Vvon Dogma I – The Kvlt of Glitch Review

The Kvlt of Glitch pushes a fusion of EDM-pulsing industrial metal colliding with wantonly djent and noodling progressive metal. The more than qualified ChaotH (Humanoid), formerly of the departed Canadian darlings  Unexpect, steers Vvon Dogma I through this blasphemous foray. Back in 2011, Unexpect left an unforgettable squirm in my listening bank with Fables of the Sleepless Empire, a glitchy, wild, and frantically baroque prog extravaganza that, unfortunately, did not fall into critical success. Vvon Dogma I is not Unexpect. An x-ray of this new form reveals a familiar skeleton, including Blaise Borboën’s violin scatter and ChaotH’s otherworldly bass pulse, but the robotic heartbeat throbs in different ways. Is it better? Take a moment to let go of your expectations and give in to the Kvlt.

Vvon Dogma I synthesizes familiar touch points from various genres and past lives to express an overcharged, cyberpunk, frustrated hero’s journey. Triumphant melodies discharge the pressurized and sinister energy of hypnotic and oblong early Bong-Ra (“The Void,” “Hivemind”). In this new mutated state, frenetic and crackling statements flow through electrified and tap-happy djent, similar to the most industrial of efforts from Animals as Leaders (“Day of the Dead”) with an extra ‘uns uns’ and ‘wub wub’—if you’ve never thought that ‘uns uns’ and ‘wub wub’ belong in metal, think again. And fittingly, an organic voice doesn’t comply with Kvlt, so ChaotH shrouds his recitations in vocoder-like layers and further manipulation, reminiscent of angelic Cynic passages but also in practice akin to modern synthpop treatments like the recklessly pitch-shifted and chaotically harmonized Alice Glass. Both lightshows and air guitar equally apply.

Nevertheless, densely layered, adventurous, and, most importantly, metal compositions define the warped landscape that Vvon Dogma I carves with restless technicality. ChaotH’s bass presence knows few equals, with his 9-string bass riding King Crimson-like tap gymnastics (“Triangles and Crosses,” “Lithium Blue”) while thundering down heavily with slap and thump as needed (“Hurt”). And though he’s more of a fixture here than he was with Unexpect,1 Kvlt comes together equally under his companions, with Yoan Marier-Proulx’s guitar lines embracing a Scale the Summit level exuberance (“Tabula Rasa”) and Borboën’s omnipresent synthcraft—even his violin contributions sound modulated—defining key builds and melodies (“The Void,” “The Great Maze”). And when the whole act comes together for lashings of coordinated groove, like the chorus of “Day of the Dead” or the ascended Fear Factory assault of “One Eye,” the Kvlt demands heads to bang—or shuffle them feet, your call.

In a move that’s as retro 90s as it is modern, Vvon Dogma I utilizes tight and booming master to pump Kvlt loud and proud, an atypical, fugal wall of sound. Rather than a Strapping Young Lad style chaotic industrial blast, Vvon Dogma I, in an Unexpected move, spreads interweaving voices across the spectrum allowing arpeggiated synth melodies to cross and unify with dry bass dialogues and virtuosic guitar cut-ins (“Triangles and Crosses,” “Lithium Blue”). The intro to “2+2=5” does crackle a bit, yet the fractured refrain carries well against the crumbling sanity that the song embodies, allowing the number also to be the bounciest of the bunch. And on the tracks that borrow chiptune-related sounds (“Hurt” featuring this prominently), the crinkly volume goes a long way in emulating speakers turned up on a TV not built to handle them, particularly on “The Great Maze” which has all the vampiric character of a Castlevania boss battle.

It’s eerie that Vvon Dogma I has struck my listening wiles at just about the same time as last year’s OU release, a similarly electronic-influenced triumph of modern progressive metal. Vvon Dogma I, however, embraces the aggressive and alien nature to where this genre collision can lead, breaking that code only with an unaltered human voice making an appearance for brief verse near the album’s end. From a promising debut EP six years ago to this fully realized The Kvlt of Glitch, ChaotH and crew have taken their time sowing the seeds for orchestrated maximalism in the soil tilled by a comparatively bare-bones beginning. 2 The path has been challenging for this new Canadian juggernaut, but now awakened in their futuristic glory Vvon Dogma I has positioned themselves to emerge victorious in a way past efforts did not. Worship noise, don leather straps and desert goggles, turn down the lights—the Kvlt will consume you.

Rating: 4.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Self Release
Website: vvondogmai.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/vvondogmai
Releases Worldwide: May 5th, 2023

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Not that “Words” isn’t an all-timer.
  2. Check the EP version “Lithium Blue” to current.
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