American heavyweights try to find method to the current madness and end up with more questions than answers.
A decade on since their debut record was out, this Alabaman bunch bring on their third album which advances the course the ensemble set on 2018’s “‘Til Death Do Us Part” – because the direction of “Welcome To The Escape” from 2010 didn’t seem to augur well for their future. “Beautiful Chaos” does, though, thriving in part on conceptual contradiction between its sharply aloof title track and somewhat proggy “Patterns” and on typical horror fare that metal bands favor too much. More so, it has virtually no vestige of Southern rock heritage many Birmingham groups are happy to boast of.
Once massive guitar wave resolves into a menacing riff to give “Nightmare” a proper groove, there’s a total abandon in the combo’s approach to noise, Blake Clawson softening his rapid-fire roar on verses to dulcet harmonies on choruses where Dave Delacruz and Aaron Jackson’s axes begin to sing, but while “Creatures” sounds a bit hysterical, the rumbling “Demon In Disguise” should bare the ensemble’s knack for memorable melody. “Never Be The Same” takes tunefulness to the fore as well, burdening balladry with hefty despair, yet the sonic space will get expanded, reflecting its location but losing barely an iota of heaviness, on “California” – only to shrink again on “Reignite” and open the record’s power-fueled finale to a fresh, fiery quest. Here’s an endeavor to be proud of.