Album-Review: Aesthetic Perfection – Till Death

Aesthetic Perfection has reached a worldwide reputation with a handful of albums, starting only in 2005 with Close to Human. But although the band has released many hit singles, the new album, Till Death, seems like the consistent full length that was still needed in the discography of Daniel’s crew.

The already acclaimed club classic “Antibody” gives the color for this album: this is going to be a killer, and we feel it right from the start. The album, decidedly coherent and solid, is actually entirely on the level of “Antibody”, filled up with catchy tracks, pop-industrial melodies and a fair number of memorable choruses, with an atmosphere and lyrics still typical from Aesthetic Perfection’s universe of sadistic, urban love(s). It seems however that Daniel kind of dropped the overly aggressive aspect of Aesthetic Perfection’s music, the very same one that seemed to have been their trademark on the previous albums. Good or bad? Only the fans’ reaction can tell. 

The change is refreshing though, and it’s nice to hear Daniel’s voice again, in more poppy songs like “Showtime” and “Lights Out”, while still keeping the personality of his second, deadly “zombie-like” voice (“Big Bad Wolf”, “The Dark Half”). The influence of Marilyn Manson becomes in that regards a bit more obvious, through the confrontation of the two antagonistic voices / inner characters. On Daniel’s own words, “Till Death” has something Emo to it. It is fortunate they have been able to combinate it to their industrial signature so well it sounds natural.

However, no matter how much the album is consistent and coherent, because it’s the current fashion in the EBM scene, we don’t escape the Dubstep tune, with “The New Black”. This new trend is as puzzling as it can be annoying (see Solar Fake – Reasons to Kill). But with Aesthetic Perfection, one must admit that it is not so bad. Yes, Aesthetic Perfection does it much better than some other bands, for their influences are so much harsher-sounding than other, more electropop related EBM bands who also tried their luck at Dubstep recently (do I really need to give names?). The result is a dubstep-y song that actually sounds pretty natural and coherent with their usual music identity. 

The last great thing to note about this album is the final song. “Lovesick” is a proper ballad. Not exactly what Aesthetic Perfection got us used to, pretty far from it. There’s nothing ironic, no evil ending, no carnal, acid lyrics or black humour here. “Lovesick” is a true melancholic song by Aesthetic Perfection, which to be honest is not the most common of things. It would be too much to say the song would leave a trace in the music history, yet it feels intriguing and soothing at the same time. I cannot guess what situation has inspired such song, however it does sound like an honest attempt to fallen romanticism by Daniel Graves. 

The american powerhouse has done well for this fourth album, made out of songs which could have almost all been singles, and even if there’s quite a dramatic change in the band sound in it, let’s hope fans will not stop at the form and go deeper into the content before forming their opinion. In all cases, this latest achievement will undoubtedly raise them to the rank of dark electronic pillar if it were still needed.

Review by Marie Lando