Released: 2001, Independent
It is very hard for me to describe what BOOK OF ILLUSIONS: CHAPTER 1 is as a whole. I do believe that the only person that could give you an accurate description of this piece of art that found its way into my hands a couple of months back is its maker: VLE. But since you’re reading this review I’m going to try anyway!
BOOK OF ILLUSIONS: Chapter 1 is described on the press released that came along with the CD as “Electric Dark Experimental Soundscapes” and as I read on, I found out that this album was never “touched” in the way that the original recording is the final release. VLE has tried to convey a whole facet of his life into music, and thus emotions, thoughts and feelings were blended together into the soundscapes that form the 7 tracks in this third of the entire BOOK OF ILLUSIONS work. The reason why nothing was re-mastered or re-recorded (some of this stuff was recorded using an old 4 track) is because this music was never intended to be heard by anyone, it was a personal matter. This leads me to ask myself if this is what true artistic integrity is, or if this the way music should be, something personal and not something meant to be heard by others people.
Are you curious yet? After hearing the first track “Kano” I was extremely intrigued as to what the rest of the album would be like. “Kano” was indeed powerful, it seemed to me as if the artist known as VLE was trying to show us the end of a cycle and the birth of a new one, the raw atmospheric soundscape that constituted the song was very absorbing and emotional. Without going into a song by song analysis I can tell you that the rest of the album is at the same time just like the opener and very different. Each song has an identity of its own and the way the different instruments are incorporated into the entire universe of sound that is contained in this CD is absolutely mind blowing. I’ve heard a merging of guitars and drums in this music that I don’t think I had heard before; both instruments are in perfect synch along with the voice, which is somewhat, a black/death growl.
At first I would have complained about the low production on this release because sometimes the voice is almost unintelligible, but I don’t think I have the right to do so. After all, this was recorded with improvised material, it was thought of as a reflection of a person’s soul and it has remain unsullied for us to be able to comprehend the depths of a human soul. I don’t think anyone has the right to judge the work of art because it wasn’t recorded with top of the line equipment because BOOK OF ILLUSIONS: CHAPTER 1 puts many… MANY bands I know record in top of the line studios to shame.
Big Props to the man behind the magic and I do hope to be hearing BOOK OF ILLUSIONS: CHAPTER 2 in not too long a time!