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Dark Beauty - Fall From Grace (2014) - Review

Band: Dark Beauty
Album title: Fall From Grace
Release date: 19 August 2014
Label: Self-Released

01. Dark Lullaby
02. Wrong Side Of Heaven
03. Mirage
04. My Abyss
05. Eternal Chamber
06. Wicked Dollhouse
07. Mystery Of The Mind
08. Fallen
09. Save Yourself
10. Mystery Of The Mind (Artie Productions Remix) [Bonus Track]

American band Dark Beauty made its first steps in 2009 when lead vocalist and songwriter Liz Tapia wrote the first song "Save Yourself". Soon she was joined by the rest of the team and the long process of writing songs for the album has begun. Dark Beauty is not kind of a simple and usual music group, we have some very skilled and professional musicians here, who again created an album that is special from many points of view. Album entitled Fall From Grace is the first part of a larger concept based around the story depicting the tragic tale of the Dark Angel being banished from heaven, she is pulled down from grace above, falling deep into the woods of the dark primeval forest and with a broken wing she now rules an old abandoned castle, containing secret passages, hidden staircases, and ruined sections. The band has a strong story concept behind, they've choosen a strong, yet not very original band name, there are skilled musicians involved and yes, they have to warant all this.

The album comes divided in nine parts that shows interesting musical versatility in all of the compositions, it's not something regular you might expect from female fronted gothic band, but you'll find in there many elements that usually don't go together that easily. Liz & co. have the ability to weave together in a smooth totality elements of classical music, dark rock, symphonic metal, 60s/70s classic rock, progressive rock, even ethereal, world music, oriental music and some electronics. Now, how this sounds like in reality? Since the opener "Dark Lullaby" the listener is pushed in kind of a magical world, delivered in a narrative - theatrical way, with the main point being Liz's voice and gentle piano playing confusing yet touchy scores. Then the guitarist Bryan Zeigler is doing some wonders, beside heavy, sometimes progressive, he's coming forward with some riffs that might remind even to Jimmy Page, Santana or Ritchie Blackmore on early Rainbow albums. Then the dark cello on for example gloomy ballad "Wrong Side Of Heaven" deepens the feeling of being pushed into a fantasy world. Liz Tapia's singing style, ranging from smooth soprano to operatic high pitched style makes wonders in depicting the magical oriental tale in almost eleven minutes long captivating beauty "Mirage", add here some tribalistic percussions covered with playful vintage guitars and there's the winner.

It's noticeable in the background that Nightwish and Lacrimosa had a slight impact as an influence if you pay attention to details, especially in the safer tracks in the middle of the album, "My Abyss", "Eternal Chamber", "Wicked Dollhouse" with the floydish opening, and gently caressing "Mystery Of The Mind", that pass by like an easy playing lullaby with an inner reflection into the things that the main character must overcome. There's a surprise waiting with fast and energetic "Fallen" where hammond organ and vintage rock basis plays a role of a nice refreshment, just before the danceable, gothy, ritualistic and the most charming song up here, "Save Yourself", kicks in with its catchy lines and mesmerizing glow, plus some Italian spoken words and laughter in the background gives a feeling of being in a theatre and watching a stage play. Yes, there's a bonus at the end, the remix of the track "Mystery Of The Mind", done perfectly, almost like it's not the same track. With this one Dark Beauty shows that the dark dancefloors and electro scene is not something unfamiliar for them and I believe that this one has a potential of becoming a club hit.

Fall From Grace is a very good start for a band that has it all; ideas, talent, songwriting skills and a lot of potential. Apart from some minor productional and mixing issues on a couple of occasions and sometimes relenting song structures everything sounds good and the lovers of good stories told through music have another player on the scene just waiting to be consumed and I'm sure it'll take you with its imaginary magical touch into the world of fairytales and dark stories.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 8/10