Review Summary: utter misery befalls "Praise the Fallen" rendering it VNV Nation's worst album.
There is a time in everyone’s life when everything seems to be crashing in on them. Everything that can go wrong does go wrong, and it is understandably disheartening. There are many ways of getting through a difficult time, but a common one seems to be the use of music. A reason why I’ve listened to music so frequently in my life is because I had Major Depressive Disorder for around five years. As my feelings were numbed, music was a way to temporarily heal my inner pains. I intentionally looked for the most depressing music I could find, because I needed to know that there were others like me facing the same situation. Looking back at it, the type of music I listened to was a good indicator that I was quite miserable.
As listening to music can help one through a tough time, so can the process of writing songs. Ronan refers to Praise the Fallen
as a form of self-help for him when he was facing struggles in his life. Now I’m sure that we can all agree that this album probably means quite a lot to him, but the effect it has on other people is quite sad. Simply put, this is one of the most depressing albums you will hear in your lifetime. Yes, it’s still futurepop, but futurepop isn’t always rainbows and gummy bears. This time around the synths are dark and dreary, almost as if the synths themselves are depressed. Combined with a powerful sense of melancholy that comes from strings, the music is truly moving - moving in the sense that it makes you want to jump off a cliff.
In Praise the Fallen
, important question are raised. Questions like:
“So why do I love when I still feel pain?
When does it end, when is my work done?
Why am I lone and why do I feel that
I carry a sword through a battlefield?”
Clearly the questions of a soul in misery, Ronan Harris unleashed, into the music, whatever emotions he had left. With his inhumanely depressed vocals, he breathes death into the album, sapping all joy around him. The singing really sinks it, that the music is indeed very moody. Therefore, songs that are catchy suddenly become mundane, and melodies are drained of the joyful gleam that the band would soon be known for. Praise the Fallen
is a dark chapter in Ronan’s life, as well as VNV Nation’s discography. Quite a pain to listen to, only a soulless machine would go unscathed after listening to it. Enter the darkness at your own risk.