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VNV Nation

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Album Review

The serene opening instrumental simply titled "Prelude" may not give any clue that thudding drum machines will dominate soon. Instead, it paints a perfect, widescreen picture of how huge and ambitious VNV Nation's seventh effort Judgement is, while also warning that this album is not afraid to be soft. Fans of the gritty and gutsy early days may think this another sub-Depeche Mode effort, and there is no hint VNV has any desire to chase them. Adjust your expectations accordingly and the up-tempo numbers — most stretching past the five-minute mark — do not disappoint. Strong tracks like "Testament" and "Descent" flex their muscles with ominous power and melodies that are instant and probably a bit too friendly for the Ministry set or anyone looking for the industrial blasts found on VNV's debut, Empires. Of course, heartfelt tracks like the lazy and drifty "Illusion" would be impossible on their early albums. Here, they're the ones that make the whole package so well rounded when dropped between the band's tried and true darkwave club music. The lyrics are free of metaphor for the most part and uncomplicated, maybe to a fault. Still, they get their distraught and disappointed message across and sit on intricate, layered arrangements of synths, sequencers, and drum machines. VNV still work just fine in dark clubs, but with bold personal moments and grand soundscapes, Judgement works even better at home when given full attention.

Customer Reviews

The more time has passed, the more I appreciate this album

I remember the Judgement Tour from 2007. I was unsure of what to think of this album. Like most of you I was expecting Judgement to be something that would have the catchy, epic feel of Empires. Now I realize it's because I wanted to experience what older fans recieved when Empires was released. But they were probably unsure of Empires as well, and maybe wanted something that sounded like PTF. Little did I realize of how innovative lyrically and sonically I was wittnessing VNV unfold during this time in their career.

Judgement is to me a concept album about "karma", but that word doesn't sound as dramatic or heavy as "Judgement" to descirbe the moral imbalance of the world. Each song revolving around how we are judged or how we judge others and the actions that unfold because of these perceptions: How we must face them, how they are difficult sometimes, how they can make us become stronger, how we are blind to see opportunities for change, and how we should be taking some of it more seriously. All the songs say something along these lines, but the Intro and the Outro are there to make us wonder of what we -are about to hear/ just heard.

Sonically, this albums does approach new ground for VNV with the use of distorted tremelo leads and swooping filtering synths in the background and heavy organic drum samples that are present on all the vocal songs. Of all there albums, Judegement is among one of my favorites production-wise. To really appreciate the album as a whole, it's better suited with a good pair of headphones than out loud from a speaker.

I was browsing through iTunes, thinking about this album and thought I'd write something about it. Enjoy

It was Great EBM Album

I hear Illusion by VNV Nation, it kind of sad


Formed: 1990 in London, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The electronic project VNV ("Victory Not Vengeance") Nation was conceived in London in 1990 by Ronan Harris, debuting in May of that year with the 12" "Body Pulse." "Strength of Youth" followed a few months later, and at the end of the year Harris relocated to Toronto, where VNV Nation opened for Nitzer Ebb on their Canadian tour. After moving back to Europe, Harris released only a handful of compilation tracks in the years to follow before signing with the German label Discordia in 1995 to issue...
Full Bio

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