I’ve made no attempt to hide my love of VNV Nation. As much as I’m a metal head, I love some good electronica, industrial, EBM, and dark wave. So when Automatic, the new VNV album, was announced, I immediately felt my ears perk and my focus shift. After all, I’ve been listening to this group for years, so a new album is always an exciting moment. But does Automatic hold up? Check after the jump for the answer.
The album kicks off with On-Air, an eerily beautiful instrumental track layered on top of radio/TV static. Sounding like something that would come off a Silent Hill soundtrack, I was already hooked and anticipating each coming track. This paid off immediately with the next track, Space And Time, a mid-tempo track that got my feet tapping and my head bobbing along.
The production is fantastic. The bass thumps right where it needs to while sparkling synths fill in the top end beautifully. Each song makes use of new patches, pads, and tones, making this an album that audiophiles will love. Singer Ronan Harris mixes himself in perfectly, adding echo and reverb to his voice only when needed and when it serves a purpose.
Automatic has something for everyone when it comes to electronic and industrial. Control is a hard-hitting track that I guarantee will be remixed and blasted at Factory Monday at Club Necto (my local dance club) in no time. Then, tracks like Goodbye 20th Century or Photon are lush instrumentals, the former being more mellow while the latter is more driving.
The Final Word: Everything you could expect and want from a VNV Nation album and more, Automatic is beautiful, violent, sublime, fierce, and never once holds back. Perfect for club music or a night at home, I’ll be listening to this album for quite a while.