ALBUM REVIEW: “Aesthesis” by Dead Letter Circus


You either love or hate a band like Dead Letter Circus – I totally understand why people are for and against what this band offers but because I love this sound I’m a total sucker for all of the dramatics on the bands third album “Aesthesis” and I’m comfortable with being one of the many who loves them. There is an amazing ache spilling out of each song, like the band are searching for some kind of deeper spiritual meaning in this world. The way the band can collectively use pain to birth such dark yet positive sounding music is the real reward. Dead Letter Circus’ music has always provided pain relief and escape from the cruelty of the world but that sprinkling of positivity is what helps elevate it beyond those who use just darkness to communicate their pain. The music takes you deep into your own little world where you get to unlock thoughts, feelings and ideas you never realised you had lurking in your mind. This is incredibly nocturnal music, best digested late at night in bed with an amazing pair of headphones. When you engage the album through this experience you start to discover and when music gives you the space to discover and travel to deep emotional places it will always succeed as a piece of communication.

Just like the band’s debut full length “This Is The Warning” and second album “The Catalyst Fire” Dead Letter Circus once again provide a very consistent journey with each song carefully crafted and connected in the prog rock tradition. Although I feel it cliche to link the bands epic sound to prog rock I think it is a good starting point because although they don’t indulge in long songs or anything in that traditional prog template, the progressive element of the sound is how each song fits into the next. The album itself doesn’t really reveal its power and beauty until you’ve given it multiple spins. I’ve only lived with the album for 72 hours and I’m still discovering. With every brand new listen I indulge equal elements of excitement, confusion and wonder.

When you compare this album to the historical artifact that is music, you can honestly hear how “now” the sound of Dead Letter Circus is. The band makes the perfect music for this era of chaos that we live in. As an album “Aesthesis” soundtracks the dilemmas of navigating the social media framed digital absurdity and how the mechanical gods of technology have pushed us to a point where the soul and the human spirit have been pushed aside. It is safe to say that the music made by Dead Letter Circus plugs you back into your humanity and your spirit and the joy of breathing and living. That is what has always excited me about Dead Letter Circus and with “Aesthesis” they have once again shown how important the history of art and music is to them and the music they communicate and in a modern era of fast food musical hits it is always refreshing to hear a band sound so defined but also so plugged into the importance of making music a truly cleansing and healing experience.

The wonderful thing about Dead Letter Circus is that for all of their surface level alternative rock, metal and prog dynamics the band treat their music like it is art as opposed to some pointless exercise in “rocking out” and this commitment to presenting their music as art is what separates them from so many other alternative rock bands in our country. For those of us who have a heavy investment in this kind of music the two leaders of the metal tinged alt-prog rock sound in Australia are without a doubt Karnivool and Dead Letter Circus. What both bands offer is a wonderful platform for intense rock sounds to peek through into the mainstream and act as the perfect bridge to even more intense examples of the genre.

This is how 21st Century rock music was meant to sound

8 Cassette Tapes Out of 10

By: Dan Newton

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