Bright Black Heaven- Blaqk Audio

Release Year: 2012

Rating: 8/10

I reviewed Blaqk Audio’s first album Cexcells not too long ago and it was interesting and awesome enough to make me check out their latest release. When listening to it it seems like nothing much has changed from their sound to their lyrical content, but that doesn’t mean the songs aren’t good. The songs and the music are often intriguing enough that it’ll grab your attention. And if Blaqk Audio has one mission it’s to make you dance.

The album starts off on a weird note with the song “Cold War.” For their debut, I commented how a lot of the songs had music that sounded like J-pop or that it belonged on a DDR machine. The trend continues here with this song, but it sounds more like Euro-pop if that’s possible. When the music started it actually made me think of Ace of Base. It’s not a bad song but it’s just kind of weird, at least for me mostly due to the cheesy sounding music. The upbeat, Japanese-esque music continues on the track “Fade to White.” But here the music sounds really cool and spacey, especially during the intro where the music is slow and kind of creepy. This song is pretty energetic making it good for a night of dancing or a jog around the block.

While the band manages to not have a single bad song here, there aren’t too many that stand out. “Deconstructing Gods” has dreamy, lullaby like music during the intro before the music builds up into harsh music that gives you a cold feeling, while “Everybody’s Friend” has upbeat, electric music that’s infectious. The song is interesting because the music sounds so cheerful, but it seems to be about a love affair. It’s weird, but the dynamic between the music and the lyrics is interesting. The intro to “Bliss” sounds like demented circus music, which gives off this creepy vibe. The creepiness increases with the soft vocals provided by Davey Havok, but they get more aggressive along with the rest of the music during the chorus. Even though it’s pretty creepy sounding, it’s still an awesome song.

One of the best songs here is the closing track “Ill Lit Ships.” What makes it so different is that it’s just a somber piano and pained vocals for most of the song. Just about all of the tracks have electronic inspired music and while that’s not absent from this track, it’s not the main focus. The song sounds and feels heavy, which gives it a sad tone. What’s nice about the electronic music that they use here is not only is it not overbearing, but it doesn’t ruin the somber tone. It’s a beautiful, tragic song and a startling way to close the album.

I mentioned before how Blaqk Audio’s music is interesting and attention grabbing, but with this album the music seems to be inspired mainly by 80’s New Wave, mostly on the slower songs. The riff for “Let’s Be Honest” is catchy, but it actually sounds like a New Order song from the 80s. Another song where you can hear the New Wave influence is “With Your Arms Around.” Though it does sound like one of their other songs from their first album, the music still has that 80’s vibe. It’s interesting that the band seems to be bringing this music back to the masses and at least it doesn’t sound like the electronic music being used in pop songs today.

Just as with their debut, the songs here seem to deal with love, sex, and betrayal. The lyrics allude to one night stands, discreet affairs, and broken hearts. And even though a lot of the music is upbeat and even fun at times, some of the lyrics are dark. A great lyric comes from “Ill Lit Ships,” where Havok constantly repeats “Your smile, it hurts me so.” It’s a poetic line that takes something so positive and beautiful and turns it into a weapon. It’s lines like these that take love and exposes its ugly side, which seems to be a constant theme throughout the album.

Overall, the album gets 8/10. Though nothing much has changed from their first album, it’s still a great effort. The songs are awesome with infectious music to make you dance until you can’t dance anymore. You’ll especially love the music if you’re a fan of 80’s New Wave, which seems to be the main influence here. They’re songs are catchy, even though they deal with themes of love and betrayal. If you haven’t given Blaqk Audio listen, do yourself a favor and get their latest album right now. Not only are they interesting, they make awesome dance music that’ll make you move even if you’re just sitting on the bus.

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