Friday, January 31, 2014

Some food for thought: music should be made for the sake of personal expression, not for fans

Today Revolver Magazine posted the  new Aesthetic Perfection album 'Til Death on its website. Of course the controversy that followed from the singles released from the album last year has followed well into the new year. If you didn't know and have been living in a cave or under a rock, Daniel Graves has decided to take his music in a different direction. While the new sound is nothing like Daniel's work on his one album project Necessary Response's Blood Spills Not Far From the Wound, the music on 'Til Death is extremely catchy. Unlike on previous Aesthetic Perfection albums, Daniel's vocals are clean and rarely ventures into the harsh territory. The closest Daniel comes to his former distorted, growling-sounding vocals are on "Happily Ever After", "Death Rattle", and "The New Black" (to a certain degree), and "The Dark Half". I enjoyed most of the album. There were a couple of tracks that didn't float my boat but overall I do think it is a solid album.

As a result for Daniel taking Aesthetic Perfection's in a different direction, the reactions from fans have been mixed. A lot of fans (like myself) dug the new sound. Then there are those fans who expected a regurgitation of A Violent Emotion. Those complaining about the direction Daniel took has this strange idea that Daniel makes music for THEM, not as a way to express himself through writing lyrics and music. While I am not going to say those complaining don't have a right to express their opinions, some of those people have been downright disrespectful and rude with their comments when a new single was released last year. These so-called "fans" wants Daniel to keep rehashing the same music over and over. Let me tell you there are a ton of aggrotech bands out there. Aesthetic Perfection wasn't the first band to make that type of music, nor will they be the last. Look at Suicide Commando who is still churning out some kick ass aggrotech as is Hocico and Amduscia. Then there are the newer bands like Freakangel, Detroit Diesel, Nitro/Noise, Sirus, Cyferdene, and Alien Vampires. Good gawd! Do people not bother to try to look online for new music?

I don't really expect my favorite bands to try to create music that is totally innovative and something completely different. What I do expect is for them is to listen to their hearts and follow the path they want to take, not what I want them to take...that and make some bloody good music. I remember on the last Unter Null album Moving On, there were a few people who weren't crazy about the album and were hoping for something in the vein of The Failure Epiphany. I enjoyed Moving On thoroughly. I could hear what Erica Norris's musical influences at the time in the music. While not brutal or harsh like The Failure Epiphany, Moving On was certainly an intense and noisy ride as I expected that it would be. Do I expect the new Unter Null album to be anything like her previous albums? No. I just want some new Unter Null music and that it would be kickass and something that Erica would be damn proud of putting out under the Unter Null brand name.

If music fans continue to think the way they do like Daniel Grave's detractors, why don't they form their own bands and make music that they want to hear? I think it is incredibly selfish for people to expect artists like Daniel Graves make music for THEM, not as a way to expression their emotions and creativity. Music is not a commodity, it is an art form. Artists should be given the room to create music and express their emotions as they see fit. Call me bias since I am friends with numerous musicians but that is just how I see it. I think it is disappointing when I see people slagging on artists for not conforming to their expectations.

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