VNV NATION
EMPIRES
ALBUM MINDBASE, ENERGY RELEASE: NOVEMBER 8, 1999 REVIEW: DECEMBER 2, 1999


Iím blown away!
The improvement of VNV Nation is remarkable. The improvement of the EBM genre too. Covenant, Apoptygma Berzerk, Neuroactive and VNV Nation are all examples of bands that have chosen paths leading to a more melodic sound, still with that hard, compact body foundation. The result, at least when it comes to Mark Jackson and Ronan Harris of VNV Nation, is better, much better than I could ever dream of.
"Empires" is the glorious "Praise the Fallen" follower. Only the fact that itís even better than itís predecessor impresses me wildly. I liked "Praise the Fallen" very much. I love "Empires".
They will have a hard time picking the next single, due February 2000, because of the consequently dance floor friendly, chorus strong and perfectly produced material. The fast tempo of the album is beautifully interrupted halfway through by "Distant (Rubicon II)", only to continue with world class EBM-techno-dance until the closing track "Arclight", a perfect ending to an almost perfect album. Ronanís voice suits this kind of music like sock fits a foot and the lyrics deal with the usual stuff.
While waiting for the new Apoptygma Berzerk and Covenant albums, this satisfy me more than enough. In fact, Iíd be surprised if either of the two even came close to VNV Nationís masterpiece. Try listening to "Kingdom", a display of EBM evolution, and youíll know why Iím so excited. "Empires": A 51 minute orgasm.

NIKLAS FORSBERG


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