Well I don’t feel anything, but, right now, I’m feeling you."
-- Aesthetic Perfection, "The Siren"
Artist(s): Aesthetic Perfection
Album: A Violent Emotion
I'll admit that I'm a bit behind the times, as this album's been out for a few years now. But that's okay, because it is 100% pure Grade A awesome. Brutal industrial beats, combined with a steady mix of distorted and un-distorted vocals, and themes meandering between self-destruction, mutual condemnation, fairy-tale creepiness, and other strange and complex ideas - this is one of my go to albums right now if I want some solid industrial with intelligible and coherent lyrics that aren't just about murder and unbridled aggression (I've got Dismantled and Combichrist for those).
"A Violent Emotion" is just a really, really good "general" industrial album that doesn't get too caught up in itself and provides a good mix for the aural palate.
Highlights: Honestly, I really like every single track on this album. Daniel Graves did not waste a single jot on half-assed filler-tunes or sub-par experimentalism of any kind.
If I had to choose, I say "Pale" and "The Ones" are my two favorite tracks, but they've got stiff competition from everything else on this release.
"Pale" mostly because the subject seems to be one of emotional manipulation in the face of the search for truth, a particularly resonant topic. The repeated chorus of: "And I'd lie for a chance to taste joy/And I'd die for a chance to keep going on..." just kicks home that sense of internal desolation and compromising of the self that comes with relationship dissolution. The song evinces strong upbeat techno roots, but without the dull repetition that plagues most techno - maybe synthpop might be a better term than techno then. Either way, it's still got an inexorable sense of accusal and despair in the lyrics to make it less hopeful than most synth- and future- pop.
"The Ones" strikes me as some kind of dark fairy tale version of the tooth fairy (in fact, it specifically reminds me of the little blue tooth fairy monsters from Hellboy: The Golden Army). The whole song smacks of some kind of paranoid schizophrenic delusion after a week off one's meds. The creep factor is excellent, but that creepiness is accompanied by a solid industrial beat, a discordant "out-of-tune" synthesizer piano, and voice distortions that sound more like buzzing than a voice.
Final Thoughts: Definitely one of the albums I take with me everywhere - I literally keep the CD in the car just in case my MP3 player dies so that I can keep listening to something on repeat that I'm unlikely to get tired of and switch out or have to repeatedly skip tracks on.
Seriously, it really is that "all around" good as an album, with frequent mood changes - so whether you're a hardcore industrial fan or just someone who likes a little industrial while driving or playing video games, "A Violent Emotion" is a no-holds-barred win, musically speaking.
In fact, I'd even say it's an excellent entry-album for anyone interested in learning whether they like industrial music. Even if industrial isn't your thing, you're still likely to find a couple of tracks you'll enjoy.
Based on this album alone, I already know that I absolutely want to pick up their previous album "Close to Human" (which I've been able to sample a little on Digital Gunfire) and their latest release from this year "All Beauty Destroyed". And I think that's probably compliment enough, all by itself.
-- Mr. M.