Videl is a project of Mr. Videl Velsmord, a multimedia-artist who works with sound, paintings, photography and graphic design. He's released a couple of albums and various shorter works under this name, the first one being published in '07. Whereas his other releases have been constructed of various shorter tracks, this one's a sixty-five minutes long one-track monolith. The album is limited to 1100 CD-copies in a slim DVD-case, with a small amount of them coming in a special packaging with lots of extra material (both aural and physical).
The album opens up with slow, massive and heavy beating, which soon changes to quiet layers of dark and minimalistic ambient. The entwining slug-paced sounds evolve little by little, and by the song hitting 20 minutes they've gone through a brief moment of coarser abrasion, and have grown thin a coat of cold and echoing industrial over them. The minimalistic coldness and desolation continues its slow journey towards the inevitable end though tiny mutations and changes, until by fifty minutes in the song has become more concrete; the ambient droning's a bit harsher, and there's some additional human voice and echoed effects here and there to make the atmospheres deeper. Yet, it was until the last ten minutes when I begun to actually like the soundscape; some louder fog horn-like notes create a calm and soft, yet simultaneously noisy and disturbing outro for the album. I just can't see why they're so much louder than the rest of the song. The last couple minutes of the album consist of similar bassy beats as its intro did, drawing the circle to a close.
When an album's atmosphere is so tightly focused on cold and desolate nothingness, it can be seen as a plus that it doesn't sound living or too man-made. There are some problems, though, which mostly relate to how the soundscape's been executed. The different sounds (some classical, some industrial, some plain ambient) are mostly mashed together in a way that eats away detail; it works to create the feel of nothingness, certainly, but also eats away the actual enjoyability, or moreso the factors that keep the listener acute while the album's playing. There is some more concrete sounds here and there, most notably nearing the album's end, but that's just too little - especially since they're mostly some really usual lengthened and echoing synth-notes we've all heard before.
The main problem, however, is not in the album sounding too basic, safe or slowly evolving per se, but in the way the details and different sounds have meen mixed together. The main mass of ambient sound tends to be all mid-tones, too flattened and too quiet, whereas the individual more prominent elements are way louder than they should be. There is very little of actually functioning dynamics; just droning masses, and sounds that oddly stick out from them. It sounds like I'm entirely bashing the album, but the regular edition's visual side gives no reasons for joy either; the cover image looks like absolutely nothing. The blue-hued back cover is way more stylish, though.
I can see why someone who's a fan of quiet, desolate and cold soundscapes would fancy this album, but for me it comes out as an immature and in the end rather uninteresting piece of work. It was created in three nights (aside of the mixing & mastering), and if more time would've been given into crafting it, the results might be a lot more interesting. I also see no proper reason why the track was crafted into a one singular entity, when even three or four separate tracks created from the song's elements would've given the album a lot more variation and depth. The one-track way of composing makes the listening experience a more continuous and uninterrupted one, certainly, but in this case it makes the album sound like mere background music. That's all.