We have all done it, that moment we sing to ourselves and use that growl like voice most industrial music is known for in an attempt to get whatever song it is out of our heads and often we fail miserably. No one has mastered THAT type of growl singing the way Daniel Graves has. It has become his signature sound and it’s the voice of industrial for many of us regardless of how heavy or soft you like your musical extremes; We wish we could all sing so well.
So it is that ‘Into the Black’ solidifies the mastery of his voice and the evolution of his signature sound in to it’s most powerful form yet. All of Aesthetic Perfection’s previous work will come to mind as you listen through the songs on offer, that is however, not to say it sounds the same as the previous four major albums; more so that it is now the true destination reached and the album could not be more masterfully performed.
The pure artistry and alternative soft ‘screams’ mix so well in to a voice that always comes across with perfect clarity. Never let it be said again by mainstream taste people that.. “You can’t understand what they're saying.”
Daniel has collaborated with Jinxx on several tracks and Wesenberg on another. Most noticeably however you may know that Richard Z. Kruspe is the lead guitarist and founder of Rammstein. What you may not know is that Richard worked alongside AP for the opening track 'Gods & Gold.' (See our Facebook for a link to Richard’s industrial remix of the new track DEUTSCHLAND)
The entire album feels like it has incorporated many genres in to one, even retro / synth wave and most of the songs would be well suited to a new cyber punk film, especially as there seems to be that 80’s theme coming from the synth-wave familiarity occasionally.
It is also an album full of emotion and Daniel is sharing a lot of his personal story and depth throughout (See our interview with Daniel here)
Gods and gold
I’ve never quite come across a track like this and I am in awe of what has been achieved. It’s gritty industrial metal riffs brought home by the influence of Richard Z. Krusp of Rammstein bring across that familiar sound undeniably and yet the emotionally packed rap sends shivers down the spine. Then there's the voice we all know and love Aesthetic Perfection for and the industrial pop and techno mix we expect. There is metal, there is techno, there are the screams which are in perfect opposition to the synthetic melody, voice, and pop influence. I even felt like it was IAMX singing to me at one point. To quote a recent film it’s ‘Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.’
I also get the sense that this is a mash up of all his previous works as fans will recognize the similarities of the previous albums blended together. For the new listeners it is the ideal introduction to Daniel’s voice and style, an album version of a ‘Previously on..’ TV intro.
Towards the end it also paints the difference between what religious gods and material gold promise but then perfectly twists it to express the anger we all come to feel at the reality and harsh truth of them both corrupted by the dogma and greed of man.
I'm not quite sure how this track has blended so many of our beloved styles in to one track but it is has done so masterfully and hits home that Daniel has surely found himself with this album even before the first track finishes.
This is by far my favourite track on the album. It’s floor filling energy and pulse fastening beat never fail to make my leg bounce up and down constantly at the very least. This is going to be an incredible track to listen to live as it reverberates in the chest.
It feels like the golden days of dancing music again so much so that I feel like wearing a hat just like Daniel’s and tipping it, raise one leg up poised to dance Michael Jackson style to the beat.
The catchy chorus of "I want it, I need it" is broken down expertly by the voice of "I like the wickedness" causing a beautiful techno dance macabre that brings a snarl to your lips in an expression of dangerous confidence. "You fell in love with wickedness" starts to build the end up in to a rave sensation that could make mosh pits spontaneously break out.
No boys allowed
The beats are stompy and constant, perfect for those wearing the big boots. Bounce along to a techno trip through the jungle with an underlying hint of Halloween. The entire song reverberates with the countdown to destruction especially towards the end as the beat hits hard again.
No doubt a future floor filler as I see this track appealing to everyone’s dance styles.
Such a powerful track to get a crowd going and involved, the harmonious singing will reel the crowds in for the angst aggression of the chorus and sing alongs of ‘oooh wooo oh’ as it uplifts and unites them. “We’re just human after all, we’re not supernatural.”
The robotic synthesis of his voice powers home the intensity of the track, after all there a lot of emotion and history here (see our interview with Daniel Graves here) It feels like his soul is being poured out in this song and it will be interesting to see how it comes across when sung live.
This is a message of love to connect with the audience and put aside all of the bullshit we have come to know.
Here’s where the Retro/synth-wave sound appears the most noticeable to me in the synthetic beat that sets the foundation for the whole track and in so doing feels like the evolution of modern tastes being picked up by Daniel’s ever present dive in to all things popular yet individual or unique.
Lyrically the relatable sense here is that it’s picking apart the social anxiety echoes that we all suffer from. Of course the song is more of a call to hope urging us to.. “Never give up, get up.” Our mind can be our worst enemy and the foreboding music before one breakdown puts across that malicious feeling that musically metaphors a mental health spiral.
Echoes is a body popping relaxation for the mind that sets the more self reflective aspect of the second half of the album to come.
We wake up
Sticking with the relatable theme of the song I’m sure it wouldn't be out of place in a teen romance drama with the effortless flowing of the female vocal sample mixed with the angst lyrics. This however is a good thing, being packed with the emotion that it is, it would mean industrial pop would find more ground in the minds of the newer generations and wouldn't Aesthetic Perfection be a far better ‘pop’ band to get younger generations in to and idolizing than the next boy band rejects?
You might even say this would be a great soundtrack to someone’s life.
If I die
The guitar twangs throughout put you in the sense of an 80’s cyberpunk power track, that could be described as a subtle mix of retro feel good and sci-fi films such as Back to the future and Johnny 5. The crowds at A.P’s shows will no doubt be chanting.. “If I die, If I die today!”
For me ‘If I die’ portrays the build up and acceptance of our own mortality to face life with courage but also humility. Will we be remembered? Let’s make sure we are and power through the life we have.
It’s an upbeat track in contrast to the somewhat morbid lyrics however. Definitely one I can see being played on the radio, if radio ever drops it’s prejudice against alternative music.
Techno heavy and a further call to get your body moving, it’s fast paced and it’s a step towards the more traditional club music sound we love. This track is like a joy ride through Tron, the neon colours flying all around you and destined to end in death with a smile on your face.
This will be one for the dancers in the crowd to show off.
If you weren't carried away to a setting like Tron with the previous track, then the cyberpunk feel is definitely felt here with the intense techno sounds, Cylon like robotic voice, and thought provoking quote samples.
Keeping up with the great dance appeal this album has, YOLO is uplifting with its rising synths and blissful rhythm causing a feel good reflection of one’s self. Be grateful for what’s around you.
I bet you’ll see the ‘rolling’ members of the crowd closing their eyes and drifting in to their own worlds, arms raised with huge smiles on their faces to this piece.
This track is hauntingly beautiful, a meditation upon the beauty of life and the tragedy of death. Put together as what might be considered a perfect epitaph to the end of the album that puts you at peace and leaves you glowing with contentment as it wraps up and finishes so gloriously.
The guitars playing out as if Brian May himself were playing for coffin bearers marching down the aisle. It is a song for peace in the face of heartache as the clever title implies.
Overall this album is easily defined as the signature sound of Aesthetic Perfection and I hope this masterpiece of an album finally kicks off the industrial pop revolution in to the realms of every day music.
'In to the black' Is out now.
To book tickets for a show / country near you this year, visit the official Aesthetic Perfection website https://aesthetic-perfection.net
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