"M" METAL MUSIC MAGAZINE
Review by Anton "the Beast" aka Kaldor
English Translation by V. Kovalenko
Book of Illusions: Chapter III
Finally a third installment of a conceptual work Book of Illusions of the genius American (!) project VLE came out. You say, why am I so surprised that such music exists in the US? I donıt know myself-they do have another great band AGALLOCH; apparently, mentality of the country creates a certain impression that definitely does not fit this wonderful music. The cover art alone gives you the right idea-a true work of art! I won't go into details about what is portrayed there, because there are not enough words to do that. It's better if you visit the official site of VLE www.geocities.com/infestvle and see for yourself. Music, as usual, is a mind-blowing mix of melodic doom metal, ambient, progressive, folk, and elements of black metal, as well. And, this mix conveys such beauty that it is really hard to believe that it's a product of only one person. A foreign magazine described VLE's music as a cross between BURZUM and PINK FLOYD. I don't know about that; truly, I don't give a damn. This is Music with a capital M, and thatıs all that needs to be said about it. Unfortunately, VLE is still without a contract, which only displays the unwillingness of the labels to deal with true Music. Because of it, the project's CD's are released by the mini-label The Vle, specifically created for this purpose, owned by the author/owner of the project. The CD's of the band look so modest, warm, eye-pleasing and personal, which makes them all the better and way more valuable than all those super pull-out digipack re-issues of Cradle and Dimmu Borgir put together. This work of VLE can be (and must be) ordered only for $7, if you write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, there you can order the first two parts (albums) of Book of Illusions, this conceptual masterpiece, only for $5. Genius. Definitely one of the best releases of the year.
Review by Unearthly Zhmen
Book of Illusions: Chapter I & II
What you will hear on this album are pure, primordial and ecletic soundscapes (analogous to landscapes), expressed by using experimental technology. Indeed. I can't say that this is the most beautiful and organic of all doomish/ambient albums I have heard, but that Book of Illusions is an extremely quality, felt and "from the heart" work--I have no doubt of that. It takes away my breath, such beauty. "I am writing what comes to my mind and overwhelms my heart". Highest class--a similar approach. Why the hell think of some fashionable bells and whistles when you can simply sit down with a guitar, keyboard, 4-track recorder and record such 55-minute long sound kaleidoscope which, apparently for ideological considerations, was broken down into two discs--Chapter I and Chapter II, because otherwise musically they don't differ from each other too much. A third part is probably to be expected soon...
Different listeners will hear all kinds of different things here: everything from classical music and dark ambient, noise and Celtic music to doom and even stoner-metal. In general, trying to categorize this obviously experimental (or improvisational) work is an ungrateful task, doomed to fail. There is everything and nothing on this record. Nothing and everything. Someone's gonna scream "But this is your regular New Age!"; however there will be hundreds of other voices yelling out their own opinions. Apparently, the only drawbacks of albums such as this one are not very high release quality (of which VLE warns the listener in advance) and some kind of an incompleteness, or abruptness of the compositions. Nobody would dare deny that Book of Illusions is a very emotional work. You don't believe me? Okay. Then sit down comfortably in your chair, close your eyes and try to abstractasize from the outer world, its worries, successes and failures. Leave only one mental channel open for VLE. Relax, relax... don't listen too much into the music; just let it flow through yourself, through your consciousness. After that, you won't need my opinions about this album anymore. Noise, chaos, infinity, beauty, darkness, light, pain, harmony, melancholy, rhythm, power, melody, repetition, dissonance, duality and improvisation.