Blaqk Audio
Bright Black Heaven

1. Cold War  
2. Fade to White  
3. Faith Healer  
4. Deconstructing Gods  
5. Everybody’s Friends  
6. Let’s Be Honest  
7. With Your Arms Around You  
8. Bliss  
9. Bon Voyeurs  
10. The Witness  
11. Say Red  
12. Ill-Lit Ships  

Davey Havok (Lead vocals, primary lyricist, production)
Jade Puget (Keyboards, synthesizer, programming, backing vocals, primary composer, production)

Cexcells (2007)


Michael Patterson (mix)

Released 21/9-2012
Reviewed 21/9-2012

superball music

Seems like I started to play the old classic Forever Young by Alphaville here… nope, it wasn't. But the first track of Blaqk Audios second album definitely had its similarities with that. And this leads me to a very good question actually - why have I got this album? It's kind of like 'Popgefahr' by De:Vision which we received a few years ago - it's just don't fit with the Hallowed agenda on albums that we review. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining - I think this album is really good and certaintly a positive surprise (just like 'Popgefahr') but I'm pretty sure of the outspoken focus we have towards hard rock, metal, punk rock, hardcore and other "heavier" genres of music. This synthpop album is perhaps good, but I don't really know how much I can contribute with as I don't know the genre. At all.

Well, perhaps it's possible to describe the album anyway, and to make a simple explanation of what you get from 'Bright Black Heaven' it's a fast and catchy synthpop album with plenty of electronics and tempo changes. As I'm a bit of a novice on the genre I think it sounds a bit like Daft Punk had in fast forward and much more catchy melodies. But I can't really see this album work at the night clubs where this kind of music normally works best as it's not really possible to dance with the music - it's just too fast and too many tempo changes. However, at an sold out arena full of thousands hardcore fans I'm sure you'll get goosebumps when they get to the chorus of songs like Faith Healer and With Your Arms Around me with all those fans singing along. And I'm sure they'll create an earthquake jumping along with songs like Say Red.

I haven't heard the first album by this duo but I've understood this isn't the first time they work together as their collaboration begun in AFI some years ago. Davey Havok does all the vocal parts while Jade Puget is responsible for the music and obviously they work really well together as both vocals and music sounds very good. It has that distinct sound of the 80's pop scene and this can't be negative as I'm sure many will agree with me that if pop music was good anytime in history it was in the 80's as it's here all those monster hits came, this was when MTV started and revolutionized the music video and this was when the music industry understood how to make hits, but without going too far with it - the perfect combination of well written music and hit-fit. 'Bright Black heaven' wasn't made or released in the 80's but it really have major similarities with the popular music of the 80's but with a modern (and better) production that makes the album feel fresh and exciting! Well, that's my opinion at least.

The music is built mostly around the electronics, such as keyboards, synthezisers and thumping drum machines. Then they have plenty of samplings as well, which I guess comes mostly from the 80's but I assume there's also some from the 70's and 90's in there. In some aspects it sounds a bit like a cross-breed between the sound of the club life of the techno and the progressive metal in the aspect that it seems very difficult to stay on one rhythm and in one melody for longer than a few seconds. And it's not like they make good tempo and melody changes, they come abruptly and without transitions in to better ones and they seem to be there only because they have some sort of obsession with making them. The vocals are better then, they remninds me of great 80's pop icons like Limahl and that kind of cheesy disco guys - in a good way.

I said already in the beginning that I'm really not suited for judging this kind of music as I can't compare it with anything due to my limited amount of reference but as far as I can tell it sounds both interesting and good. Sure, the many (and strange) changes of melodies and tempo anytime and every time annoys me a little but otherwise I think it's a really good album by the duo. An album I'll probably play many times in the future, but that's me and to all of Halloweds regular readers that may not be so open minded towards other kind of music than hard rock I say this with a warning. If your music taste is as limited as your mind (but if it is - why are you reading Hallowed?) then don't even bother. But to everyone else - check it out!



Label: Big Death/Superball Music
Three similar bands: De:Vision/Alphaville/Imaginary War
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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