Review by MK
Book of Illusions: Chapter III
To understand the concept of VLE here's a quotation from the band's info: Book Of Illusions: Chapter III: "...all works were created through strict use of experimentation... noise, chaos, infinity, beauty, darkness, light, pain, harmony, melancholy... are all concepts expressed herein...". Therefore it's obvious that Chapter III, just like its predecessors Chapter I and Chapter II, is one of the most interesting albums of the past few years. Besides distorted voices and only a few singing parts Book of Illusions... mainly is an instrumental album including and evoking a lot of different emotions, created by acoustical and classical guitarwork, melancholic and minor scales reminding of old Katatonia up to Black Metal like interrupts. With such a wide variety of different influences it's more than clear that where there's light, there's also some shadow. Especially the Black Metal parts are not always capable to counterpoint the melancholic basis of the album. Nonetheless tracks like Ancient Song Set Ablaze, Fornever or Now You Cry are great and emotional songs even revealing a close proximity to the neofolk-scene. Taking the time and intensively listening to the album, especially by using headphones, you'll surely be enthusiastic about it.
Book of Illusions: Chapter I & II
To describe VLE's music in an adequate way is a hopeless case and even comparisons to well known bands lack of any basis. Somehow metal, perhaps in the vein of older Katatonia, but on the other hand not. Flowing compositions full of grace, melancholy and introversion, that invite us to dream, while Chapter I, being the more metallic edge of the Book of Illusions, stands in contrast to Chapter II, being the more instrumental one, being dominated by keyboards. But more than traditional songwriting The VLE's aim is to display the muscial representation of different kinds of moods, whether it be the colourful beauty of a sundown, chaotic disorder or his personal view on beauty and darkness. Most of the songs are first takes, founded on improvisation and bringing across an intensity that only can be found in the magic of the moment. This is the real strength of the album because The VLE succeeded in banning this magical moment on tape, keeping it alive for posterity, although just being his personal point of view. But who doesn't like to dream or drift away into his emotions? Observing VLE one has to recognize that there's a high grade of agreement between his or her emotions and the artistical work of VLE. Simply a unique and bewitching kind of music full of passion and grace.