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Dark Beauty - ‘Fall From Grace’

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Dark Beauty
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Beautifully Dark & Meaningful
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August 08, 2019
It is strange how certain musicians or vocalists are suddenly brought to your attention. For instance, it could be catching a support band at a gig or picking up on a tune from a radio broadcast. But in the case of ‘Dark Beauty’ I came across the wonderful voice of ‘Liz Tapia’ who was featured as guest vocals on a completely separate album that I was reviewing at the time. I was literally knocked out by the quality, exquisite charm and beauty of Liz’s voice and as such expressed my opinion in the said review which I posted on this very site plus several progressive rock Facebook pages. Not surprisingly I received a swarm of replies from friends of ‘Dark Beauty’ and indeed also had a nice hello from Liz herself. Subsequently, I persuaded Liz to send me details of her band and so here I am entrenched in the atmospheric music of this very different but certainly progressive inclined band with Gothic aspirations.

At the time when ‘Dark Beauty’ recorded their first album entitled ‘Fall from Grace’, the album on review here. it was more of a solo undertaking, a project being jointly undertaken by married music writing team ‘Liz Tapia’ (Vocals) and Bryan Zeigler (Lead Guitar). So unlike my first thoughts ‘Dark Beauty’ is not just a vehicle for ‘Liz Tapia’s amazing vocal talents. It is a band that has subsequently emerged not only due to the strong core writing partnership but also because of the well thought out and unique trademark musical image of ‘Dark Beauty’ in all its entirety. The attraction of such a strong image and the excellent material captured on this first album no doubt served as a magnet to lure other superb musicians into the fray. Such as needed for their triumphant performance at ‘ProgStock’ in Rahway, New Jersey, ‘Dark Beauty’ with a new a line up to that on the album and now ready to complete their second release as a fully integrated band which, I’m sure, will take the progressive world by storm!

So looking at ‘Fall from Grace’:- The entire project is literally swathed with multitudes of different, time changes, absorbing rhythms and musical modulations ranging from classically orientated passages to energetic swaying upbeat Samba tempos. Especially in that direction the percussive complexities being driven forward by Gary Perkinson (Bass) and Dan Granda (Drums & Percussion). The keyboards and other stringed instrumentation of Warren Helms’ infuse the proceedings with a delicate charm. Familiar sprinklings of individual classical piano sequences contribute to the gradual build-up to the plentiful crescendos of sound. Such crescendos often taking on an Eastern feel with injections of masculine choral contributions. The keyboards are also a primary contributor to the feel and direction of the music providing swirls of colour and interest. Violin and Cello infusions too according to my ears are added into the mix or maybe electronically fashioned? I’m not sure.

Special mention must go to ‘Bryan Zeigler’ lead guitarist and co-writer. His guitar contributions are immense and stunningly scattered everywhere throughout the various scores. Whilst his guitar playing is not delivered from a dictatorial dominant perspective, it is when Bryan does burst forth that his music is administered with both authority and delicate dexterity. I have to say that during subsequent plays of this album I discovered more and more how important his stylish lead guitar contributions are to the various compositions bridging together the various pieces of individual music for the specific tracks. Listen to the track ‘Save yourself ‘and you will get the picture.

Then what can you say about Liz Tapia’s vocals besides her total brilliance. She has the most beautiful classically trained mezzo-soprano voice, and it shows in the way she handles the complicated arrangements including the tricky overdubs and accompanying harmonies. Covering elements of musical theatre mixed with contemporary hard rock, classical rock and progressive rock she beautifully projects her vocals to create the atmospheric feel and aural soundscapes that both portray and relate to the storyline. While she’s passionate about the music, Liz says “it’s really all about the story. I want to pull the audience into The Dark Angel’s world.” Without doubt, she creates the mood of the storyline with style and elegance of vocal ability in the same way that ‘Kate Bush’ used to perform.

Summary. A classic top score album, different unique and interesting

The band was formed to record a three-album cycle telling the tale of The Dark Angel, her fall and hopeful redemption.

The musicians on the Fall from Grace are as follows:

Liz Tapia - Vocals
Bryan Zeigler - Lead Guitar
Warren Helms - Piano / Keys
Gary Perkinson - Bass
Dan Granda - Drums & Percussion
Spirits of a Dead Earth (Single)

Liz Tapia - Vocals
Bryan Zeigler - Lead Guitar
Warren Helms - Piano / Keys
Clive Smith - Bass
Dan Granda - Drums & Percussion

Fall From Grace* is a concept album telling the story of the Dark Angel's
tragic fall. The key to track details, that follow. were supplied by ‘Dark Beauty’

Track List 1.Dark Lullaby – An angel crosses over an unforgiving path which sends her spiraling down into the dark primeval forest awaited to be taken into a mysterious dark world. 2.Wrong Side of Heaven – The angel wakes up on the Wrong Side of Heaven, feeling the presence of dark evil spirits surrounding her. 3.Mirage – Seduced by evil forces the angel is presented with a beautiful Mirage she is immediately drawn to. 4.My Abyss – The angel surrenders her soul and relinquishes control into the kingdom of Markhum. 5.Eternal Chamber - Evil forces have won their battle and the final ceremony is performed for the angel to become the dark queen of the night. 6.Wicked Dollhouse - Now as the newly dark queen, she waltzes through her Tower of Markhum making her presence be known to the souls left behind for her to rule over. 7.Fallen - The angel summons for her lover join her. 8.Mystery of the Mind – The angel is confronted though a higher sprit reminding her that he was her one true love. 9.Save Yourself – As Queen of the Night and accepting of her new found powers, she beseeches her lover to turn away before it’s too late. 10.Mystery of the Mind Remix - Bonus track
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