Review by Blind

Book of Illusions: Chapter III

An interesting individual by the name of "~the VLE~" got in contact with me via email and asked if I was interested in his music.  I hadn't heard it yet, but you must understand that when people offer me free shit, I do not say, "no". ;)

I went to his page and listened to his tracks.  I was pretty much blown away.  I actually saved the hi-fi play list to my computer and have listened to it many times in the past couple of months.  Why?  Well, it's pretty emotional stuff, and ugh... I do have a heart, you know!

I got the CDs and found out that most of the stuff I'd been listening to was off of Chapter III, so I'm doing this one first.  (Expect the other CD reviewed in the near future.)  VLE is essentially soundscapes.  Some would argue that it has some black metal elements thrown in--some very screechy vocals, "underwater" guitars, etc.  The playing and production is pretty raw, but very fitting for what it is--keyboard pieces over which guitars, drums, vocals, and other instruments are played.  Most (if not all) of it is improvisation.

If you're like me, then the word "improvisation" probably makes you cringe.  I associate it with jazz, which I do not like.  There's nothing wrong with it; it just bores me.  But this was different.  Some of this music made me sleepy (lulled me to sleep, not out of tedium), some of it made me sad, some of it depressed the hell out of me, and all of it made me think.  My opinion on a few tracks:

  • Ancient Song Set Ablaze: God, this is dismal.  Quiet chanting (male and female), haunting acoustic melodies, and a funeral-type atmosphere make for quite an experience.  One of my favorites.

  • Now You Cry: A lot like the above, but with drums and electric and electric/acoustic guitars.  Very memorable riffing, and still very disheartening.

  • Fornever: sad, sad song.  Makes me think of somebody screaming at the moon after the death of a loved one.

  • Crimson: put some crappily recorded drums underneath it and you would have a black metal classic!

  • The Arrival: think of a horribly outnumbered army.  They're trapped.  They're wounded. T hey're starving and dying. This is what "The Arrival" reminded me of--feelings of utter hopelessness.
  • Most of the songs are in the same vein.  Yup, you really have to be in a certain mood to deal with this stuff, but it's excellent at the right time.

    I would highly recommend this disc to anybody even remotely interested in doom, sludge, and/or black metal, and to those who can appreciate striking, emotional music.

    Two word review: simply amazing.

    Rating: 5/5 skulls