Beauty in Chaos is set to drop ‘The Storm Before The Calm‘ tomorrow (May 22, 2020). It would appear that Michael Ciravolo, the curator of Beauty in Chaos, is in the midst of a clear stylistic shift with ‘The Storm Before The Calm’. On some levels, this is not surprising. With the roots that were ‘Finding Beauty in Chaos‘, and the almost extreme re-interpretations that were ‘Beauty Re-Envisioned‘, the remix album that followed.
What we get here, in turn, is a project that is in transition. The title track, for example, is an exotic and captivating and almost operatic, and sometimes erratic, soliloquy featuring Adrienne LaVey. That in itself is a bold move. And it works. It works so well that the album, in some ways, steers clearly into the post-modern and art-concept realms. That can either work or backfire, but here, it works in such a way that it becomes the third act of the concept that is the album and even defines the title of that album.
While the title track can be considered the peak of the crescendo that is the album as a whole, what we get within that perceived buildup is songs that reveal themselves as chapters of a grand story. Each with contributions of characters that we meet along the way. And, to me, that is what Beauty in Chaos is. A celebration of music and the people within it and what makes music universal.
‘The Storm Before The Calm’ will be released on CD and digitally tomorrow (May 22, 2020), with June for a 180g-vinyl release (black & blue duo-tone numbered limited edition vinyl). CD and digital orders come with an 8-page digital booklet with lyrics and a 25+ minute title opus not found on the vinyl version. The CD and vinyl release also come with the full digital download. ‘The Storm Before The Calm’ can be ordered here.
How did the concept for The Storm Before the Calm form and how do you feel it is different from the last album?
I certainly set out to do a darker, starker EP. Both of our other records, ‘Finding Beauty In Chaos’ and ‘Beauty Re-Envisioned’ were such ‘big’ listens, that I felt a more easily palatable release was in order! I had delved back into some of my favorite vinyl from the ‘80s. ‘Pornography’, ‘Disintegration’, and ‘First and Last and Always’.
I loved that those records evoked a ‘mood’ … wanting you to take the top-to-bottom listen journey. And for the most part, forsaking the big grand ‘hooks’. This was what I set out to do. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell which 4 songs would have been the EP! In typical BIC fashion, we expanded a bit with a few curve balls to end each side of the vinyl … which is my preferred listening medium.
The songs are a bit of a departure from the last album. What do you feel was the biggest stretch or derivation from the previous music in your opinion?
I think I had more of a ‘sonic’ concept going into this one that I had on ‘FBIC’. The music, at least to the first 4 songs were written over a 2-week period. It really was just me in a room with a drum machine and guitar, recording the ideas on my iPhone. Pretty low tech, huh! I think the stretch comes in the last 2 songs written, ‘Temple of Desire’ and, my personal favorite, ‘Stranger’.
Both are a bit of a departure from the other darker songs, but I think they help round this out as a pure album listen. To me, ‘Stranger’ is the perfect lead-in to where we take BIC next. The CD only 29-minute ‘title’ track, which I feel is an odd mix of David Lynch, Pink Floyd, and Trent Reznor, is a departure unto itself!
What are your plans for the next video?
This COVID shutdown has certainly thrown a bit of a wrench into our video plans, but things are opening up a bit here in Los Angeles. Currently, we are planning to shoot a video for ‘Stranger’, which features the amazing Kat Leon from Holy Wars. I think she has an amazing voice and is an extremely talented lyrist, which is very important to me. If my memory serves me, I think you did a feature interview with her a few months ago? Our concept, as always, is to be different from any previous BIC videos.
We both want to do something very somber and cinematic. Hopefully, this will be out in late June… and that it won’t be the last video from this record.
How have recent events reshaped how you are getting the music out there?
Other than delaying us completing a video to go with the album launch, we have probably been affected less than most other bands and artists that depend on touring. The downside to what BIC is at the moment is doing the Zoom concerts that are so popular right now are all but impossible. Each singer involved with this record is each in the midst of dealing with things with their own projects.
Although each singer would have probably done something, I just didn’t feel right about asking them or honestly taking the time it would take to do this on the scale I think that BIC should be done at. Instead, I chose to focus on new videos as well as laying the groundwork for another ‘remix’ record that I would like to release on Halloween. I also have started working on new material … with the first involving Cyn M. from Silence In The Snow.
Check out our other articles & exclusive featuring Beauty in Chaos HERE.
Check out our recent Jammerzine Exclusive interview with Michael Ciravolo HERE.
Recorded at Ciravolo’s own SAINTinLA Studio, this album was recorded, mixed, and produced by Michael Rozon, Grammy-nominated for his work with Ministry.
Earlier, Beauty in Chaos previewed several tracks from this record, including ‘A Kind Cruelty’ featuring Curse Mackey (Pigface, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Evil Mothers), ‘The Delicate Balance of All Things’ featuring The Mission frontman Wayne Hussey, and ‘Almost Pure’ featuring Steven Seibold of industrial-synth-punk legends Hate Dept. and the Martin Atkins-led Pigface. This album also features collaborations with Ashton Nyte (The Awakening), Rafe Pearlman, Kat Leon (Holy Wars), and mezzo-soprano Adrienne LaVey.
Beauty in Chaos is the brainchild of guitarist Michael Ciravolo. Originally from New Orleans and now based in Los Angeles, he is best known as President of Schecter Guitar Research. He also played guitar in Human Drama for 30 years, in addition to playing live and recording with Michael Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel since 1998.
“Undaunted and unscathed by the studio software/hardware meltdowns and the unprecedented global pandemic shutdown, here is our new album. I am in complete awe of the amazing artists; some returning, some new that have lent their voices and words to make this record possible. And I‘m eternally grateful to our growing BIC FAMILY that continue this journey with us,” says BIC curator mastermind Michael Ciravolo.
“To me, ‘The Storm Before The Calm’ represents a rewind and a fast-forward. Rewind to the ‘80s and the great albums that lived on my turntable, that set a mood, a vibe… even the feeling of temperature.. as well as a crystal ball, look into the next evolution of Beauty In Chaos. Beauty wrapped in chaos. Dark, but always, with a light”.
In 2018, Beauty in Chaos released their acclaimed debut album ‘Finding Beauty in Chaos’, followed by the ‘Beauty Re-Envisioned’ album (2019). Other BIC artists include Simon Gallup (The Cure), Al Jourgensen (Ministry), Robin Zander (Cheap Trick), Pete Parada (The Offspring), dUg Pinnick (Kings X), ICE-T (Body Count), producer Tim Palmer, guitar icon Zakk Wylde, Ashton Nyte (The Awakening), Kevin Haskins (Bauhaus, Love & Rockets), Rolan Bolan, Michael Anthony (Van Halen), Michael Aston (Gene Loves Jezebel), Paul Wiley (Marilyn Manson), Michael Aston and Dirk Doucette (Gene Loves Jezebel), Pando (A Flock of Seagulls), UMMAGMA, Evi Vine, Johnny Indovina (Human Drama), Danny Lohner (Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson), Betsy Martin (Caterwaul / Purr Machine), Kevin Kipnis (Purr Machine) and KITTY LECTRO, among others.
Featured image photographer: Anabel DFlux.
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