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You have to admire Michael Ciravolo’s approach to making music. Rock music often doesn’t do itself any favours by sticking to some tried and tested templates and coming with a lot of unnecessary sonic baggage. But the way he steers Beauty In Chaos through the rocky attitudes of the past and out into deep, clearer waters is great. Not only has he long eschewed the idea of a fixed lineup in favour of a revolving door of the great and the good of all manner of rock and rock-related genres but now he brings us, Behind The Veil, an album comprised of all-female vocal contributions.
The first release from this is “Grasp The Stars”, a long, slow-burning, dark and delicious track featuring Caterwaul frontwomen Betsy Martin. It’s a great piece of rock music for the modern ear and indeed the modern era, existing at a point when the genre is subsumed by more gothic tendencies, where groove is the order of the day rather than grind of grunt, where the music slinks and spirals, crawls and slithers its way forward rather than resorting to more obvious forms of propulsion. This is all about atmosphere rather than energy, though truth be told it has plenty of its own dark power but prefers to hold that in check, drip-feeding it out as the song requires.
It also carries a deeper message and meaning one that is best seen through the video and here Industrialism Films created what Ciravolo himself describes as a “homage to the ’87-’88 Scream scene in Los Angeles”. Scream was a popular darkwave club, where Ciravolo’s former band Human Drama and Martin’s Caterwaul were staples.
As Betsy Martin notes, “The music took me to a place of being in a meteor shower of emotion. It brought out feelings of how we sometimes create unhappiness for ourselves with manipulation brought on by pain, causing such confusion. I could visualize dodging these sharp and pointy damaging stars of thoughts whizzing by in my head. The music travels a celestial path to a calm after a storm.”
With a full album of such heavy and heavenly gems promised, “Grasp The Stars” acts as the perfect taster of what’s to come.
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