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VNV Nation

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VNV Nation
VNV Nation Live at New City, Edmonton, September 2007
VNV Nation Live at New City, Edmonton, September 2007
Background information
OriginLondon, England
Years active1990–present
Past members
  • Mark Jackson
Websitewww.vnvnation.com Edit this at Wikidata

VNV Nation is an Irish electronic music group led by Ronan Harris in the roles of singer, songwriter and producer, with live members being keyboardists Mike Wimer and David Gerlach and percussionist Chris Roberts. The acronym in the group's name stands for "Victory Not Vengeance".[1]


Prelude and formation[edit]

Ronan Harris was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, where he was exposed to electronic music via radio, from which he developed an interest in bands such as Kraftwerk, DAF and the Human League. In 1983, he joined a band named Die Fabrik, whose punk-inspired noise and synth style was not well received in Dublin. By 1989, Harris had moved to London and began composing music under the name Nation, a 1984-inspired, electronic orchestral music project. Harris relocated to Toronto, Canada, in 1990, but his music output stagnated until 1994 when he revived Nation, modified by his newfound motto: "Victory Not Vengeance" to become VNV Nation.[2]

Early years: Advance and Follow (1995) and Praise the Fallen (1998)[edit]

The group's first release, Advance and Follow, came out in 1995. Advance And Follow featured industrial electronic beats heavily influenced by middle-era EBM acts such as Nitzer Ebb and Front 242, along a mixture of danceable synthesizer melodies, and elements of orchestral music. Although it was the band's first full-length release, Harris regards Advance and Follow more as a set of demos than a proper album.[3] In 2001, it was re-released as Advance and Follow 2.0, with updated production, re-recorded vocals, and five bonus tracks, which include two Front 242 covers.

Their next release, Praise the Fallen in 1998, continued largely in this vein, and they began to enjoy a larger degree of commercial success.

During that time, Harris also wrote for the online magazine Side-Line, of which he was the webmaster until 1999.[2]

VNV Nation live in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Empires (1999)[edit]

Empires, released in 1999, was their breakthrough album, gaining them widespread commercial success and topping the German DAC charts for seven weeks.[4] Empires expanded on the band's bombastic, melodic synthesizer lines and incorporated tighter song structures. Furthermore, the harsher 'sheet metal instrumentals' of Praise the Fallen were largely gone, and the music as a whole was far more complex with multiple-layered arpeggios and pads. The album was composed using a mix of analog and digital synthesizers, and an Ensoniq ASR-10 sampler. Notable analog synthesizers used on the album included the ARP 2600, which was used for most of the sounds on the tracks "Firstlight," "Arclight," and "Standing," the SCI Pro One, and an Oberheim OB-1. Digital synthesizers used were the Roland JP-8000, Access Virus (used almost exclusively on the track "Darkangel"), Korg Trinity, the EMU Proteus 2000 and the Roland JV-1080.

Futureperfect (2002)[edit]

Their 2002 album, Futureperfect, while retaining many industrial elements represented a departure in many ways, largely away from EBM and towards trance and synthpop. Some neoclassical instrumental pieces were included in the album. Around this time Ronan Harris and Apoptygma Berzerk's Stefan Groth were credited with coining the term "futurepop" to describe their sound.[5][6] This shift caused their mainstream popularity to increase still further, but alienated some of their fans who preferred their earlier harsher and darker sound. Notably, the album was produced using only software synthesizers instead of hardware synthesizers. It was the first VNV Nation album made entirely with software synthesizers.

The band embarked on a highly successful world tour in support of Futureperfect from 2001 to 2003. Their concerts in Berlin, Washington, D.C., and the M'era Luna Festival were recorded and edited together for release as the Pastperfect DVD.[7] At this time VNV Nation consisted of Ronan Harris and drummer Mark Jackson.

Matter + Form (2005)[edit]

Their 2005 album, Matter + Form, expanded on the soundscape established with Futureperfect. Notable for this harder-edged sound was the first single "Chrome". Also of note is the lack of effects applied to the vocals, a departure from previous albums, which allows Harris' voice more space in the mix. There were also several songs with a softer and more pensive theme. Some songs even had a slight "rock" feeling to them, mostly from how drum sequences and bass lines were arranged, the most obvious example being the final song, "Perpetual". The assortment of instruments used in the production was much larger than on previous albums. While mostly composed using software synthesizers, several different analogue modular synthesizers were used, along with an array of vintage effects. This album was also the first time the band used an outside producer. Both Matter + Form and "Chrome" peaked at #1 on the DAC Albums and Singles charts, respectively.[8][9]

Judgement (2007)[edit]

VNV Nation's next studio album was Judgement, released on 4 April 2007. Containing ten tracks, it continued the evolution of the VNV Nation sound. While written and recorded in VNV Nation's own studio, located in the now defunct Soundfactory Studios in Hamburg, the album production took advantage of the main studio's facilities through the use of its collection of vintage microphones and effects, and mixing the album on the studio's ADT console.

On 25 April 2007, at the sold-out show at The Metro in Chicago, Harris stated that the rumours about Judgement being the last album were false and that more was to come and that Judgement was just the beginning.

At the alternative electronic music festival Infest in Bradford on 26 August 2007, just after the murder of Sophie Lancaster, Harris dedicated the song "Illusion" to her and contacted the family soon afterwards to offer his condolences.[10][11]

VNV Nation performing "Legion" at The Masquerade in Atlanta, Georgia

Reformation 1 (2009)[edit]

Two years after Judgement, the box set Reformation 1 was released in Europe on 24 April 2009. Its US release was on 12 May.

Of Faith, Power and Glory (2009)[edit]

The next album, Of Faith, Power and Glory was mentioned on the band's MySpace blog. Harris confirmed to Side-Line that they were aiming for late April to release the album, which would be titled Of Faith, Power and Glory, or as Harris described it: "The 3 things that people desire and which can make you or destroy you!"[12]

Due to the release of "Reformation 1" in mid-April, the release of the album was postponed; it appeared in the US on CD and in the iTunes Store on 23 June 2009, and in Europe on 19 June 2009.[13]

Crossing the Divide and Automatic (2010–2011)[edit]

A remix collection called Crossing The Divide was planned for release on 8 June 2010,[14] but was delayed until May 2012. The update on the official website cited unforeseen circumstances and personal matters for the delay. On 14 May 2012, the EP was announced on the band's Facebook page and made available for free via SoundCloud.[15] There were also plans for a number of extended and enhanced re-releases of previous albums in 2010; however these plans did not materialize.[16]

On 16 September 2011, VNV Nation's eighth studio album Automatic, was released for most of Europe, with the physical CD released on 25 October 2011 in the United States.

Gothic meets Klassik, Transnational, and Resonance (2012–15)[edit]

In November 2012, VNV Nation, Blutengel and Staubkind performed at the Gothic meets Klassik festival in Leipzig. On the 10th, they played a standard electronic set, and on the 11th, they performed with Ronan Harris on vocals accompanied by a full symphony orchestra for the first time. The show was recorded for release, but a problem with the recording equipment rendered the audio unusable.[17] As a result, Ronan began to work with the arranger on an album of VNV Nation songs scored for orchestra, which would include the tracks performed at Gothic Meets Klassik as well as additional songs. Ronan also performed a selection of VNV Nation songs with a classical pianist on the 2013 Gothic Cruise.

The new album Transnational was released on 11 October (EU),[18] 15 October (NA),[19] and elsewhere on 19 November, preceded by a promotional tour beginning on 2 October 2013.[20]

The orchestral album Resonance: Music For Orchestra Vol. 1 was released on 15 May 2015. It consists of tracks selected from their back catalogue reimagined for orchestra. It was recorded in the Babelsberg Studios outside Berlin at the end of February 2015, the same studios where scores for films such as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and Part 2 were recorded. The songs "Nova (Largo)" and "Teleconnect, Part 2" were recorded with a piano and string trio ensemble. The album was too long for a single vinyl record, and was released as a limited edition 6 x 10" vinyl box set in addition to standard CD digipack and digital formats. Resonance reached #7 on the official German Album Charts the week of 22 May 2015,[21] and respectively #3 on the US Billboard Classical Crossover Album Charts and #4 on the US Billboard Classical Music Charts[22] for 30 May 2015.

Noire (2018)[edit]

On 16 November 2017, it was announced that Mark Jackson, who had participated as live drummer at concerts since the mid-1990s, had left VNV Nation.[23]

Their tenth studio album, Noire, was released on 12 October 2018 as a digital album in all markets, and as a physical CD in non-American markets via Anachron Records.[24] In the American market, the physical CD was distributed by Metropolis Records, with an expected release date of 9 November 2018.[25]

Electric Sun (2023)[edit]

On 26 April 2022, VNV Nation announced that its eleventh studio album, Electric Sun, would arrive in April 2023 to coincide with a February 2023 European Tour, which started in Denmark on 23 February 2023 and ended in Glasgow on 28 May 2023.[26][27]

On 28 April 2023, VNV Nation released its eleventh studio album, Electric Sun, on LP, CD, and digitally.[28] It was preceded by the singles "Before the Rain" [29] and "Wait," which was accompanied by VNV Nation's second ever music video.[30]

Electric Sun received positive reviews. Music blog Synthpop Fanatic, called it a "phenomenal and contemplative release on par with VNV’s best."[31]

A limited time special gold vinyl edition of “Resonance: Music for Orchestra Vol. 1” was announced on 12 June 2023, with a release date of 29 July 2023.[32]

On 13 June 2023, a September and October 2023 US and CAN Tour was officially announced, starting in Tampa, Florida on 22 September 2023 and ending in 22 October 2023 in Houston, Texas. Future Mexico dates were also teased.[33]

Due to several cancellations throughout the 2023 US leg, a 2024 leg was announced and made up the final dates of the Electric Sun Tour.



  1. ^ "Biography - The Name". vnvnation.com. Retrieved 11 February 2023.
  2. ^ a b "VNV Nation: Ouis Contra Nos?". Culture Shock. 3 (96). Hackensack, NJ: Genocide Project: 32–33. 1996. ISSN 1093-1651.
  3. ^ Murphy, Tom. "VNV Nation: "We wanted to offer people an alternative of substance over pure style"". Westword.com. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  4. ^ "DAC Top 50 Albums 1999". Trendcharts oHG. AMC Alster Musik Consulting GmbH. 2000. Archived from the original on 18 April 2001. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Being a little bit productive". Sortedmagazine.com.
  6. ^ "VNV Nation - Release Music Magazine Spotlight". Releasemagazine.net. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  7. ^ "Pastperfect: Metropolis Mail-Order". Archived from the original on 13 October 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  8. ^ "DAC Top 50 Albums 2005". Trendcharts oHG. AMC Alster Musik Consulting GmbH. 2006. Archived from the original on 23 April 2008. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  9. ^ "DAC Top 100 Singles 2005". Trendcharts oHG. AMC Alster Musik Consulting GmbH. 2006. Archived from the original on 23 April 2008. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  10. ^ VNV Nation – Illusion on YouTube Infest 2007. Harris dedicated this song to Sophie Lancaster
  11. ^ "Parents' tribute to loving daughter". Rossendale Free Press. 30 August 2007.
  12. ^ "VNV Nation on demoing 'Of Faith, Power and Glory' album". Archived from the original on 12 January 2009.
  13. ^ "About VNV Nation". Vnvnation.com. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  14. ^ "Vnv Nation - Crossing the Divide CD Album". Cduniverse.com.
  15. ^ "VNV Nation - Crossing the Divide review". Regenmag.com. 23 July 2012.
  16. ^ "VNV Nation MySpace blog post, 23 December 2009 (archived)". Archived from the original on 2 June 2010.
  17. ^ "VNV Nation". Facebook.com. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022.
  18. ^ "VNV Nation". Facebook.com. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022.
  19. ^ "VNV Nation". Facebook.com. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022.
  20. ^ "GOTHIC MEETS KLASSIK!". 23 November 2011. Archived from the original on 23 November 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  21. ^ "VNV Nation". Facebook.com. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022.
  22. ^ "Classical Music: Top Classical Albums Chart". Billboard.com.
  23. ^ [1][dead link]
  24. ^ Davie, Alex. "«Noire». VNV Nation with new album and tour!". Shout.ru.
  25. ^ "VNV Nation to Release New Album, Noire, On Metropolis Records! – Metropolis Records". Metropolis-records.com.
  26. ^ "NEW ALBUM & TOUR IN FEBRUARY 2023". vnvnation.com.
  27. ^ "The new VNV Nation album "Electric Sun" will be released on April 14th. A series of singles will be released before then, starting in mid-February". youtube.com.
  28. ^ bernard (2 May 2023). "VNV Nation has a new album out, 'Electric Sun', 5 years after previous studio album 'Noire'". SIDE-LINE MAGAZINE - Industrial electro music magazine. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  29. ^ Brandon, Chris (19 February 2023). "VNV Nation explore the cosmos in "Before the Rain"". Synthpop Fanatic. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  30. ^ Brandon, Chris (14 April 2023). "Watch VNV Nation's second ever music video, "Wait"". Synthpop Fanatic. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  31. ^ "VNV Nation rejects salvation on 11th album, Electric Sun". Synthpop Fanatic. 2 May 2023. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  32. ^ https://vnvnation.com/news/resonance-limited-gold-vinyl-edition
  33. ^ https://vnvnation.com/news/electric-sun-north-american-tour

External links[edit]