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beautyinchaos thestormbeforethecalm
Artist: Beauty in Chaos
Title: The Storm Before The Calm
Genre: Gothic Rock
Release Date: 22nd May 2020
Label: 33.3 Music Collective


Album Review

Michael Ciravolo surely is well known in the world of music: Founding member of HUMAN DRAMA, playing guitar for Michael Aston’s GENE LOVES JEZEBEL for decades and of course as the president of Schecter Guitar Research. No wonder by now he has a head full of wonderful ideas of what sounds can be created using guitars that could hardly fit into the other projects. And so during a recording session Grammy-nominated Michael Rozon sparked an idea and BEAUTY IN CHAOS was born to create a space for all this creativity.

But instead of being a simple solo project, the idea soon developed into a much bigger concept. Michael Ciravolo became the curator of what he often calls “the BIC family”, music written by himself, always accompanied, mixed and produced by Michael Rozon. Yet the “family members” were much more than just “guest vocalist”. Rather Michael Ciravolo invited friends to truly co-create and gave them all the freedom as to what kind of vocals and lyrics they wanted to add which resulted in music that is as versatile as passionate. Well, the debut ‘Finding Beauty In Chaos’ and the following remix album already got me intrigued. And so I was looking forward very much to third album ‘The Storm Before The Calm’.

The opener sees an old member of the family return. With ‘The Outside’ ASHTON NYTE (THE AWAKENING) has already co-written the fourth track for this project. Yet, this song feels very different to his previous contributions. The atmospheric guitar layers, here and there with delicate accentuations, build a perfect unity with the flow of this characteristic voice. I felt immediately captured by the melancholy and restlessness that both create together. Instead of catchy melodies this song focusses on creating a strong ambience - the perfect start to dive into the new soundscapes of this album.

Compared to the intro song, ‘Almost Pure’ starts louder with more clear leading melodies. Guitar and synths almost seem to communicate with each other in turns. Yet, they soon retreat to make space for the wonderfully emotional vocals by Steven Seibold (HATE DEPT., PIGFACE). I just love how after the rather imposing start, the instrumentation gets more quiet later and perfectly reflects the pensive, almost tentative vocals and the rather wistful lyrics. ‘Temple of Desire’ instead starts with nothing but a melody and the high, otherworldly voice of RAFE PEARLMAN. The whole song with the voice as well as the instruments using rather slow and floating melodies creates a dream-like atmosphere. Rafe’s voice definitely stands out and complements perfectly the higher accentuations of the guitars.



Starting with a beautiful bass line, ‘A Kind Cruelty’ is probably the catchiest song of this album. Combined with the dark and sometimes rough voice of Curse Mackey (PIGFACE, MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT, EVIL MOTHERS) it has a more classic goth rock feeling. The driving rhythm and guitars and the catchy refrain make you nod your head immediately. And I just love the added piano melody.



After that the ‘The Delicate Balance Of All Things’ is a much darker song that sees another “family member” returning. Captivating, ominous guitars and the wonderfully low vocals by Wayne Hussey (THE MISSION) create a perfect flow taking the listener with them. Just the refrain seems to stand out with a much brighter and romantic mood. In general, a most interesting song writing with quite different parts, that still go together amazingly well. ‘Stranger’ feels unusually personal. KAT LEON’s (HOLY WARS) beautiful vocals and lyrics makes one relate easily, feeling immediately the sadness and emptiness. Again the instrumentation gives a wonderful accompaniment, rather sparse, delicate, stopping for a moment… In general this song rather uses just a few elements which create amazingly strong visuals and emotions.



The last track, ‘The Storm Before The Calm’, is definitely the most experimental. Almost half an hour of soundscapes, divided into three parts and only included on CD and the digital download. What starts rather calm with a short memory of ‘Finding Beauty In Chaos’ from the debut album, gets louder with many noises indeed feeling much like storm, followed by a more melodic part and some voices. And finally there is a real treat to be discovered. A short opera piece sung masterfully by mezzo-soprano ADRIENNE LAVEY.

Compared to the debut, ‘The Storm Before The Calm’ feels more homogenous with an overarching feeling and atmosphere. Indeed it is fascinating just how consistent this album feels even though the vocalists are constantly changing. Michael Ciravolo did indeed pick brilliant artists, all excellent vocalists with very different styles and voices and all delivering wonderfully poetic lyrics. It is just wonderful to see how the “BIC family” develops with several new “family members” being introduced.

‘The Storm Before The Calm’ proves again that it is absolutely worth to undertake this particular challenge. Because a guitar driven solo project with different guest vocals surely is a real challenge. Usually one might expect something like this to result in music overloaded with technical plays while vocals fade to insignificance. BEAUTY IN CHAOS instead feels very different. With his unique guitar style Michael Ciravolo gives the songs exactly what they need - not less and not more. The music feels in perfect unity with the vocals and it is hard to believe, that they were written afterwards.

Furthermore, I always loved how much attention BEAUTY IN CHAOS seems to pay to every part of their art - whether it is the instrumentation or the vocals, poetic lyrics or the visual presentation with the artistic videos. You can even find a short text to every song by Michael Ciravolo and the co-writing artist. All this gives BEAUTY IN CHAOS indeed the feeling of a family, full of shared passion and mutual inspiration that one can hear and feel to every last detail. And there is already the next journey to look forward to. On Halloween 2020 BEAUTY IN CHAOS will release ‘Out Of Chaos Comes…’, the next remix album which surely will again involve many excellent and inspiring musicians.


Tracklist

01. The Outside (feat. Ashton Nyte)
02. Almost Pure (feat. Steven Seibold)
03. Temple Of Desire (feat. Rafe Pearlman)
04. A Kind Cruelty (feat. Curse Mackey)
05. The Delicate Balance Of All Things (feat. Wayne Hussey)
06. Stranger (feat. Kat Leon)
07. The Storm Before The Calm
       I. The Gathering
       II. The Storm
       III. The Calm (feat. Adrienne LaVey)


Line-up

Michael Ciravolo - Guitars, Bass, Textures
Michael Rozon - Synth, Additional Drums, Piano, Bass
Dirk Dougette - Drums


Website

www.beautyinchaosmusic.com / www.facebook.com/beautyinchaosmusic


Cover Picture

beautyinchaos thestormbeforethecalm


Rating

Music: 10
Sound: 10
Total: 10 / 10




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