Wednesday 27 January 2016

Review: Aesthetic Perfection – 'Blood Spills Not Far From The Wound'

'Blood Spills Not Far From The Wound'

Revisiting and re-evaluating older material is never an easy task but sometimes the benefit of hindsight can breathe new life into things. Such is the case of Aesthetic Perfections latest release, 'Blood Spills Not Far From The Wound'. Originally an album released in in 2007 under the now defunct Necessary Response moniker, the original 'Blood Spills Not Far From The Wound' was a foray into almost futurepop territory which was at the time the antithesis of the aggressive Aesthetic Perfection. However with the more melodic content of recent Aesthetic Perfection material and the inclusion of some of these tracks in live shows the time is right to revisit the past.

The end result is a strong blend of the two projects that blurs previous lines and adds an injection of a more self-assured expression of song writing that has been building in recent years. The album sees the mixes cleaned up and the vocals re-recorded which benefits them greatly as Grave's voice is far more confident and mature now compared to 2007, and his production skills eclipse his earlier efforts.

Songs such as 'Forever', 'Vapor', 'For Al The Lost', 'Dying In The Worst Way', 'Elements', and 'Devotion' simply sound phenomenal as they power through the speakers and bringing with them a new dynamic to the Aesthetic Perfection sound. While the inclusion of the new track 'Never Enough' over the instrumental 'This Distance' adds to the dynamic of the album.

The only place that the changes perhaps don't work is on 'Spilling Blood' which is a shame. This was perhaps the only example of a track not really needing too much tweaking but the end result has left it flat compared to the original.

On the whole the new mixes and vocal performances create a much more dynamic and exciting record than the first time round. Graves has a more confident voice and hi tweaks to the production have brought the album right up to date. The result of which is a strong album that feels at home in the Aesthetic Perfection catalogue.

It is great to see this material, which was in danger of becoming a footnote in Graves' career, be reclaimed and given the treatment it deserves. Fans of the original may be a little bit prickly and guarded in how they approach this new version, but an open mind may find more positives than negatives, while those new to the album will find this a comfortable development in the continued evolution of Aesthetic Perfection.  

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