CHRONICLES OF CHAOS #56
Review by Adrian Bromley

Book of Illusions: Chapter II

My interest in atmospheric/soundscape project VLE continues.  In last issue, I raved about the VLE offering Book of Illusions: Chapter I, saying that the release was "one of the most dazzling, brave and impressive independent offerings I have received in sometime".  I still stand behind my comments.  I love that record and the dynamic and adventurous ideas it takes upon itself.  As I had expected, Book of Illusions: Chapter II continues where VLE had left off, but not in its entirety.  There are some changes within.  While still as grandiose and overflowing with beautiful soundscapes as the previous offering, Chapter II finds VLE exploring more with feelings and emotions, soft keyboards, sweet harmonies and a slight dark edge (very subtle) comes over the music as well.  Listening to Chapter II I am once again thrust into colourful and cosmic trance-like state, guided by the changing medleys and the creative genius behind this one-man project.  Just check out the beauty of songs like The Dancer and A Scene From a Tree.  Is this as good as the first offering?  I think so, but on many different levels.  I'd recommend music fans wanting to investigate VLE to scope out both Chapter I and Chapter II, as they are both worth it.  And listening to them back to back is quite an experience to boot.  Once again, I await for new VLE material.  Hopefully something new will surface in 2002.

Rating: 8/10

CHRONICLES OF CHAOS #55
Review by Adrian Bromley

Book of Illusions: Chapter I

VLE has got to be one of the most dazzling, brave and impressive independent offerings I have received in sometime.  Adventurous and downright creative, the eclectic, dark and imaginative VLE tosses out its musical ideas into many different directions on Book of Illusions: Chapter I, not really focusing on certain sounds, but rather on the final results.  Inspired by "ocean sunsets, darkness and silence", this one man project hovers in a world of beautiful compositions (i.e. 3 in 5, Kano and Stark), each one bringing its own texture and substance to this seven-song release.  And while the music of VLE could be easily classified as experimental and atmospheric, there is a definite progressive rock feel to the music as well.  I'm picking up the same kind of vibes I did with Dan Swano's third Nightingale release, I.  Vocals play a very small but effective role on this VLE release, used more as an instrument (Timeless) rather than a main ingredient of song passages.  In the end, VLE makes the listener really pay attention to the sounds and ideas going on, because if you don't pay attention you'll no doubt be lost until the next song starts up.  In a world all its own, VLE are onto something good.  Can't wait to hear Chapter II.

Rating: 9/10

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