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Blaqk Audio - Bright Black Heaven (Cover Artwork)

Blaqk Audio

Blaqk Audio: Bright Black HeavenBright Black Heaven (2012)
Big Death / Superball Music

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: JeloneJelone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

With their main project, AFI, Davey Havok and Jade Pudget have established a reputation of constantly shifting their style while remaining decidedly punk. Indeed, Blaqk Audio, the pair's electronic side project, could be interpreted as an offshoot of AFI's Decemberunderground, a record that fused ha.
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With their main project, AFI, Davey Havok and Jade Pudget have established a reputation of constantly shifting their style while remaining decidedly punk. Indeed, Blaqk Audio, the pair's electronic side project, could be interpreted as an offshoot of AFI's Decemberunderground, a record that fused hardcore and techno without sucking. BA's first effort, Cex Cells, was actually a commendable set of dance floor ditties. It was a mixed bag for sure, blending sexy stompers with maudlin ballads, but it worked overall, and proved yet again that these were artists willing to experiment.

Which is why it's disappointing that follow-up Bright Black Heaven should feel so safe. It's a solid continuation of the Cex Cells sound–dance beats + Havok's wail–but it doesn't resonate the second time around. Sure, at it's worst, Cex Cells sounded like MIDI mall emo, and Bright Black Heaven is wise to avoid those pitfalls. But it can't match its highs either. The dark lyricism, reminiscent of Depeche Mode at their most sexually provocative and rendered all the more threatening/enticing by Havok's delivery, seems watered down a bit here. It's like they were pursuing a more mainstream pop approach (not unlike Crash Love in a way), but it just makes the work feel impersonal.

There are still flashes of success, however. Opener "Cold War" has all sorts of ideas â??n' hooks dancing around. "Everybody's Friends" and "With Your Arms Around You" pack a whole mess of catchy keyboard lines and a big chorus, proving that all that talk about David Guetta wasn't just a bit for credibility. But the album has a haze of homogeneity around it. It doesn't even feel like an album, really. Cex Cells had its weaknesses, but at least it flowed. Bright Black Heaven feels like a collection of halfhearted singles. Blaqk Audio's first effort was strong enough to stand on its own, but this time out, the act really does feel like a placeholder for the next AFI album.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
NOFX - The DeclineThe Flatliners - CavalcadeAFI - Shut Your Mouth and Open Your EyesThe Weakerthans - Reconstruction SiteThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldAFI - The Art Of DrowningAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitAFI - Sing The SorrowThe Gaslight Anthem - HandwrittenThe Menzingers - On the Impossible Past

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Dante3000 (September 14, 2012)

Needs moar, "I want a Mowhawk."

Deadpan (September 14, 2012)

In which parallel universe was Decemberunderground not a flatulent mess? Because I wouldn't mind living there.

oldpunkerforever (September 14, 2012)

this is fine I suppose. I will stick with VNV Nation/Assemblage 23/ Funker V/ Depeche if I want to listen to this type of stuff-oldpunker-

mikexdude (September 14, 2012)

I think it's funny people are nostalgic for shitty metal-influenced AFI like Black Sails. Needs more "Veronica Sawyer Smokes."

thismikeisapipebomb (September 14, 2012)

"Need more sing the sorrow"...Classic Renaldo!

xherojuanax (September 14, 2012)

This album is much more enjoyable than CexCells. Much more focused, as well. "Faith Healer" and "Say Red" are such great songs.

Dante3000 (September 14, 2012)

I don't hate this record but it is incredibly boring. There's nothing about it that makes it stick out at all.

sirsambo (September 14, 2012)

Crash Love. Not amazing by any means. Needs more Black Sails (again).

rudeskata (September 14, 2012)

Say Red is a decent track.

djjojo (September 14, 2012)

need more All Hallow's EP

mikexdude (September 14, 2012)

How good was Crash Love? Amazing.

LeightonESmith (September 14, 2012)

Need more Black Sails

renaldo69 (September 14, 2012)

need more 'sing the sorrow'

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