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Vauxdvihl - Siberian Church Recordings CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.83 | 7 ratings

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4 stars Yes, this is the same Vauxdvihl that released the minor classic To Dimension Logic in 1994. This is one of the two post-TDL EPs they released, with this one coming from a recording session in an abandoned Russian Orthodox church in Siberia, and finally seeing the light of day in 2001. I had absurdly high expectations for this release, stemming from a diehard love of TDL combined with the fact that it took me close to a year of searching to actually track down this album, and it did not disappoint. The first track, 'Plots, (True or False) are a Necessary Thing?', starts in slow, ambient fashion, with a ponderously tolling church bell before exploding into an industrial-tinged progressive metal onslaught. The song is superbly structured, with many changes and moments of tension building to cathartic release. Returning drummer Chris Delov's percussive skills are on display here, and he demonstrates his relentlessly acrobatic and unique style in spades. The other remaining original member, Fabrizio Gallinov (who composed the majority of the material found here), has taken up vocal duties, and he proves to be more than capable, especially in the abstract bridge, where he slowly builds in intensity towards a sustained, tortured cry capable of evoking chills in even the most cynical listener. The track closes with a static-laden vocal passage, sublimely closing the piece.

A simple drum beat opens up 'Isis/Pekt', the next song. Keyboards help to establish a strange, doom-laden sound, before the song kicks into full swing with some impressive bass work courtesy of Blacky. The atmosphere on this track is unparalled, with the myriad instruments interlocking flawlessly towards the common goal of fully immersing the listener. The many tempo changes in this song work wonderfully.

Things calm down a touch with the third track, 'Movement'. Eschewing guitars entirely in favor of soothing synthesizers, it opens with a beautiful piano melody before processed vocals enter in the first verse. Fabrizio really shows his abilities as a vocalist on this track, proving that he can convey emotion with the same skill as, say, Geoff Tate, or Ray Alder. Complemented with Chris' surprisingly tasteful double bass skills, this is a track simply dripping with feeling. 'Summoning' closes the EP in ominous fashion, being comprised of two and a half minutes of eerie, almost organic ambience.

Honestly, this is one of the most unique pieces of music I've heard. It surpassed even my lofty expectations, and I'm glad I took the time to search it out. I'll subtract a point because of the length (a mere 14 minutes), but the music here is near flawless.

metallica_fan32 | 4/5 |


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