VVON DOGMA I – COMMUNION (Self Released)
Out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada comes VVON DOGMA I, a musical creation that is, quite honestly, not for everyone. You have a four-piece band centered around the singer’s (ChaotH) *ahem* NINE- STRING BASS.
Putting aside the Victor Wooten (look him up) class wizardry you would need to wield this giant beast of a bass, you can immediately appreciate what this band is about without hearing a single note. Putting an eight string guitar in the same band as a nine string bass is just weird. I mean, adding to the natural distortion of a bass that low? What’s the point, right? It’s an abomination, right? Right?
Wrong. It actually works pretty well. Chaoth is a M-A-S-T-E-R at what he does on the bass. At not a single point does he sink to the lower three strings, to prove how djent he can be, for more than ten seconds, and never does he get too noodly to enjoy what’s going on. The guy can fuckin’ PLAY a bass.
What I immediately noticed with the Communion EP was that all the songs (there are four) sounded really well rounded. They self label themselves as “prog funk djent.” I’m not entirely sure what that means, but what it SOUNDS like is the unholy child of Les Claypool and Meshuggah. Just picture that for a second.
You’ll then have to throw out said image when I tell you about Chaoth’s voice, which, unlike the mighty Meshuggah, doesn’t go screamy for even a second. When listening to this band, yes, you picture those bands, but then you add in a bit of Devin Townsend, which adds a completely different dimension. Chaoth’s vocals are ethereal, trailing, and pure, which really made the whole thing really listenable, despite it’s constantly changing time signatures.
Ok, throw everything out, and picture a progressive, djenty kind of My Dying Bride. Ok, yeah, that’s a much better way to think about it!
They have a video for the EP’s title track, which has a very sultry woman doing her thing, and this band performing in a church, which, to me, is very cool. Listening to the song “Lithium Blue” continues this journey efficiently, because along with “Communion,” the songs are a little on the slow side, and very mathy, so what you get is a listenable sound that you have to appreciate. I’d like to see them play live, because watching their video gives me the impression that, while they’re VERY on the progressive side, they have this sort of insanity to them that would make them not boring to watch, thus saving them from what I now call “Deafheaven Syndrome.”
Here’s the hitch in their giddyup, though:
While I can appreciate that the band was created around Chaoth’s behemoth of a bass, it was clearly the chief goal in the disk’s creation that the bass take center stage. And while I like the songs, the mix sort of brought it down a little for me, which was unfortunate. I REALLY like the music, but the bass being at the forefront of every song is why I think of it as a cardinal rule that you always have someone else’s ear on the mix and again on the mastering, so that nothing takes over the mix, and the song “Communion” is a prime example of that.
Outside of that, I really like this band. I hope that in the future, these guys master what they’re going for, because I see great things in their future. If I could give them some advice, too, it would be to have someone outside the band mix their next album. For all this, I give “The Communion EP” a hard 3.7 out of 5.
FFO: My Dying Bride, Meshuggah, Primus, Devin Townsend Project
Chaoth – bass, vocals
Blaise B. Léonard – Synths and Violin
Yoan Marier-Proulx – Guitar
Kevin Alexander – Drums
3. Lithium Blue
4. The Mask
Written by Hobbes Caltous for Bloodrock Media, October 19, 2017