Tuesday, 23 October 2018

VNV Nation "Noire" (2018)


Admittedly I had fallen behind with VNV Nation. Of Faith Power And Glory is the last record of theirs I own, that was almost over ten years ago! It is long overdue and I return to a lengthy album, over seventy minutes of new material that does not fly far from the nest, or even leave it. Every song sounds sweetly akin to a style perfected many years ago. It is only the a lone piano piece, Chopin cover, Nocturne No. Seven, that has any distinct resemblance to any theme portrayed by the name Noire.

The other twelve tracks are a keen collection of aptly tuned, finely crafted intelligent pop songs, structured through inspiration and channeled with aesthetic synth tones that pay eternal homage to Kraftwerk through layered arrangements of oscillated notation. That connection only struct me now as Ive only known of the German outfits legacy for a few years now. The track Guiding is a percussion less interlude piece that may in one moment show shades of a dusky Noire but can't help reach an uplifting stride through its warm and empowering string section that casts its light upon the music like rays of beaming light breaking through overcast clouds.

Its the one thing I can't put my finger on. As in the name, victory not vengeance, VNV Nation are continually uplifting, resolute and principled. This is the expectant working out of thought and lifes emotions through intelligent lyricism and sharp, crisp music. With a contagious dance thud and dose of inspired pop melody they stand with composed, broad shoulders, singing with sincerity as the atmosphere rises around them. None if it seems to verge towards anything resembling 40s Noire

Like many of their previous records VNV tend to dip toes into the various degrees of their formulae. Impresed leans into their meaner, Industrial side with a focus on the pounding beat. Collide rises itself from a longing sadness. Lights Go Out drives home a hook for the club life and Only Satellites reaches its arms to the sky in a eutrophic wander. Its all shades of a design they know all to well, soft airy and choral synths building atmosphere around dance-able EBM beats executed again with a familiar fondness but also made greater by absence. It does feel like little has changed.

Favorite Tracks: Armour, God Of All, Lights Go Out, Only Satalites
Rating: 7/10

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