Review ·
With liner notes covered in bloody white roses and song titles like “The World Is Darker” and “Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Heart,” it becomes quickly evident that we’re in for a saturnine affair with the second installment of the Neverending White Lights series. Chockfull of minor chords and Evanescence-reminiscent theatrics, you wouldn’t be too out of place draped in black at a high-school goth party with “Theme from the Blood and the Life Eternal” blaring in the background. Worse yet is that everything is filtered through the Muzak horrors of Pro Tools-like production, only adding to the homogeneity of sound on an album where much of the material already sounds the same. Somewhere along the way, slick production tricks and reverb effects won over, and the soul of the music was sucked out.

Canada-based Daniel Victor began the Neverending White Lights project so that already established performers could expand their output by way of collaboration. In 2005, Victor released the well-received Act 1: Goodbye Friends of the Heavenly Bodies. Though not groundbreaking, it highlighted the creativity of its curator and his ability to make a cohesive whole out of many voices. This second installment finds Victor collaborating with artists such as Melissa Auf Der Maur, Sune Rose Wagner of the Raveonettes, and Aqualung. But this time around, the result is painstakingly lackluster.

Once upon a time, performers relied on their bodies, voices, and stories to capture their audiences. Artists like Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Billie Holiday didn’t need technology to educe a reaction out of their listeners; they relied on their ability to translate palpable emotion and life-experience through song. But with the dawning of advanced recording technology comes the ability to make someone even as vapid and untalented as Paris Hilton a pop star.

To a less heinous degree, said technology also seduces talented people like Daniel Victor with its unfailing ability to refine, smooth over, and perfect until a product is so polished it loses its core. Such is the case with The Blood and the Life Eternal. Amid all of the feigned pain, suffering, and darkness, nothing feels like the real thing. When you listen to Billie Holiday singing “Good Morning Heartache,” you know what it was like to walk a day in her shoes. Listen to Eternal, and you’re left with an empty shell.


Verdunkeln - Einblick in den Qualenfall Gregor Tresher A Thousand Nights

F you, and your f-ing review! Daniel Victor is a good man and he is a hell of a lot better than almost all the mainstream bs that's out there nowadays. Yet no one gives a damn. They're all too excited about the f-ing Grammys coming. Well, for your information, I'm just gonna say it, KANYE WEST IS NOT THE F-ING GREATEST! RAP IS NOT MUSIC!

not important

finally!! rap (or "crap," as it should be called)(get it? roflmaobniiadfwntim) is NOT msuic!!! it is just computer noises and talking abotu gun!!!11!! ty 4 say it!

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Mike, hit me up if you wanna have a freestyle battle.

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i am an avocado but i still chase the scrilla
glad i grew in cali else i'd be eaten by gorillas
check out my pic, yo: i gots a big seed
not important don't like my style but it's not important indeed

(you can't see it, but i just crossed my arms with authority)

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Bro, that time you learned to rap on that episode of MTV's Made totally paid off!

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enough said.

Review rated 3.0 out of 10

Are you serious?

Do you have any idea how this record was actually put together?

I don't even have pro-tools you idiot!

Daniel Victor

No need to shout.

Abraham Lincoln

"Once upon a time, performers relied on their bodies, voices, and stories to capture their audiences. Artists like Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Billie Holiday didn’t need technology to educe a reaction out of their listeners; they relied on their ability to translate palpable emotion and life-experience through song. But with the dawning of advanced recording technology comes the ability to make someone even as vapid and untalented as Paris Hilton a pop star. "

Readers take note: Is this a review? or a personal rant on modern production theory? Also, how do we know that Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Billie Holiday wouldn't have taken advantage of said "advanced recording technology" if they were around today?

"With liner notes covered in bloody white roses and song titles like “The World Is Darker” and “Black Is the Color of My True Love’s Heart,” it becomes quickly evident that we’re in for a saturnine affair with the second installment of the Neverending White Lights series. " Judging songs by their titles makes me wonder if the reviewer listened to the album at all!

1. sluggish in temperament; gloomy; taciturn.
2. suffering from lead poisoning, as a person.
3. due to absorption of lead, as bodily disorders.

"The World is Darker" is a dance tune.. saturnine is a nice word when used properly.

The reviewer is encouraged to properly research.


Paris Hilton -Vapid, Untalented Pop Star.

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I've yet had the need to actually comment on one of my reviews, but this one I couldn't ignore.

The reviewer here has given the album a ridiculously low mark- a 3/10 based seemingly only on what he thinks about the production,which is a completely absurd notion to base an entire writeup on. How can you judge an entire body of work on just one piece of the puzzle?
This is besides the fact that you didn't do your homework. Note below:

If you had researched the back story on where this album came from, you would understand its production technique. Note a recent review from the famous Pop Matters Website;

"My first impression of Daniel Victor’s sophomore album as Neverending White Lights was that it was overproduced. However, Act II started to make sense when I read Daniel’s press release explanation. There, in talking about the album, he said, “I took direct inspiration from many lost ‘80s balladeers like George Michael and Phil Collins. There was a beauty to that era that we never got back, and I wanted to find it.”
Victor’s professed fondness for the synthetic orchestral, over-the-top ‘80s pop-rock aesthetic wholly endorsed by the likes of Tears For Fears gives the album a solid context.

That statement renders your entire review inaccurate in only a few words."A solid context". The reviewer above did his research and understood where the production values came from. Like them or not, they have a purpose and unless you understand that going into the review, what you write about it won't be valid.

Your sighting acts from the '40's in comparison with this album. That is completely redundant and arbitrary. What would I possible have in common with Billie Holiday? Artists 50 years ago didn't have ACCESS to the studio recording technology that we do now, so it is virtually impossible to say if they would have used it or not. It would have been more valid if you would have mentioned a contemporary act from today to make your comparison. You've ignored 25 years of production technology in your review. How does that make sense to you? Did the Beatles use studio technology to create their masterpieces, the wall of sound and layers, the multi-tracking, etc? What about Pink Floyd? How come "Meet The Beatles" doesn't sound like Sgt. Pepper's? They discovered ways to use technology in the studio to make more interesting music and use it to their creative advantage. But, I suppose your blaming them too for not "keeping it real."

The advent of recording technology in the late 60's and early 70's began to change the way artists made albums. For better or worse, you can't compare those albums to the ones made decades prior. They're of a different nature. That's like saying people in the middle ages got by just fine only using candlelight, so why should we use electricity today?

If your going to knock something, at least be able to back it up properly.


D. Victor

Is this for reals?

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Bruce Scott, do your research and the clean out your ears.



This is one of the worst reviews I have ever read... did you even listen to the album or do any homework before you spewed off this crap? Based on your rant against production and comparison to Billie Holiday, it would be appropriate for you to dislike every album in the last 20 years. I'll have to read your other reviews to see if that's the case or if you're just randomly picking on NWL with no basis for a true argument.


Hey Bruce, when was the last time you took lessons in good Internet writing?

After reading this review, I must thank you for one thing. I realize now that a thesaurus can make even the most dimwitted individual sound intelligent.

Thanks for making me laugh though.

A message to the good people at

May I suggest you hire an individual who does research before writing reviews? It's sort of a no-brainer if you think about it.

Also, irrelevant remarks are generally frowned upon in professional Internet writing. My college professors would use this article as an example of what NOT to do.

On a final note, this review is painstakingly lackluster. Thank goodness for spell-check.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to a goth party.


Seriously Bruce... who taught you how to review an album?

You know what fine you dont like the album... who cares but I am wondering is who died and made you Billie or Screamin ? How do you know that they wouldnt use technology if it were at their disposal ?

Further more... did you research this album? Before you sit down and listen to it would you not think to maybe find out where this artist or band is coming from? What do you know about Daniel other than hes Canadian ? Probably not a whole lot. Then you surely missed the factor that Daniel intent for the album.

Want my opinion of your review... its half assed. You threw some big terms that sounded important to make your review sound soooooooooooooooo intelligent. Word to the wise...the so called goth can never be compared to Billie Holiday. Nothing should ever be compared to Billie Holiday.

Roxanne Mackenzie

i found act 2 to be my #1 album of 2007. it's a work of art, a masterpiece..a place i found solace in while i was immensely restless. you can NOT judge an album simply on production..let alone the song titles--each song title is like a chapter in a novel. each is meant to tell you something based on the theme of eternal life. to judge a song on production or song title is like judging a book by its cover. read the liner notes carefully...and try to look at it from a different may surprise you.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/NWL_Angel/goddess.jpg NWL_Angel

Hmmm, its hard to read this review and not cringe. The generalization that everyone who listens to NWL "wouldn’t be too out of place draped in black" is one that I believe a music critic should know better. Just because the music has a particular sound, does not mean it can be automatically generalized. You seemed to have judged the music by the titles rather than listening to the music and interpreting the lyrics for yourself. The creativity displayed by NWL doesn't come around everyday. Not many fans pay attention to the "production" as you stated in your critique, we listen to the music. Have you listened to any of the vocals or have you heard any music that sounds relatively the same? It just seems like you are an ill-equipped critic who doesn't bother to do your homework and definitey judges a book by its cover! The beauty lies within the music, and I'm afraid you've missed the mark.


I've got to say that Daniel is one man with endless possibilities, knows where he wants to direct himself musically and obviously knows a lot about using studio effects which might i point out (because Daniel didn't) is a talent in itself.

By reading your review i have had the impression that you have lived in a glasshouse from about the dawn of the computer age all the way through to 2007. I would agree that it was probably effects that got Paris to "sing with talent" but Daniel used the effects that he had to create something similar (in my oppinion) to what Phil Collins have achieved. Is that so wrong???

Secondly, i would be curious to know if you have heard of any great sounding bands of 2005-2007 that havn't had there CD mastered/produced using the aid of technology.

No, I didn't think so

Lastly i wanted to point out that there is depth, and lots of it in his songwriting ability. Even though death does come across as one of the main themes of the album, it does not suck the life out of you like a lot of todays music it does to some degree leave you with a relaxed feeling that makes you think about your own life in a new way.

There is so much more i want to add to this but i'll leave you with those points.


now i've read a few of your other reviews. and i can honestly say they're not -that- bad. so what i want to know is: what the f*ck is this?!



I'm not going to lie and say that I thought it was a great review or anything, but what did Daniel Victor do, e-mail all his friends the link and tell them to take no prisoners? That's much more ridiculous than writing an ill-informed, somewhat misguided review of an album. Anyone who's ever been a music critic has a couple of those under their belts.

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I heard that Daniel Victor was a Scientologist...

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say what you will, justin sheppard.
but to me, writing a misguided review is far worse than daniel sharing the review with his fans.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/NWL_Angel/goddess.jpg NWL_Angel

Is either really all that bad? I'm glad to read the review, and I'm glad to read the comments as well.


Seriously? Who the f--k would even compare something like NWL to Billie Holliday? These artists had two separate agendas and concepts.

That's like comparing a dog to a cricket. Apple to an orange...mixing oil and water..etc.

The Neverending White Lights album was supposed to sound cinematic and dramatic. If Daniel Victor wanted that stripped down sound, I'm sure he would have went for it. But that wasn't part of the concept. I thought it should have been obvious.

And what the bloody hell? All the songs sound the same? Sir, even if I thought NWL was complete nonsense I would have to disagree with you. You probably don't even know what the hell you are talking about seeing as how you failed to even mention songs of any kind and how they alledgedly sound the same.

Yeah yeah, attack of the NWL fans (justin sheppard). No, attack on a friggin git.

This album has a lot of artist merit. Even if someone didn't like it-- it would be foolish to base that on any of the things you mentioned. Maybe it's just not your cup of tea.


What's it's artistic merit? I'm with Bruce. This stuff is melodramatic.


Proof that all the songs sound the same can be found at NWL's myspace.

Tom D.

I don't want to embroil myself in this well-engineered tactical strike of a comments page, but I wanted to observe something. For those of you saying "who knows that Billie Holiday wouldn't have used technology" and "plenty of artists have made good albums with the use of technology," etc.:
I think comments like this don't really bear upon Scott's point. I think (perhaps he should have made this more clear?) the was using those old songwriters to represent a facet of songwriting in its purest form. It is completely irrelevant whether they would or wouldn't have relied upon technology. I don't think Scott's saying that using technology is "bad songwriting," but that the misuse of technology obscures those fundamental qualities embodied by Holiday among others. I doubt he really thinks that technology itself makes for crappy music. I think Scott just thought there wasn't much of a solid base behind the studio effects, or that these effects ruined that solid base that came through in Collin's music, etc. Look at his wording more carefully.
Moreover, why should a reviewer have to rely on a press release. It seems as if, without that press release, both Scott and the "famous" Popmatters guy wouldn't "get" whatever Victor intended. Why should digesting someone's (even the artist's) explanatory words ever be CRUCIAL to the "understanding" of an album?

/site_media/uploads/images/users/ehalpern/n22701428_30374667_7242.jpg ehalpern

In a weird way this crazy comment-athon actually makes me think the artist/critic relationship is far more symbiotic than I realized before.

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"Proof that all the songs sound the same can be found at NWL's myspace"

Im sorry...being a student of music..I can't figure out what you mean by that statement..lets take a look at the music on NWL's myspace..

"Always" - progressive, almost epic sounding. key of D

" The World is Darker - a Dance tune. Key of D-

" My Life without Me" - ballade, Key of F+

"Where We Are" - upbeat rock tune

"The Grace" - Epic, Melodic

Also, there is a different vocalist on each tune.

I can dig a little deeper if you like...hopefully u understand all that..

I hope we can all agree that this is a poorly written review (sure every critic has a couple here and there) ..I admit the comment attack is a little much, but I believe the point was to express how poorly written and un-informed the review was, Sure most albums shouldn't need a press release to help justify the album sound..but there is also a note from the director in the liner notes which also explains the concept. I would think the reviewer would take the time to atleast read the liner notes to the album he/she is criticing..

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What is the artistic merit? Maybe the fact hat nearly every instrument you hear is being played by the same man.

Even if you don't like how they come together, that in itself takes much hard work and matter how many pro-tools may or may not have been used.

All the songs do not sound the same. The may have relatable lyrics and concepts..because the album is supposed to be that tell a story. But it's not as if they all run together. A listen of his myspace profile isn't enough to get the gist of the album. You have to actually listen to it as a whole. If you're not willing to do that, then shut it.

I get the feeling that the reviewer didn't actually do that.


Daniel Victor sure has a lot of prefix accounts

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my name is bryan, thanks.

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Hold up a second empty_shell, I had a little trouble following... are you saying there are "notes" in music?

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so what we're saying here is that listening to music is a subjective experience? that can't be right...

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I think overall, the main point to take out of this is that each human being will have their own response to what their ears hear. This is based on many personal factors - i.e their own conditioning to music they grew up on, were/were not exposed to, what they like, even personality plays a role.

That being said, there is no absolute way to stamp a number, or rating an another artists work. How could you ever completely understand their approach or mindset, or judge them?

That's what makes the relationship between reviewers and artists so difficult.

They best stay far apart.

D. Victor


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D. Victor, as a reviewer myself, I've got a few thoughts on what you think should be the relationship between artist and reviewer. It's been said before and it bears repeating: everyone's a critic. Anyone with an opinion is a critic. An artist is critical of his own work.

That said, I think everyone is entitled to stamp whatever rating on an artist's work that he/she wants. You do it for other artists all the time - whenever you decide to switch to a different radio station because you don't like the song that's playing, you've effectively passed judgment on the artist that made that song. The only difference between you and Bruce Scott is that his opinion was published on the internet.

There's a danger, I think, in suggesting (as you do in your last comment) that art can't truly be understood by anyone but the artist. Once you've released something into the public, it's out of your hands, and that's a good thing. The role of the music critic is not, and I think SHOULD not be, to act as a mouthpiece for the artist, explaining his motives and how it relates to his music. The idea is to examine the music as a cultural artifact and talk about how and if it moves the critic. I think Bruce did that, and while I agree that the review was ill-informed, who's to say that he would have actually liked your music if he had read the press release? Would you be satisfied if you felt that he got what you were going for, and still gave it a negative review?

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"Would you be satisfied if you felt that he got what you were going for, and still gave it a negative review?"

I think that was this artist's original gripe. Not just that it was negative...but that it seems to be negative because of a lack of understanding. Too much red herring...the mention of Paris Hilton being able to be made into a pop implies the wrong things.

It's not a good review because the reviewer doesn't back up anything he says. He could have mentioned a few songs and pointed out what he felt was wrong with them. Seeing as how he didn't do that, it makes the whole thing seem less valid.


If the 'no such thing as bad press'addage is true, then this mofo is gonna end up on some 08 year end lists, son.

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Well said. And good points.

But, read the review again. It's just bad.

What I mean about the artist only being able to interpret his own work proper, is something I personally believe in. Everyone else who views another's art is only interpreting it through their own subjective lens - and whats more, its processed through whatever connotative meanings the observer holds, and personal likes and dislikes not akin to what the art in its purest form should be subjected to on an unbiased level. To make such a negatively strong claim against the artist is in bad taste. Constructive criticism (I mean, he is a critic after all, right?) is appreciated - but this was uninformative dribble. Again, he based an entire review on production values without knowing where they came from. That's like me making a album of 60's music on purpose and the critic knocking it because it sounds 'dated' - which would have been the whole point.

You can see how it can be fraustrating.

At this stage, in the very least, its nice to have a discussion going. I think its healthy and good for us. Right or wrong. And hopefully Bruce will take something from all of it as well.


D.Victor apparently thinks it's wrong for a reviewer to call an album bad, but yet he feels it's fine for him to call a review bad. Ha! See what I just did right there?

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Bradford Allison, you've contributed much insight to this thing.

PS, is it really Daniel Victor of NWL posting? You know on the internet, you never really know.


im with empty_shell on the comment that not every nwl track sounds the same...the myspace page songs are [to me] a small preview of what to expect from act 1 & 2 respectively. and reading the note from the director in the liner notes gives a great insight to where the album's concepts came from--always worth reading.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/NWL_Angel/goddess.jpg NWL_Angel

ummm, i personally love this album, it took me a while to like the entire album, but after giving it quite a few lessons, i was in love [the drummings amazing on every track and the cover of miss world is just beautiful].
with that said, i can see how someone could not like the album because it is dark and dramatic [but that to me makes it beautiful] and some people won't like that because that would require them to think and feel whilst listening to a song rather than just shaking their ass. so some people will love this album while others will absolutely hate it, but it's all a matter of opinion.
BUT, this review is crap. it wasn't cohesive and the comparisons are ridiculous. this bruce scott fella is a complete douche. get a new profession bud.


(Looks out amongst the rubble)

"Is it over?"

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i hope it is...truce anyone?

/site_media/uploads/images/users/NWL_Angel/goddess.jpg NWL_Angel

I do like the album and NWL's previous CD. Both are ethereal and moody. When you find that combination done properly in a production, you've found a good album.
Before I read the thread, I read the review and raised a Spockian brow: Why would an internet reviewer decry the use of technology? Bruce, shouldn't you be writing with quill and ink? Instead, you should thank the forces of technology for your job.


Oooh, good one Dbut!


This review was absolutely rediculous.
This album was beautifully created, and it touches base with every side of emotion and depression possible.
The music is creative and beautiful and can tell a story without needing words.
Next time, when writing about an album review...dont begin ranting about how it was created. Write about the music and the perpous behind it.


I'm currently writing my record review of this album for a major newspaper in an Australian Capital City.

It isn't very good. It doesn't cohere. It's too long. The production blends everything so seamlessly that it all becomes samey.

Victor is a head case. Why do you need to write a double page explanation of what the album is about in the liner notes? should it not become apparent on listening to the album? In this case, it isnt.

Why the Hole cover in the middle? Bizarre.

Why the need to put written by, or performed by, or arranged by D.Victor on every little part of the album? example: "String parts written by Daniel Victor, Arranged and Transposed by Larry Thompson". Translation: 'I dont actually have the skills to do the strings sections on this record, but I still want it known that it was my idea to put the strings on there, and i came up with the melody they should all play, and it's really important that everyone knows this because it shows what a creative genius I am.'



Why would you bother even posting that about the cd credits? how is that even relevant to the music?

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