The farthest Star 
Secluded Spaces
Carry you 
As it fades





Ronan Harris  - Electronics, lyrics, vocals

Mark Jackson  - drums


VNV NATION: "Judgement"  vnv nation       anachronsounds/   metropolis records (North America)


promoted by Hardbeat Promotion


two reviews: by dalia di giacomo and Steve Rautner


review  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo ___             


"This feeling is no sadness, this feeling is no joy" 


The Day of Judgment will come as a thief at night. As a thief, VNV Nation's "Judgement" brings you in an electronic dance/industrial world which is actually full of feeling and emotionalism. "Judgement" is multilayered, mainly melancholic, very mature, sensitive, and, above all, very comprehensive of the British and German electronic synhtpop/futurepop schools, although it is really difficult to label something of this production as pop , even not in the immediate hooks and clearness of the vocals. These are not the mainstream pop vocals normally broadcasted by the most common radio channels. Indeed the alternative dance clubs represent a community  by its own very bound with the Goth  scene. "Judgement" is a  refined expression of this culture. It is pure danceable Alternative New Wave Goth Electro with some light decent orchestral sustain. Melodies are very underlined and bleak. Comparisons with Wolfsheim and Melotron  can be thrown on the table, in particular  for what concerns the concept of eternal underground melancholy. Danceable doesn't mean that this album cannot be a companion for moments of romantic scent or inner  introspection. The weight of a futuristic mighty  yet gloomy vision is smoothed by arpeggiated synth melodies, very affordable rhythms and a retro inspiration that brings us back to the lost fascination of the beginning of the past  century. And even if you are extreme metallers you cannot escape that sense of heart-breaking solitude and suffered  farewell given by the track 8 Illusion, one of the best of this album, if not the best tout- court for me. And a sense of nostalgia too that will  be prolonged by the successive song Carry you, actually based on patterns that seems jump  out  from rave and pop style, but encapsulated then in a strong-minded core. That's what makes the difference with pop, in my opinion, ...and the message is different for different people. Angelic sadness and blessed tearfulness is all what the short outro conceives. Like a final redemption and rest. But already the cover- art and the intro Prelude let us understand at once the more ethereal incorporeal direction of the album. There is anyway strength throughout "Judgement", often masked as crystalline flavor, like in Prelude indeed, thanks to the very advanced synth techniques (modular and hardware).  Full of horizons and far from turmoil of violence, "Judgement" begins and the promise is kept. The farthest Star has very underlined midtempo cadenced beats, but the perception of metaphysical disappointment just kicks in and will be a common line in all songs. A harsh reproach to society is the propaganda of Testament. Among synthetic beats and catchy hooks, the lyrics swim perfectly in pace. But the fact is that these are one of the best lyrics you can listen to:


...wasting time like we 've all the time in the world...

we conquer paradise just to burn it to the ground

and we build a future to horror pasts we left behind...

we bring destruction, we bring war without an end

and then we live in hope that tomorrow never comes...


Descent is the actual manifestation of retributive power (.."as though the Angel of Death himself had been unleashed to exact a punishment upon this world..). It is very menacing, claustrophobic, with industrial contours and effects of synthetic torsion. Vocals are almost spoken and low timbered. It is electro-threat with a great spell on the percussive side. Momentum holds the same conceptual lines only carry them over the bridge of ostinato techno electro/rave-y with a long instrumental intro. Nemesis is maybe the only contrast with the overall sorrowful atmosphere of the album: it's enterprising, fast with clear elements of techno metal, expressing almost  the satisfaction in the ultimative nemesis and indeed here are the words that crown the "concept" of the album "Judgement day's not coming soon enough". After the nemesis, peacefully and almost  transcendental commences Secluded Spaces. The second part  of the album reach out its hand and brings us doleful liberation, a dolorous but somehow justified farewell. Although there shouldn't be unhappiness because "this feeling is no sadness, this feeling is no joy" 


Rating: 8,5/10 



dalia di giacomo  15.07.2007


review  by Steve "The Rev. Istvan" Rautner ___  


Not afraid of the future


Well, I wanted to write about something different and "Judgement" is just that. Electronic / Emo is how I might categorize this. Overall it is an enjoyable and very listenable CD, not common to electronic. The lyrics are clear and well thought out, portraying a intelligent and well read audience and writers. 

"Prelude" is a slow intro to the album, leading to a upbeat Farthest Star, We process the power... To change the world... (one of my favorites)

We Conquer Paradise just to burn it to the Ground. 

Interesting crafted and described #3 "Testament", wants to paint a bleak world at war.
#4 "Descent" is a slower song, the first on the CD. Almost a narrative to a world gone mad.
#5 "Momentum" starts slow but gains momentum, kind of repetitive Techno dance tune. 
#6 "Nemisis" is another good song, energetic “where chaos replaces order”
#7 "Secluded Spaces" is the CDs second slow song
#8 "Illusion" has a thoughtful and almost majestic piano intro, and doesn't really gain any speed making it another slow song for the album. A lot for this band but deliberate.
#9 "Carry You" returns with another danceable tune, ...truth you find in your adversity's will defend you..., another favorite of mine.
#10 "As it Fades" is the last entry on this creative endeavor and as it winds down an almost Angelic choirs carry's you peacefully to the end.

Not really my style of music but a refreshing change of pace. I am always impressed with creativity and music that evolves. Showing that the artist is not afraid of the future and bending the rules of music. 


Rating: 7,5/ 10 


Steve Rautner   09.07.2007


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