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Vauxdvihl - To Dimension Logic CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.26 | 40 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars The 90s was a strange period for metal bands especially in the earlier part of the decade when 80s bands were jettisoning their respective styles in droves in the hopes of fitting into the new "alternative" universe that caught them off guard when grunge stole the show. While many 80s bands would just call it a day, many popular names like Metallica, Extreme and Queensryche would totally drop the sounds that made them popular and jump onto the alternative metal bandwagon but never really fit in with their 90s contemporaries. VAUXDVIHL was a unique act from this time period in that it actually pulled off the perfect tightrope act of balancing 80s progressive metal with the darker more Gothic alternative side of the 90s. The band was founded in 1992 by guitarist and songwriter Fab Gallen in Melbourne, Australia who formed his band at the perfect time to cross-pollinate the possibilities of progressive metal with alternative and developed the fusion style he lays out on the band's debut release TO DIMENSION LOGIC.

This album shows off the obvious progressive leaning metal bands of the late 80s with Queensryche and Fates Warning instantly coming to mind with the high register vocal style of Gallen and the jittery off-kilter time signature jumps and the overall complexity of the compositions. There are also moments that bring Dream Theater's "Images And Words" as an obvious reference point as well, however for all these obvious hero worshipping elements, the music on TO DIMENSION LOGIC is infinitely darker and has a murky grey cloud lingering over it much bringing darker worlds much like the album cover suggests. While there are plenty of proggy metal riffs complete with virtuosic solos and complex leaps of chord juggling, VAUXDVIHL add a thick layer of atmospheric mood altering ambience to their sound. This is especially true on the slower acoustic passages and the segments with whispered female vocals.

In addition to the progressive metal compositions and brooding atmospheres, there are snippets of psychedelia where the music lapses into heady meditative arenas where acoustic passages and swirling sounds seem to randomly deviate from the regularly scheduled program but always find the perfect resolution to keep the music from getting too "out there." TO THE DIMENSION is a woefully off the radar progressive metal release from the 90s that seems to have gotten buried under the sheer power of the heavyweights of the era. VAUXDVIHL had all the chops and Gallen's songwriting skills are quite sophisticated for a debut album. Despite a strong debut album, trouble would soon be afoot and three members of the band would depart. Gallen would regroup and release a couple more EPs in the coming years but would steer towards the gothic and industrial rock arenas. TO DIMENSION LOGIC however remains the pearl in their oyster and is highly recommended for fans of Fates Warning, 80s Queensryche or Psychotic Waltz who like a little more dirty grit added to the mix.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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