VNV Nation Matter + Form

Following a sub-par album that unjustly represented VNV’s capabilities, Matter + Form is a release that is not immediately impressive, but the tracks will also grow on you. The duo of Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson manage to create music that pushes their limits, and demonstrates progression without messing with their fans’ expectations. This disc highlights the sensitive and forceful sides of the duo, and certain tracks will definitely creep towards your local dance floor. "Entropy” is solid and powerful while "Chrome” is a supercharged bit of electronica that proves Harris still has a few great songs left in him. "Arena” is a slower track that manages to capture the dark, emotional spirit that makes these guys so addictive. There are still a few stinkers here, the most obvious being "Colours of the Rain,” an instrumental track that lacks substance and should have been left out altogether. Actually, this release features too many instrumental tracks, and more vocals would make this a much more effective album. Imperfections aside, most songs here are likeable and if you are a VNV fan, this is not a total disappointment. (Metropolis)