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Music / VNV Nation

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VNV Nation is an Electronic Music project which has made work in multiple genres; predominantly Electronic Body Music, Futurepop (both of which are subgenres of Industrial), and Synth-Pop.

Their first albums; Advance And Follow and Praise The Fallen had a sound best described as "Symphonic EBM." Their breakthrough album, Empires, evolved the sound by incorporating the influence of Trance music. The result was the Trope Codifier for Futurepop and many still consider Empires the best Futurepop album ever made. The following album, Futureperfect, increased the trance influence slightly, leading some of their fanbase to argue They Changed It, Now It Sucks!. Afterwards, the album Matter + Form was released; the album demonstrated a more 'retro' sound based on vintage analog synthesizers and incorporated more Synth-Pop influence than usual. Judgment; released in 2007, continued this trend but with more frequent nods towards the groups Industrial heritage. Ditto for 2010's Of Faith, Power, and Glory.

In 2012, the band played at the first Gothic Meets Klassik in Leipzig, which marked the first time they performed with an orchestral ensemble. They recorded their performance to be released, but the resulting recording was deemed unusable. This led to their next album, Resonance, released in 2015.


  • Advance and Follow (1995)
  • Praise the Fallen (1998)
  • Empires (1999)
  • Futureperfect (2002)
  • Matter + Form (2005)
  • Judgement (2007)
  • Of Faith, Power and Glory (2009)
  • Automatic (2011)
  • Transnational (2013)
  • Resonance: Music for Orchestra Vol. 1 (2015)
  • Noire (2018)
  • Electric Sun (2023)

This band's music provides examples of:

  • Album Title Drop: "Honour" on Praise the Fallen.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: "Kingdom" (from Empires) sounds at first like it's an example of Straw Nihilist, but it's actually about this, as made clear by the chorus:
    And I believe that we'll conceive / To make in hell for us a heaven / A brave new world / A promised land / A fortitude of hearts and minds / Until I see this kingdom's mine / I'll turn the darkness into light / I'll guide the blind / My will be done until the day / I see our kingdom has been won - "Kingdom"
  • Call-Back: "Tomorrow Never Comes" from Of Faith, Power and Glory, while still containing it's title in the lyrics, also takes it's name from "Testament" from the prior album Judgement where the phrase is featured prominently in the chorus.
  • Crowd Song: Not intended as such but it has become something of a tradition to sing along to the opening melody and the ending lines of Perpetual.
  • Darker and Edgier: Praise The Fallen is lyrically noticeably darker than their debut.
  • Despair Event Horizon: The speaker in "Forsaken", off of the Solitary EP.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Advance and Follow is mostly a straightforward EBM album with a few symphonic elements sprinkled here and there. Praise the Fallen is mostly the same, albeit with a greater focus on melody.
  • Epic Rocking: They don't rock per se, but they have a goodly number of fairly long songs- outstanding examples are "Ascension", "Solitary", "Beloved", "Airships", "Strata" and "Interceptor" (effectively one song split into two tracks), "Perpetual", "Radio" and "Teleconnect Pt. 2", all of which are well over 7 minutes. Listing all the songs that go above 6 minutes would be a fruitless exercise- that's more than half their total number of songs...
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: Most of their albums open with these. Many are part of Siamese Twin Songs.
  • Ethereal Choir: Synths imitating this sound are common in their songs- "Electronaut" and "Lost Horizon" are good examples.
  • Fading into the Next Song: Happens from time to time.
  • Genre Shift: On their first three albums, they gradually shifted from fairly standard EBM fare to the Trance and Synth-Pop-influenced sound that characterized the Futurepop subgenre. On Futureperfect, they upped the Trance influence somewhat. Later albums up the Synth-Pop quotient instead, though the core sound is still Futurepop.
  • Humans Are Flawed: A major theme of their songs, sometimes going in to Humans Are Bastards.
  • I Am the Band: VNV Nation's recording lineup since it's inception has consisted solely of founder Ronan Harris. Mark Jackson performed live drums for the band from 1996 to 2017, but while he was considered a member of the band, he never performed on any of their albums (although he has been credited for "valued input" and "verbal support and constructive criticism" variously).
  • Industrial: More specifically, the EBM (on the first two albums) and Futurepop subgenres. They are also the Trope Codifier for the latter.
  • Instrumentals: Quite a few, including:
    • "Anthem", "Amhráin Comhrac" and "Fiume" from Advance and Follow.
    • "Chosen", "Forsaken", "Ascension", "Burnout", "PTF2012" and the untitled track from Praise The Fallen.
    • "Firstlight", "Saviour" and "Distant (Rubicon II)" from Empires.
    • "Foreword", "Electronaut" (except for the odd vocoder-heavy recitation of the title), "Liebestod", "Structure" and "4am" off Futureperfect.
    • "Intro", "Colours Of Rain", "Strata", "Interceptor" and "Lightwave" from Matter + Form.
    • "Prelude" and "As It Fades" from Judgement.
    • "Pro Victoria" from Of Faith, Power and Glory.
    • "On Air", "Goodbye 20th Century" and "Photon" off Automatic.
    • "Generator", "Lost Horizon" and "Aeroscope" from Transnational.
  • Intercourse with You: The quite ironically titled "Cold" from Advance and Follow. A good example of the tendency of such songs in EBM to sound somewhat aggressive.
  • Lighter and Softer: Musically, they've become less abrasive on their most recent albums. Lyrically, nothing they've done since Praise The Fallen really matches that album for sheer misery.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: "From My Hands".
  • Mad Libs Dialogue: Their remix of Apoptygma Berzerk's "Kathy's Song" begins with a Microsoft Sam-esque voice reading out an extended/modified version of Genesis 1:1
  • Madness Mantra / Survival Mantra: "Fearless", from Futureperfect, has a mantra as part of its chorus that really blurs the line between the two and counts as both:
    I am not alone / I am not afraid / I am not unhappy / These are the words I say to myself every day
  • New Sound Album: All of their first three albums are obvious examples of this, especially Empires. Futureperfect is another slight example, since it ups the Trance quotient some. Matter + Form adds harder, more "live"-sounding drum loops to the equation from time to time as well as more distorted synth sounds, and Automatic noticeably ups the Synth-Pop aspect of their sound.
  • Offer Void in Nebraska: At some point in 2014, the digital version of Automatic mysteriously vanished from every online retailer in the United States, forcing users to either buy a physical album or jump through hoops to buy the digital album on a foreign website, possibly as the result of a record label conflict.
  • Shout-Out: "Art of Conflict" directly quotes Sun Tzu's The Art of War.
  • Siamese Twin Songs: "Strata" and "Interceptor" off Matter + Form are basically one song split in two. Also, many of the intro Instrumentals count as this when combined with the first actual songs on their respective albums.
  • Silly Love Songs: "Beloved" from Futureperfect.
  • Spoken Word in Music: Fairly often.
  • Synth-Pop: A prominent influence on the sound from their second album on, and their later albums are arguably full examples of the genre.
  • Title Drop: "Honour" from Praise the Fallen. Also done again in Automatic with "Control".
  • Trope Codifier: For the Futurepop subgenre of Industrial Music.