Having been a huge VNV fan for many years now, as you can expect I was slowly twitching with anticipation for this latest offering from the electric duo. Promising to harken back to the sounds of VNV past, anticipation was high. The album does deliver on that promise but also fails to make any real impact in the process.
Opener Pro Victoria is an instrumental piece, not unlike something you might hear at the openening of the latest Peter Jackson movie. It builds up slowly, with a somewhat ritualistic sound. It ends with a crescendo, and leads into the next track, Sentinel.
Sentinel is a particular favourite of mine, and is VNV all over. It is a powerful and moving anthem with simply delicous electronics. It reminds me a lot of The Farthest Star, and that can't possibly be bad.
Track 3 is Tomorrow Never Comes. Most of you will have heard this, as it was put forward before the albums release to promote it. I like this track, but I do feel it is missing something. It reaches for the heights of tracks like Chrome and Testament and somewhere along the way it falls short. It is pounding and catchy but lacks that passion of their best work.
The Great Divide is next. This is another favourite of mine, here we see VNV moving into slightly unfamilair territory. I like the fact that TGD sounds far away from anything we heard on the previous two albums. It has a pseudo rock ballad sound, and an uplifting chorus that will have you humming away. A really good song to loose yourself in.
Ghost is the first track here that will instantly jump out at you as sounding like old VNV. I wasn't completley blown away, and I'm still unsure what to think of it. Lyrically it is beautiful, but it doesn't seem to do a whole lot. I feel it is missing a hook, and thus left me feeling a bit indifferent.
Track 6 is the thundering Art of Conflict. I love this track, because of what it isn't rather than what it is, and it isn't typical VNV. This song reminds me of another of my favourite EBM acts, Assemblage 23. The electronics and synths on this song are orgasmic, and the progession of the track will have you sat on the edge of your seat. I do feel that it could have benefited from actual vocals rather than sampled text. Still a very good song.
Next up is Defiant. It opens somewhat similar to earlier track TGD, then moves on in a more bubbly direction. Another song that pulses away with uplifting vocals, it is left in the dark by a few of the better songs on the album, but fits in nicely as something that is simply nice to listen too.
The interestingly titled Verum Æternus is the eigth offering. This track is a grower, and is well worth your time and patience. This song mixes elements of early VNV with something entirely new. The most experimental song on the album, and one of the most affecting. The lyrics here are simply stunning and match that of Dark Angel and Beloved. VNV are the masters of hand waving anthems, and I am positive that of all the tracks here, this will be the one you remember. I can't wait to see this live!
From My Hands is Of Faith, Power & Glory's first real slow pianno ballad. It is a nice way to begin to end the album. It has lovely lyrics but like a few other tracks here, is somewhat lacking. Another song that is nice and pleasant to listen too, but fails to live up to tracks like Illusion or Beloved.
The final track is possibly my favourite on the entire album. Where There is Light is the albums 2nd pseudo rock ballad, but this one manages to tick all the boxes. Memorable and catchy hooks, deep and warm lyrics and a distinct VNV sound. This track is quite unlike anything from them before, especially previous album Judgement. This is one of those songs that will make you smile when you are down, and will be a great set closer when they play live. Such a lovely song!
OK, first things first... if you've gone off VNV after Matter+Form and Judgement, don't worry, this is a MUCH more coherent and pleasing listen than either of those albums. There is no filler and the tracks flow into each other well. The first few tracks are the best start to a VNV album since Empires - Sentinel is anthemic.
My first vnv album.It's very nice.Ronan's voice is so appealing,almost like an irish folk singer in a way,and the music is the right combination of hard and soft electronics,with lovely melodies. I think I need more vnv albums now.
VNV NATION were reccomended to me when i started getting into electro/industrial stuff.This is the first cd of theirs ive bought and consequently there are three more on order ! I was very impressed.Only two tracks of the ten are anything other than sensational if you like this sort of stuff.Ghost and from my hands are slow and melodic , the rest rock. Even the opening track pro victoria short as it is,more of an album intro is stirring.Must be off now to explore further the delights of vnv nation.
This is the best cd yet! As I am more fond of VNV Nations later sound compared to the earlier cds, this is by far the best cd. It has a nice mix of both slower ballads and songs with a bit more beat and power. I really enjoy Ronan's voice on this cd.
If you are just bying one VNV cd, this is the one!