Album Review: Aesthetic Perfection – Into The Black
Aesthetic Perfection’s fifth studio album Into The Black is set for release on March 29th, 2019 and it is by far their most ambitious work to date. Frontman Daniel Graves, keeping up with the ever-evolving music industry, did not originally plan to record another album; however, his loyal fans have spoken and thanks to Patreon, he was able to fund and create the newest masterpiece in his discography.
The question on everyone’s mind is if the new material will have the classic harsh industrial sound of past albums like A Violent Emotion and All Beauty Destroyed or if it will keep progressing toward the poppier sound the band moved toward like Blood Spills Not Far From The Wound and the single Ebb and Flow. It is no secret that Graves wanted to carve out his own sound, which he dubbed Industrial Pop, and it is safe to say that fans of both eras of Aesthetic Perfection will be satisfied with what Into The Black brings to the table. The physical copies of the album are limited, and they each have alternate track lists. The track list for the digital and CD version is outlined below.
The album hits the ground running with the first track “Gods & Gold,” which features guitar work by Richard Z. Kruspe of Rammstein. It combines a harsh electro sound with a rap element and a catchy chorus. It deals with the idea that we all have a price to pay for rage, greed, and all of the other sins plaguing the world, but presents this theme with a beat you can bob your head to.
“Wickedness” keeps the tempo flowing with a twist on the well-known Aesthetic Perfection sound. This track is sure to be an instant goth club classic as it is impossible not to move your body while listening to it. The line “I like the wickedness inside your skin” says it all; this is a song that is dark, yet fun!
The third track “No Boys Allowed” has a 1980s electronic feel to it and opens with Graves’ distorted voice. This bouncy song has plenty of industrial sounds that will worm their way into your brain, while also driving home an important message.
“Supernatural” is arguably the catchiest tune on the entire album and is a perfect embodiment of Industrial Pop. It combines elements of both genres, resulting in a perky track with somber lyrics that unite us in the struggle to find our own meaning of life, and the undeniable fact that we are all just human at the end of the day.
“Echoes” is the first song to take the tempo down a notch, without completely losing the upbeat tone. It is the first of four tracks on Into The Black that Jinxx of Black Veil Brides lends his guitar skills to. It is a saga of someone struggling with self-identity, which is something everyone can relate to.
The next track “We Wake Up” features Jinxx and Wesenberg (of Rotersand) , and is characterized by poppy instrumentals. It keeps up the slow tempo trend, but still manages to be upbeat and easy to sing along to.
Bringing the tempo back up, “If I Die” is a clear cut choice for an instant fan favorite. Jinxx’s guitar work on this song brings it closer to the realm of Industrial Rock than anything else Aesthetic Perfection has ever done. Once again tapping into a relatable universal theme, the lyrics talk about mortality and wanting to be remembered fondly after death.
“Saint Peter” brings us back to the electronic sound that Aesthetic Perfection fans love. A reminder that no one can escape their fate, the track dances on the line separating light and dark, as Graves is a master at creating vibrant yet macabre songs.
When the tracklist for Into The Black was released, “YOLO” was the most controversial song title, and garnished a ton of speculation about possible themes. Graves does not disappoint with the hard electronic beats and meaningful lyrics, as he drives home the point that one life is all we get.
“Mourning Doves” closes out the album on a slow and solemn note, featuring more guitar work by Jinxx. The track has a rock ballad feel, combined with industrial elements. It may not sound like the two would mix, but they do, and the result is beautiful. The lyrics talk about the struggle to make necessary changes in oneself and Graves demonstrates a wide vocal range, proving he is an extremely talented singer.
Overall, Into The Black is the best body of work that Aesthetic Perfection has released so far. It shows how the band has evolved in their sound over time (especially where the guest guitar slots are concerned), and just how far Graves has progressed as a vocalist. It has a healthy mix of screaming and clean singing, and is a perfect balance of the industrial and pop genres. It stays true to the beloved Aesthetic Perfection sound but offers a fresh take on what the fans love about the band. The tracks take the listener on an enjoyable rollercoaster of tempos and the universal themes make the lyrics relatable. It has all of the elements that make an album a success. Graves put his heart and soul into the creation of Into The Black; every detail was carefully planned, down to his creative idea for promoting the album (he made a 90s style infomercial, and a few still shots are included in this article. For more information, visit www.gettheblack.com.
Aesthetic Perfection will embark on the Into The Black World Tour in support of the album beginning with Europe in April. The set lists will vary from city to city ensuring that each performance will be special and unique. As icing on the cake, it was announced that Joe Letz (formerly of Combichrist) will join Graves and keyboardist Elliot Berlin to round out the trio just in time for the upcoming tour. This is an album/tour combo you do NOT want to miss!