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Beauty In Chaos - The Storm Before The Calm (2020) - Review

Band: Beauty In Chaos
Album title: The Storm Before The Calm
Release date: 22 May 2020
Label: 33.3 Music Collective
Genre: Gothic Rock, Alternative Rock, Post-Punk, Pop

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 (feat. Adrienne LaVey) [Bonus]

I guess that almost every fan of gothic rock must already be familiar with the name Beauty In Chaos who just released their third album named The Storm Before The Calm, ok it's more a mini album, since it contains only six, conditionally seven songs on some editions. No matter what, the total playing time is almost 40 minutes and like on the previous two releases, the main man behind the project Michael Ciravolo, gathered some notable all-star guests, some returning, some new, like Ashton Nyte (The Awakening, MGT), Wayne Hussey (The Mission), Steven Seibold (Hate Dept., Pigface), Kat Leon (Holy Wars), Curse Mackey (Pigface, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Evil Mothers), Rafe Pearlman and mezzo-soprano Adrienne LaVey. Maybe it's not such a big shoot like it was the first album, Finding Beauty In Chaos (2018), where Michael gathered more big stars from the music business, but it doesn't matter as with this new album the things seem to be a little more stylistically balanced.

In case that the name Michael Ciravolo doesn't sound familiar, let me tell you that this musician originally from New Orleans, now living and working in Los Angeles, was playing guitar in Human Drama for 30 years, in addition to playing live and recording with Michael Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel since 1998, but he is best known as president of Schecter Guitar Research. Now this Beauty In Chaos family made an album that is both, modern and paying homage to 80s. It's dark, sometimes melancholic, but it has a lot of light inside and I can say that almost each song has that radio friendly character. In contrast to previous releases, here's no presence of industrial rock, neither you'll find any heavier riffs, The Storm Before The Calm is more like a blend of goth, alternative rock, pop-rock, post-punk and new wave, and never going too much in a certain direction. 

The songs are quite different between each other, mostly due to diverse vocal approaches it seems that we are listening to a different band each time, but if we pay attention to those mesmerizing guitar lines it's quite obvious that guitar master like Ciravolo must be behind them. The songs don't bring something enthusiastically new, sometimes moody and atmospheric like the melancholic "Almost Pure" with Steven Seibold or the delicate and sensual ballad "Stranger" with great Kat Leon behind the vocals. For my taste the best thing up here is the opener "The Outside" with the amazing Ashton Nyte from The Awakening. Ok, this one could be easily mistaken with a song of The Awakening or MGT as Ashton's deep, romantic and timbre dark voice is so characteristic and unmistakable. I can't skip the rather murky "The Delicate Balance Of All Things" with the living dark rock legend Wayne Hussey, which sounds maybe even better than many things that The Mission did in the last years. Like a bonus on some album editions comes the evocative album title track with the fabolous mezzo-soprano Adrienne LaVey.

Soaring and sparkling, often nicely driven dark/goth/wave guitars with plenty of intriguing leads, gentle but strong bass and rhythmic line, well used studio software/hardware meltdowns, synths and piano sounds that add a lot of depth to the already atmospheric songs. Yes, it's dark but always with a light. There are also two rather mellow alternative songs, "Temple Of Desire" and "A Kind Cruelty" that from now on I'll try to skip. All in all, The Storm Before The Calm, is nice, moody, often catchy, sometimes lush, it does have the right vibe, it's beauty wrapped in chaos. Maybe the "true" or "elitistic" goth/dark rockers will turn their heads away from this album, but at least everybody into this kind of music should give it a try as it does offer a lot.

Review written by: Tomaz
Rating: 7,5/10

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