Angels & Agony

[Eternity sleeve]"Eternity" (Album, 2002)

Out of Line

Up until now, Dutch band Angels & Agony have been something of a middle of the road EBM outfit, hardly setting the international electronic scene alight but equally producing a decent enough sound. VNV Nation's steady rise to their current heights has been keenly observed by A&A who did the obvious and, applying the reliable adage "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em", got VNV's Ronan Harris to produce this their latest album. Wise move guys. This new material leaps ahead of all previous efforts and Harris' touch is unmistakable.

Bubbling, fat sequencer loops, thud, thud bass drums and constant progression are a regular feature of these twelve tracks. That is except for the slower pieces, and it is these that really stand out like the corker Forever or Surrender. The faster tracks don't share the 'anthemic' quality of VNV Nation, but that's no bad thing - the last thing we need is a slew of VNV clones. No, what Harris appears to have done is give A&A the boost of confidence they needed to fully exploit their talent. Some of the lyrics are overly simplistic and sometimes beneath the decent tunes, but I was happy to press 'repeat' just as soon as it had finished, and listen to it all again straight away. A&A fans won't know what's hit them, and VNV fans might just want to add this to their collection too. 7/10

Rob Dyer 

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