for a call-in line, like one of those 900 numbers. The video was pretty intense. It got over ten thousand hits.

JP: I didn’t see that on your website
TE: Yeah, we’re trying to remain a family-oriented entertainment band. We do a lot of all-ages shows and benefits for children’s charities.

JP: You guys do an annual autism benefit
TE: Yes. It’s called “Breaking the Silence”. This year we raised $3,000 for the Illinois Autism Society.

JP: What other children’s charities?
TE: We’ve given money to the Kelsey Briggs Foundation against child abuse, and this year we played a benefit for Headstones for Angels, and the National SIDS Organization.

JP: You have a lot going for you guys, how do you keep it in perspective?
TE: My band constantly reminds me I’m not that good (laughs). And I don’t have much of an ego. Seriously, though, I love the band, and above anything else, we have fun in this band.

JP: You’re also a new father.
TE: Not new. I also have a sixteen year old daughter named Stephanie

JP: That’s got to be scary
TE: It is! She’s driving, and I also have a 7 month old son named Gavin. He’s amazing.

JP: And you still find time to be in a band? Do you sleep?
TE: Not much, but I love my life. I have fun every single day.

JP: Any luck of seeing Veilside perform down here anytime soon?
TE: Absolutely, we’ll grab one of our friend’s bands from up north and make it an event!

Veilside is currently recording the follow up to their successful debut, “Chapter One”. The new endeavor is tentatively titled “This Time…” and features their arrangement of the Kansas hit “Dust In the Wind”. Veilside can be found on Facebook, Myspace, and their website is www.veilsideband.com. After listening to the tracks on “Chapter One”, I give the CD 4 out of 5 stars, with the exceptional tracks being “Messin’ Round” and “Smile”. Veilside has a busy tour schedule upstate, and we’re going to try to get them down here for a full band interview on the station and a local show. Veilside features Tony Engel on Lead Vocals, Jonathan Badalamenti on guitar, Russ Odean on guitar, Ron Thomas on drums, and Bob “Cabo” Hilton on bass.