VLE - Book Of Illusions, Chapter I & II review

Band: VLE
Album: Book Of Illusions, Chapter I & II
Release date: 2001

Disc I
01. Kano
02. Freedom To Fly
03. Behold The Night / Beyond Sunsets
04. Timeless
05. 3 In 5
06. Drift
07. Stark

Disc II
01. Kano
02. The Dancer
03. Trilogy Of The I
04. AMIntro
05. AMTheme
06. Scotland
07. A Scene From A Tree
08. In Silence
09. Stark
10. A Fortunate Reversal

What is the future of Metal? Which road will this controversy music genre take?

I surely cannot answer, but undoubtedly this VLE project, as well as similar music, is a signal of evolution. Electronic melodies blended with new age sonorities, classical suggestions and a bit of black-doom metal guitar rhythms. I know that these innovations will be considered blaspheme by the most assiduous fans of the genre, but I also think that this will be the natural evolution of Black Metal. The first signals started in 1999, with Burzum's conversion (or betrayal they say) and Hildskjalf, an album in which Varg Vikernes expressed all his anguish an melancholy in a different way from his usual, grim Black Metal. Than also another historical BM group, the band of Nemesis Divina, Satyricon, in 1999 published their EP "Intermezzo II" in which they introduced two tracks that moved fierce critics from the "purists" because they were not strictly BM, but fuse the BM atmospheres with electronic elements and filtered voices.
I don't mean that the original BM has to be trashed, for it has embodied an important and an original movement, and is indeed still the dark pillar of Metal, I'm just guessing what will be the future of a Metal genre that can no longer stay crystallized in its primitive form.

But, what about this VLE project? It is not BM, that's for sure but it has the same purposes and some similar sound solutions. Reading the biography we find that this is and American one-man band, or better, an American one-entity band since the composer (self-thought in all instruments) talks of himself only with the name "The VLE" and we can read this lines: "… all works were created through strict use of experimentation and improvisational techniques…the most important element is the depiction of atmosphere where all instruments fuse together."

Well it works, some elements are good, some other is less original, but since a will of experimentation and improvisation moved it all we have to appreciate the efforts. The production is not bad, but in this kind of music, to better grasp the feelings of music, it has to be perfect, anyway, it is only a demo. Two tracks in the first Cd have some vocals, some melancholic, some others "BM style". I found this useless, the emotions are better carried by the melodies of other only "instrumental" tracks.

It all has to be refined (some tracks ended too suddenly as though away), improved, evolved…but a good intention stands out. The best way to appreciate it, and to judge it is, like the VLE himself suggests, to listen to the CD in a dark room, with candles burning or, as I suggest, walking on a mountain and looking at the skies.

Good work VLE, now we're waiting for something more.

Written by Sephiroth | 02.10.2003


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