Tag Archives: Aesthetic Perfection

REVIEW: Aesthetic Perfection’s Heavy Sonics Nearly Bring Down Seattle Bar (10-15-19)

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SEATTLE — For nearly two decades, producer Daniel Graves’ attention-grabbing and infectious industrial pop project, Aesthetic Perfection, has defied the world’s demands for definitions by blending genres and reinventing what it means to be a dark electro artist.

Last year, Aesthetic Perfection announced the “Into The Black World Tour 2019” to support their fifth studio album, Into The Black. The European leg of the tour commenced in the month of April in the UK, and the North American leg began in the beginning of September in San Diego. For the second date of this leg, they performed in Mesa, AZ — home of Burning Hot Events. Aesthetic Perfection’s North American tour made one of its last stops at Highline Bar with supporting acts Empathy Test and LAZERPUNK.

LAZERPUNK

LAZERPUNK, from Budapest, set an apropos dark and gritty tone, with electronic music so heavy that it feels like it resonates with your flesh and courses through your veins. The intensity of the music, especially as it was coming from just one man wearing an Adidas baseball cap, was nearly beyond comprehension.

LAZERPUNK
| Photographer:
Katherine Amy Vega, Kataklizmic Design
© All Rights Reserved
Photo Gallery

Stepping into the environment of the club that night and being smacked with the power of these beats was like being dragged into an alternate universe. It was easily a reminder of why so many of us go out to industrial shows for the cathartic experience — communally flipping a switch that turns on a stifled side of our souls that is screaming and clawing to get out and rage during the mundane day-to-day, as we dismally watch our world socially and environmentally corrode around us. It is here we are uplifted, escape, and achieve balance in a combination of commiseration, unadulterated passion for music, and unjudged embracement of our dark, but not necessarily evil, sides.

Empathy Test

With Isaac Howlett’s British vocals that feel longing and aching, and an ethereal touch, synthwave act Empathy Test has no doubt drawn some associations to Depeche Mode innumerable times. As a blend of 80s sci-fi soundtracks, 90s guitar bands, and modern underground dance as influences, they are a duo in the studio (Howlett and producer Adam Relf), and currently a trio performing live. The beautiful thing about electronic music, as demonstrated by LAZERPUNK and Empathy Test, is that something so big can come from so few people. With the aid of Angel Metro on keys and Christina “Chrisy” Lopez on drums, the trio pulled the entranced audience at Highline into a galaxy of emotion. In between songs, Howlett brought some levity back to the room with charming, good-humored banter. Teeming with talent, Empathy Test are also responsible for their breathtaking artwork.

Isaac Howlett (Vocals), Empathy Test
| Photographer:
Katherine Amy Vega, Kataklizmic Design
© All Rights Reserved
Photo Gallery

Aesthetic Perfection

When Aesthetic Perfection hit the stage, it wasn’t long before the integrity of the building structure was tested as the crowd unapologetically jumped with such force the floor could be felt bouncing under your feet — admittedly not the most comforting feeling when you’re on the second story of a building.

Daniel Graves (Vocals), Aesthetic Perfection
Photographer:
Katherine Amy Vega, Kataklizmic Design
© All Rights Reserved
Photo Gallery

Consisting of the aforementioned vocalist and programmer Graves, Elliott Berlin on keys/guitar/bass, infamous drummer Joe Letz (formerly of Combichrist and a slew of other industrial bands), this trio contrasted Empathy Test with deliciously harsh aggrotech.

The band added a delightfully creative “speed dating” VIP upgrade experience for this tour in which fans got a guarantee to interact with every band number. Additionally, the package included a signed setlist, signed polaroid, signed poster, and VIP laminate — basically all of the essentials that any diehard fan is going to want to collect from a show, and a really smart offer on the band’s part to turn a profit on their tour.

Daniel Graves (Vocals), Aesthetic Perfection
Photographer:
Katherine Amy Vega, Kataklizmic Design
© All Rights Reserved
Photo Gallery

The diversity of Graves’ vocal techniques shine in sexy transitions between a vicious growl and a timbre that might be described as an approximate blend of Jay Godon (Orgy) and the late Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) — this vocal flux is exemplified in the track “Ebb and Flow”; there is a broody and agonizing cover of ‘NSync’s “Bye Bye Bye” (featuring guitarist Nikki Misery of New Years Day) in which he hits an impressively powerful high note with chest voice at the bridge, a beautiful falsetto in the new Into the Black opening track “Gods & Gold”, and even an OTEP-like quality in the theatrical track “Dark Ages”.

Berlin jumped back and forth between instruments, with hair flying wildly to no end, and making himself an entertaining spectacle each time he climbed upon his keyboard and thrashed around amongst the rising smoke.

Elliott Berlin (Keys, Bass), Aesthetic Perfection
Photographer:
Katherine Amy Vega, Kataklizmic Design
© All Rights Reserved
Photo Gallery

Meanwhile, Letz made apparent why his percussive skills are so acclaimed, as the vigorous force of the backing beats that he was responsible for nearly brought down the house.

Joe Letz (Drums), Aesthetic Perfection
Photographer:
Katherine Amy Vega, Kataklizmic Design
© All Rights Reserved
Photo Gallery

Holy shit,” was the sentiment that coursed through my head all night, and near the finale of their set, Graves showed that those in the crowd were not alone in sheer awe of the magnitude of the immense energy pervading the venue, as he let out a clearly sincere, “Holy shit Seattle!

Daniel Graves (Vocals), Aesthetic Perfection
Photographer:
Katherine Amy Vega, Kataklizmic Design
© All Rights Reserved
Photo Gallery

Aesthetic Perfection will go on to tour in Germany from October 25th through November 2nd, with alternating and combined support by Empathy Test and Iris on select dates. If you’ve lost touch, this lineup is a mind-blowing reminder of what there is to love about industrial shows, that they are alive and well, and it is still a scene worth supporting.

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by Katherine Amy Vega

View Separately: Aesthetic Perfection | Empathy Test | LAZERPUNK

Aesthetic Perfection, Empathy Test, LAZERPUNK – Highline Bar 10-15-19

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Photography © Kataklizmic Design
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Industrial Pop Outfit AESTHETIC PERFECTION Reveals Eccentric Music Video for “Gods & Gold”, Featuring Guitars by Richard Z. Kruspe of RAMMSTEIN

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Los Angeles-based producer Daniel Graves has been turning heads with his addictive industrial pop project, Aesthetic Perfection, for nearly two decades. Since forming in 2000, Graves has released five full-length albums, numerous singles and music videos, all the while reinventing what it means to be a dark electro artist. Blending industrial, pop, goth, and everything in between, Aesthetic Perfection defies definitions in a world that demands them.

Today marks the release of the visually stunning and eccentric new music video for “Gods & Gold“, an instantly gripping industrial pop crossover anthem with an unforgettable hook that listeners will be humming for days. The track features scorching guitars by the inimitable Richard Z. Kruspe of Rammstein, who adds an extra aggressive punch to the tune. Watch the deliciously avant garde video now via Alternative Press HERE.

Aesthetic Perfection mastermind Daniel Graves says about “Gods & Gold“:Gods & Gold was a very challenging song for us to work on. I really wanted to push the envelope here and try something new. We’d been tinkering with it for quite some time and it was just coming up short. Once our friend Richard Kruspe expressed interest in playing on the record, I instantly knew he was the missing puzzle piece. I didn’t even realize I’d had his playing style and vibe in mind when I was writing the track until that very second. Then BOOM, just like magic it all came together. It instantly became our favorite song and obvious choice for the first track on the album. Of course, we’re all enormous Rammstein fans and honored to finally work with Richard in a professional capacity.”

Aesthetic Perfection Into The Black

Gods & Gold” is cut from Aesthetic Perfection‘s fifth and latest studio album, Into The Black, which hit stores everywhere on March 29 via Close to Human Music. Featuring an all-star cast of collaborators such as the aforementioned Richard Z. Kruspe, Jinxx of Black Veil Brides, Mick Kenney of Anaal Nathrakh and Krischan Wesenberg of Rotersand, Into The Black is the most mature Aesthetic Perfection album to date. Fans can order Into The Black and “Gods & Gold” now via Apple Music, Amazon and Bandcamp. Physical editions and merch are available HERE, and the album can be streamed via Spotify.

Into The Black features acclaimed drummer Joe Letz, recognized for his work with artists such as Emigrate (also featuring Richard Z. Kruspe), Combichrist, Wednesday 13, Genitorturers and several other top heavy music artists.

Dark and gritty, yet undeniably catchy and melodic, Into The Black builds upon the band’s past while solidly keeping its eyes focused on the future. From the haunting electronic melodies of “Supernatural” to the twangy guitars of “Echoes“, from the punch-to-the-gut beat of “No Boys Allowed” to the soaring highs of “Mourning Doves“, Daniel Graves takes the transgressive art form known as industrial pop to the next level.

Aesthetic Perfection will head out on a full North American headline tour beginning September 6, 2019 in San Diego, CA. The tour will feature support artist Empathy Test and will visit over a month’s-worth of cities, coming to a close in Los Angeles, CA on October 19. See below for all tour dates, and visit Aesthetic Perfection‘s website HERE for tickets and HERE for VIP information.

Aesthetic Perfection Into The Black Tour

Aesthetic Perfection Tour Dates with Empathy Test:

September 06, 2019 – The Casbah – San Diego, CA
September 07, 2019 – Club Red – Mesa, AZ
September 08. 2019 – Rock House – El Paso, TX
September 12, 2019 – Amp Room – San Antonio, TX
September 13, 2019 – Elysium – Austin, TX
September 14, 2019 – Warehouse Live – Houston, TX
September 15, 2019 – The Church – Dallas, TX
September 17, 2019 – The Goat – New Orleans, LA
September 18, 2019 – Drunken Unicorn – Atlanta, GA
September 19, 2019 – The 926 Bar – Tallahassee, FL
September 20, 2019 – The Orpheum – Tampa, FL
September 21, 2019 – Will’s – Orlando, FL
September 24, 2019 – The Milestone – Charlotte, NC
September 25, 2019 – Fallout – Richmond, VA
September 26, 2019 – Dangerous Pies – Washington, DC
September 27, 2019 – Voltage Lounge – Philadelphia, PA
September 28, 2019 – The Knitting Factory – Brooklyn, NY
September 29, 2019 – ONCE Ballroom – Boston, MA
September 30, 2019 – Mohawk Place – Buffalo, NY
October 01, 2019 – Coalition – Toronto, ON
October 02, 2019 – Howlers – Pittsburgh, PA
October 03, 2019 – The Event Center – Cincinnati, OH
October 04, 2019 – Small’s – Detroit, MI
October 05, 2019 – Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
October 06, 2019 – Club Anything – Milwaukee, WI
October 07, 2019 – Warehouse – LaCrosse, WI
October 08, 2019 – Red Sea Lounge – Minneapolis, MN
October 09, 2019 – Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
October 11, 2019 – Marquis Theater – Denver, CO
October 12, 2019 – Area 51 – Salt Lake City, UT
October 14, 2019 – Pub 340 – Vancouver, BC
October 15, 2019 – Highline – Seattle, WA
October 16, 2019 – Paris Theater – Portland, OR
October 18, 2019 – Brick and Mortar – San Francisco, CA
October 19, 2019 – Lodge Room – Los Angeles, CA

Aesthetic Perfection is:

Daniel Graves – Vocals
Elliott Berlin – Keys & Guitars
Joe Letz – Drums

Aesthetic Perfection Online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter
Instagram | YouTube