Visual Audio Sensory Theater



by C20H25N3O USER (17 Reviews)
August 19th, 2006 | 20 replies

Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Let me start by saying VAST (Or Jon Crosby) is a very slept on Artist. Beneath all of the faces in Mainstream Industrial such as Nine Inch Nails, Stabbing Westward and others. VAST sits there, with his loyal fan base who praise this album like it was the work of a superhuman. Well, the album is great. It establishes a genuinely dark mood, and balances it out with some light moments.

I remember being reminded of that movie "The Beach", Y'know, the one with Leonardo DiCaprio, well I remembered a song they played in the previews, I remembered some lyrics and found out it was VAST. So I had to check it out.

The Song was "Touched" and it starts out modest with a nice little Acoustic Guitar. But what made the song cool and original was the sample of a chant that played throughout the song. Add some Electric Guitar and emotion, and you've got the lead single off of the album. Jon has some nice lyrics in the song in this song and throughout the entire album.

The albums other single "Pretty When You Cry" is a harsh and brutally honest that is flat out about having sex with a girl and ruining her innocence seen through the eyes of an abusive and cruel boyfriend. With the same chant as "Touched" just with a lower tone and speed Jon says the extremely harsh:

"I didn't really love you baby
I didn't really love you
I didn't really love you, but I'm pretty when I lie

The albums shining moment seems to be "Dirty Hole" which starts out with a dark and creepy organ, until, yep, another chant. This one really complements the rest of the song well, the song is actually kind of serious and funny at the same time. Look at the title, let your mind be in the gutter.. That's exactly what the song is about. It just flat out seems to be about a Prostitute or a Slut.

"As I spread her thighs
My life flashes before my eyes
Soothing, disturbing
I'm intoxicated with fear

How many men have died
In your dirty hole?

Meanwhile there is an old chant throughout the song is saying "How many dead men, God? Uh Huh." The album blends all of the great qualities of the album.

However the album is far more than putting down Prostitution. The album has a lot of peaceful, beautiful songs. "Flames" is widely regarded as the best song on the album by fans. This is because of the extremely beautiful Violin throughout the song. It's the typical beautiful song that many guys just connect to their girlfriend. It's got the same old "I shall never leave" lyrics, but by no means is it unoriginal. The nicest song on the album.

Another pretty mellow song is "The Niles Edge" which features more chanting samples and mellow instrumentation. But for my money, the most beautiful song is "Untitled" an instrumental (not counting the chants) that combines a soothing guitar and even more soothing chants, an upbeat song that ventures out of VAST's Goth/Industrial Zone.

The only problem I have with the album is "Somewhere Else To Be" which is a little generic and whiny for my taste, and really adds nothing to the table. Even the chants are below average for a VAST song.

"Here" is the most traditional rock song on the album. Starts out quiet. The lyrics seem to be about loss and regrets. And the music is excellent, no real chanting :( but it's still a great song.

"I'm Dying" is a really nifty song that starts out with Chanting (yess) and really showcases Jon's voice when he shouts

"Not one day goes by
That I don't know
That I'm dying

He really belts it out and it's an album highlight for me. The song is just about struggling with Religion and whether he truly believes in God.

Another great song is "Three Doors" which is steadily energetic and has more great lyrics from Jon Crosby. "Temptation" features the return of the chant, which is once again utilized very well in the song. It is also filled with a very foreign sounding guitar, and more emotional shouting from Jon.

The album ends on a very moving moment with "You", one of those songs that makes you well up a little if you're in the right mood. It's just plain and simple about death; going to the funeral of a loved one to be exact. It's sad, but it's beautiful at the same time.

If you look around, it's rare to See Visual Audio Sensory Theater get anything less than a 5 and almost impossible to see any less than a 4.5. I don't consider it the classic that most do, but there is no denying that it is a beautiful and unique album that most likely won't ever be duplicated (Even by VAST). This album seems to get buried under the other great albums of '98 (Mezzanine, Music Has The Right To Children, Moon Safari, and Even You've Come A Long Way Baby) but it is a wonderful find.

Amazing Lyrics
Very Good Production
Very Beautiful overall
If you are a fan of chanting, this might be the greatest album ever for you.

Some songs sound a bit alike.
If you are not a fan of chanting, you may not like this album.
The hype surrounding this album is outrageous, even though it's a wonderful album, I was expecting it to rape my top 10 list, and it didn't. It may disapoint if you have very high hopes.

Recommended Tracks
"Dirty Hole"
"I'm Dying"


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Comments:Add a Comment 
August 20th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

It was in my personal top ten of reviews to do, so i did it.

The Sludge
August 20th 2006


There was a song I've heard from these guys that was on MTV2 a while ago, about some sort of spiderweb, and someone exploding in the end. Forgot the name, but from what I remember, the song was pretty good.

August 21st 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Too many review sites compare VAST to NIN. I think this makes people hate this album when they realize, in fact, VAST does NOT sound like NIN. I was so happy you did not make this comparision in your review.

When you take into account this album is varied, utilitzes several different insturments, shows no fear when tackling subjects like religion and abuse and all of this is done by ONE guy you start to realize that this album is impressive even if you're not a fan.

August 22nd 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

I think people compare him to Trent because he's industrial, and he does most of the work himself. But musically, they don't have a lot in common

December 26th 2008


wow i love his songs they are good =]

June 19th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

Forgot about this band after this album. Just saw them live...AMAZING.

June 23rd 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

Can't forget how great this album is

June 29th 2009


Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

but it isn't...

January 13th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

Such a shame how much VAST have declined, and how they never really broke the glass ceiling. But this is a fantastic album, especially the highlights like Flames and Dirty Hole.

January 13th 2010


Album Rating: 3.0

Listened to this. It was decent, but I expected more. Flames and Dirty Hole are great, especially Flames.

February 3rd 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

I love this album.

Oh, and the 'violin' in 'Flames' is actually a cello, which sounds pretty different since it's several octaves lower.

February 5th 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

i dont understand why this album isnt more loved on this site. Great album!!

September 6th 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

I can't help but enjoy every song on this album. Even if you're of the opinion that there are too many chants used just look at "Dirty Hole" and how well they co-exist and improve the ambiance; and cello on "Flames" is just amazing.

May 3rd 2011


I cannot note sources, but I'm reasonably certain that "Pretty When You Cry" was actually written from HER perspective, not his. That is why the hottie in the video is doing the singing, and the nerdy, gloved guy is, presumably, Jon. A great song regardless, but definitely has more heft when the listener knows " that (it) is flat out about having sex with a boy and ruining his innocence, seen through the eyes of an abusive and cruel girlfriend."

May 4th 2011


Album Rating: 4.5

Listening to this again while studying/writing, it's still superb.

December 12th 2011


Album Rating: 4.5

Agree i love rediscovering this everytime it pops up in my album shuffles

August 2nd 2012


Album Rating: 5.0

Great Album of VAST. track one is perfect.

March 8th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

I've been obsessed with this album lately. The opening track always blows me away, as does "Flames" and "Dirty Hole."

Staff Reviewer
October 25th 2018


Was this the guy that had that song, I think it was "Touched", on The Beach's OST or was it on a trailer? That track was gold.

October 7th 2023


Touched is one of the greatest songs ever made and I’m tired of pretending it’s not

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