‘Aesthesis’ is the elemental awareness of sensory stimulation, as such it is the perfect choice of moniker for the mesmerising new full-length from Dead Letter Circus. Aesthesis is an album that will make you feel, and those emotions will be stadium sized.
Aesthesis sees Dead Letter Circus pick up where they left off with their acclaimed second album, The Catalyst Fire. Aestheis builds upon The Catalyst Fire’s expansive sound, by encircling singer Kim Benzie’s transcendent vocals in layers of atmospheric guitars and subtle electronic undertones while the rhythm section of Luke Williams and Stewart Hill holds everything in place with their trademark progressive approach.
Technical wizardry aside, melody and emotionality have always been the foundation of Dead Letter Circus’ appeal and on Aesthesis they’ve explored and embraced these elements more than ever before, placing Benzie’s empowering melodic performances as the focal point of every song. The result is a spacious and uplifting sounding progressive rock record overflowing with instantly memorable hooks that should help boost the band’s popularity without alienating their dedicated core fanbase.
The acoustic guitars and tender vocals on slow-burning opener In Plain Sight lend Aesthesis an instant cinematic feel, and it’s not hard to envision the soaring chorus accompanying a triumphant action sequence in a Hollywood blockbuster.
Similar grandiose imagery springs to mind during lead single While You Wait with its hypnotic vocal patterns and arena rock instrumentals and on the ferocious alt-rocker Change The Concept, home to some killer cascading axe-work from guitarists Clint Vincent and Luke Palmer.
Lyrically Aesthesis sees Benzie once again find sources of light and hope in dark places and those narratives are a perfect match for the gargantuan soundscapes Dead Letter Circus have created. Just try NOT to be moved by Show Me’s pleas for a “peaceful resolution” or the naked honesty of YANA, and you’ll understand the rare songwriting gift these Queenslanders possess.
Dead Letter Circus have stated that writing Aesthesis made them realise how much they love both each other and making music and that sense of connectivity and elation permeates throughout each track, reaching a zenith on closer Born (Part 2) a fan-favourite in waiting that will stir and amaze in equal measure.
A production dream team of Matt Bartlem, Zach Hylton and Forrester Savell absolutely nail it and the deft touch of the legendary Chris Lord-Alge (Muse, Deftones, My Chemical Romance, Paramore) in the mixing chair has given Aesthesis a more radio-ready sound. This a band that seems destined to take over commercial airwaves as easily as they have alternative ones, and Aesthesis should prove to be one giant step in their ascension to stardom.
Listen: Dead Letter Circus – While You Wait