Album Review: Nita Strauss – Controlled Chaos (Sumerian Records)

When you think of women in metal, what names come in mind? Lita Ford? Doro? Lzzy Hale? Alissa White-Gluz? Leather Leone? Tarrie B? The list is very extensive but one name that maybe doesn’t come up enough is Nita Strauss. However that is sure to change with her debut solo album, Controlled Chaos which is out on the 16th November via Sumerian Records.

Strauss has been fighting to make a name for herself or years in the guitar world. From putting clinic tours worldwide to being the first ever female Ibanez signature artist in the company’s 60 years to playing WWE Superstar Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance music at this year’s Wrestlemania. She is a heavyweight and her Kickstarter campaign for this album was met 8x over.

There is a lot of expectation on this album, the question is does it live up to the hype?

Yes, yes it does especially if you like guitar playing that is intricate, complex and ever so satisfying. This is, when it comes down to it, all about the guitar and what Nita Strauss can do with it. Which is a hell of a lot.

A super short blast comes from the intro Prepare for War before Alegria roars with upbeat, hyper-fast groove and delicious riffing. Strauss plays the guitar as easily as most of us breathe.

The album is 11 tracks of varied, exciting, fun and chaotic metal goodness. Controlled in only the way Strauss can. The best moments often come when she really lets go of the leash and just unleashes ferocity that is as much about musicianship as it is catchiness. Especially as these guitar-led solo projects can be known for getting a bit self-serving. That’s not the case here though as Mariana Trench takes us down a darker and moodier route, Here with You drips emotion and The Quest brings real chunkiness to the groove.

It’s only really the overly melodramatic Hope Grows that fails to spark any kind of feeling either way. Just a bit of ‘meh’ listen. Happily that is not the overall feeling that Controlled Chaos leaves you with.

As a showcase of Strauss’ incredible talents, Controlled Chaos delivers.

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Nita Strauss – Controlled Chaos Full Track Listing:

1. Prepare for War
2. Alegria
3. Our Most Desperate Hour
4. Mariana Trench
5. Here With You
6. The Stillness at the End
7. The Quest
8. Hope Grows
9. Lion Among Wolves
10. Pandemonium 2.0
11. The Show Must Go On

You can order the album and find out much more by checking out her website here.

Nita Strauss - Controlled Chaos (Sumerian Records)
  • The Final Score - 7.5/10
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