Archive for VNV Nation

Album Review – VNV Nation “Automatic” 2011

Posted in Album Reviews, Sevens to Nines with tags , , , on November 22, 2011 by Lightning Slim

  There is a comforting consistency in VNV Nation’s output of late, even if it comes at the cost of the flashes of brilliance that occasionally brought the house down on earlier releases. While Automatic has no “Beloved” or “Perpetual” to offer, it does deliver the lush, melancholic and melodramatic darkwave (with a generous helping of pop-rave) we’ve come to expect. The usual lyrical suspects are at hand: loneliness and isolation, the corruption of power, the double-edged sword of progress, the utopia/dystopia dichotomy. If you’re not already familiar, think of it as an aural adaptation of Blade Runner produced by Merchant Ivory, or perhaps Gary Numan performing the works of Shaw.

Most of the tracks eschew hypnotic repetition in favour of more traditional pop music structures, complete with ballad-style choruses and instrumental breakdowns. Only dance floor single “Control” really bucks the trend of this kinder, gentler VNV by calling back the robotic sparseness of “Chrome” or the heavier passages of Judgement.

Automatic is recommended for any fan who has stayed onboard for the band’s evolution, as it represents another stage of that journey while remaining within familiar territory. Sure, there’s no new showstopper, but the show itself is dependably solid. 7 out of 10

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Deals and Steals – Checklist Domination

Posted in Deals & Steals with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2010 by Lightning Slim

  There are a few items on this month’s CD shipment from Second Spin that I’ve been looking for since I first heard them. All prices U$, unless otherwise noted:

Flyleaf – Flyleaf $8.99. I was intrigued by Lacey’s vocals on the new Apocalyptica record, so I picked this up. Second disc contains an acoustic set of a half-dozen album tracks.

Die Krupps – Metalmorphosis of Die Krupps ’81-’92 $7.99. I’ve all but given up on finding the (I) record from Jurgen Engler’s primary industrial project – luckily this Cleopatra Records compilation has several tunes from that era onboard.

VNV Nation – Empires $7.99. The record that broke the futurepop sound wide open.

Prong – Power of the Damager FREE due to Second Spin promotion. Latter-day Prong fortified with Ministry-style industrial heft.

Even though the Prong was free, the big haul of the week was found at The Beat Goes On – they got me a copy of Messiah:

  Fan-club only release by Godflesh was re-released with additional dub remixes in 2003, but still not the easiest find. Awesome stuff- fits chronologically into the Pure era. It was also free, thanks to a full stamp card. My addiction has a few small perks!

Deals and Steals: Juggling Genres

Posted in Deals & Steals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2010 by Lightning Slim

  This shipment from Second Spin is all over the place. Those fine folks missed two of my selections (Eluveitie and Suicidal!) due to an online inventory problem, and actually went to the trouble of emailing me an apology and a coupon. Not bad! Here we go, prices in Cashitos Americanos with nada shipping :

VNV Nation – Of Faith, Power and Glory $8.99. Electronica masterminds continuing down the path of pop.

Prong – Scorpio Rising $4.99. Good price on a “lost” record. Review is already up!

Junkie XL – Radio JXL: A Broadcast from the Computer Hell Cabin $8.99. This is the Koch records version, which I’ve been looking for since I found out my Roadrunner version omits the Elvis remix on the disc pressing. Further inspection reveals other serious differences in tracklists. Stuck with keeping both!

Insane Clown Posse – Bang! Pow! Boom! $7.99. It’s fine. I’m an aficionado of pop culture. It’s not like I go to the Juggalo Gathering or anything. It’s fine.

Behemoth – Evangelion $8.99. Decent pricing on digipak with bonus DVD. Heavy as shit, too.

Deicide – Best of Deicide $7.99. Glen Benton’s contributions to Roadrunner United provoked some curiosity to hear more.

Ozzy Osbourne – Essential Ozzy Remastered $10.99. Nice selection of goodies when the mood strikes to remember when he was a working musician.

And the big enchilada of my unwittingly latin-flavoured batch of spiciness:

  Excessive Force – Conquer Your World $8.99. If you’re a KMFDM fan or someone who wished the recording of the early side-projects was better, rest assured the remasters coming out of Metropolis records are serious improvements with bonus tracks, better artwork and extensive liner notes.

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