Beauty In Chaos, as a gothic/dark alternate group, has some pretty heavy hitters in the music scene that are members, with Michael Ciravolo as the focal band mate. From this year’s album release, Behind The Veil, the band have dropped the single “Afterlife“, which features Ciravolo’s wife, Tish on vocals and she also wrote the lyrics for this track. The band on this single consists of Michael Ciravolo (guitars and textures), Michael Rozon (bass, synth and drum programming), Dirk Doucette (live drums) and Adrienne LaVey (operatic voice).
The guitars are somber and withdrawn, whilst the synths blow through like a wind of sweet sorrow before the vocals of Tish Ciravolo caress your ears, enchanting you like a siren. It flows like the final breath from your lips and there are the unearthly, angelic vocals of Adrienne LaVey in the interlude.
I hear strains of The Cure in those rivulets of trickling synths and guitar, giving the whole track a dream like quality or as such, a hazy memory floating in that liquid stream. Yes, this is a song about death because as humans, we have always asked, what happens after we leave this mortal coil and where do we go? But also, there are those that we leave behind and we, in some way, are kept alive in memoriam by the ties of love. This track radiates light, just as the sun falls on the leaves of a tree, however the light becomes dappled and darker… this is how I see “Afterlife“, so breathtakingly beautiful and yet that heavy undertow, making it perfect.
In the last few years there has been a big revival of the post-punk scene, with younger bands emerging with the older stalwarts, proving they can hold their own. London’s Ghosts Patterns are one such younger band and September of 2021 saw them drop the album Infinite, which is their debut full length, after releasing the EP Oracle in 2020. Comprised of members Terry Hale (vocals/guitar/keyboards), Somrata Sarkar (vocals), Letitia Austin (bass) and James Walker (drums/percussion), they are going to lead you away with their shoegaze filled odyssey.
This album from the get go puts you in no doubt of what the band is about. The almost instrumental,”Intro(Death Wish)” is the beginning of the sonic journey through reverb and sound sculpting with sighed ahhs. From there, we are launched into “Lie In Wait” where we are truly introduced to the vocals of Hale, that grace the guitars without feeling like a separate entity and the insistent idea of a person waiting to pounce and while they do, concentrating on their breathing. Intricate bass playing marks “Oracle” with the vocals of portent by Sarkar. Dark and brooding with glimpses of Siousxie And The Banshees both percussion wise and melody, as the mists of Apollo close in on you.
No one can live in a “House Of Lies” for it is bound to fall and this track wends its way as a snake would before it strikes, with it’s cold reptilian beauty. The guitar and drums are so perfectly in sync. There is the buildup of “Sway“, where the vocals waver between discordant and resolving, maybe imitating the unpredictable nature of walking between danger and safety. The guitars and drums never letting you lose your focus. A joyous exuberance in “Feel It Out” and everything screams out that one needs to twirl around to this, as the guitars sing out in such an uplifting manner.
“Safe” drones away and I’m not sure if they really feel any more safe with the crashing music followed by lulls and then repeated. Title track “Infinite” has an almost languid Middle Eastern quality which makes this piece even far most interesting. A warm and inviting soundscape that seems to portray an eternal factor. The final track, “Goodbye, False Dreams” swirls and pulsates with the disappointment of lost hopes then wiping them away with the wash of melodic overload.
The band have taken the tracks “Oracle” and “Infinite” from the EP for the album and honestly they are great numbers that deserve a bit more attention. The noise-scape quality is akin to the early years of Ride or The JesusAnd Mary Chain, of whom both have used wonderful melodies wrapped in sonic walls of noise. It is nice to see bands that share the vocal duties as this often can give their music a completely different sound. GhostPatterns have an obvious love of reverb and driving rhythms mixed with ambient vocals that are wistful But nothing is infinite, so make sure you check out this album..
If you are old enough or a devotee to the 4AD label, the name Robin Guthrie brings up memories of dreamy guitars and iconic melodies due to being a driving force of the eternally beautiful Cocteau Twins. Since the end of Cocteau, Scottish born Guthrie has still been involved in the music scene with solo projects and working with other artists. Now based in France, he released the EP, Mockingbird Love on October the 15th, 2021.
There are four instrumental tracks, which starts with “Copper“. Slow, near sensual piano strokes, whilst eventually the guitar chimes in. It is unhurried and simple and flows into “Eight East” which feels like a stream of consciousness, as it floats through, though a part of my mind is aware of a tinge of sorrow.
Again, “In Love And At War” bathes in a warm light and still a darkness slips through in the background. Something so beautiful as love can make hardships better and yet break your heart when that bond is stretched or broken. There is definitely a yearning in the the piano lines. Last track, “My Courtesan“, just speaks of passion and longing. It is the most verbose of the tracks and it swirls away like the sands of time.
I can hear what made the Cocteau Twins sound so unique still in this EP. Guthrie has always had this amazing talent for filling in the spaces with nearly imperceivable, harmonic noises.The EP is gorgeous with the ambient, ethereal sweetness based in real life and it is almost too short.. well that’s my complaint because I was enjoying it far too much. Luckily for us, Robin Guthrie will be giving us an album on November the 5th, called Pearl Diving. In the end this is a graceful and sublime release, however one cannot help but wonder if the title Mockingbird Love refers to the birds that hide the product of their mating in other bird’s nest…maybe that interpretation is up to you.