October 3, 2018 Beauty in Chaos – Finding Beauty in Chaos (Album Review)
When the artists behind a collective musical project include high-profile and seasoned luminaries of their respective scenes, its success is imminent. It is already a given. Then, what more if the music itself is not only compelling, but also fresh and familiar at the same time?
This is the case of Finding Beauty in Chaos, the forthcoming debut album of the supergroup Beauty in Chaos – the brainchild of Los Angeles-based Guitarist Michael Ciravolo. Not only does it feature big names in the ’80s Gothic New Wave era, such as Simon Gallup (The Cure), Wayne Hussey (The Mission), Michael Aston (Gene Loves Jezebel), Al Jourgensen (Ministry), Pando (A Flock of Seagulls), and Kevin Kipnis (Kommunity FK); but the songs themselves are each an architectural wonder by itself.
Released on Friday, September 28, 2018, on 33.3 Records, Finding Beauty in Chaos opens with the allure of the moonlit-journey swagger of “Road to Rosario.” Easily sounding like a lost gem of Gene Loves Jezebel, the voice of one of the Aston twins is as distinct as ever, making the entire album worth waiting for and enough to desire for.
This is followed by the album’s carrier single, the Ashton Nyte–fronted “Storm,” which shifts to a higher gear and fuzzier predisposition, yet pursues the same dark and cool musicality. “Man of Faith” is a slight change in progression; a further trek to gloomier Gothic territories; perfectly driven by The Cure’s bass muso Gallup and, of course, The Mission’s charismatic frontman, Hussey, who croons silkily like a butterfly on a wheel.
“20th Century Boy” is a game changer, in which the butterfly is suddenly pushed into an Industrial/Heavy Metal machination, to give way to the metallic yet bluesy churning, clanking, and creaking of Ministry’s Jourgensen. In the ensuing “Drifting Away,” Vocalist Robin Zander of Cheap Trick is a revelation, having been able to maintain his Power Pop sensibilities in the context of the album’s Gothic Rock direction. “Memory of Love” is a chameleonic sonic beauty, initially coming across as a rustic acoustic piece, only to metamorphose into a synth-drenched melancholy of a song; featuring Johnny Indovina of Human Drama on the helm.
“Look Up,” featuring Bass Player Tish Ciravolo on vocals, is certainly an ear catcher; it exudes similar yet feminine darkness and subtle guitar animosity; but obviously because it is sung by a female, the song effectively stands out from the rest of the testosterone tracks. The ensuing “Un-Natural Disaster” is another trick changer – Industrial/Grunge/Nu Metal combo which will fit a playlist that includes Faith No More’s “Falling to Pieces,” Linkin Park’s “Crawling,” Nine Inch Nails’ “Terrible Lie,” Soundgarden’s “Outshined,” and Alice in Chains’s “Would?”; the presence of Doug Pinnick of Kings X and ICE-T of Body Count in this track makes the collection more eclectic than it already is.
“The Long Goodbye” is unexpected, especially for those who are familiar with Hussey’s works – still oozing with Gothic temperament but is remarkably contained, smooth and suave compared with many of The Mission’s hit singles. The midtempo, loungy mode then flows into “Beauty Lies,” once again featuring Indovina on vocals, singing slightly imposingly. Another Nyte-fronted, ominous song comes next in the form of the Eastern-inspired “Bloodless and Fragile,” conjuring images of sun-drenched Arabian-desert mornings. The eeriness of the fluid, romantic ballad “I Will Follow You” is an apt near-end track; Dark-Folk mistress Evi Vine’s soulful vocal delivery is hypnotically alluring. Another plucked-guitar-led ballad follows—“Heliotrope,” as sung by Caterwaul’s Betsy Martin.
Finally, the collaborative effort closes with the seven-minute, progressive Gothic epic ballad title track, in which Nyte’s pained and inspired voice soars freely into the crimson early-evening skies, bidding farewell to the melting sun and then greeting the glowing moon. Seamlessly anthemic!
The singular strength of Finding Beauty in Chaos is the fact that, despite the distinctive individuality of each of the tracks—stamped by the respective personality that embodies and navigates it—the album still emerges as a sonically solid and cohesive dynamo of future cult and possibly popular classics. CrypticRock gives Finding Beauty in Chaos 5 out of 5 stars.