Thursday, 19th April 2018. 5:26:35pm ET
Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Bella Morte- As the Reasons Die


Artist: Bella Morte
CD Title: As the Reasons Die
Label: Metropolis Records
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Date: 7/8/04

Think of the goth-inspired punk of AFI fused with the keyboards and slick production of Linkin Park’s more sensitive moments, and you have a good idea of what to expect on Bella Morte’s new album. Now, I could compare the band to some obscure British post-punk act or Belgian electro outfit, but that’d be missing the point, because like the aforementioned “mall punk” bands, Bella Morte manage to mix legitimately dark, edgy music with a polished pop sensibility. Their latest release on Metropolis still retains enough of their signature sound to keep old-school fans happy while being listener-friendly enough to bring in new ones – even folks who might not ordinarily listen to “weird” music. I know most of my favorite artists are destined to remain obscure, and I have no delusions of ever hearing Diamanda Galas on a commercial radio station or catching the Legendary Pink Dots on MTV. Bella Morte, though, is that rare thing: a band with an almost palpable pop appeal that actually plays killer songs.

Since releasing The Quiet in 2002, the band has increased their emphasis on the guitars, letting the synthesizers add grace notes and accents instead of overpowering the songs. “Forever Grey,” a ghost story of a song, rushes in with glam-punk guitars and a shouted chorus, letting the keyboards rear their little heads in organ flourishes that accentuate the song’s monster movie vibe, while “I For An I” starts with EBM-influenced beats and bleeps before guitarist Tony Lechmanski’s confident power chords launch the song in an entirely different direction. Singer Andy Deane’s voice is used to good effect throughout, whether it be the growls and gothic melodrama of “Another Way” or the layered harmonies of “Beneath.”

While this is technically a gothic rock album, As the Reasons Die delves into an astounding variety of musical genres. “Last Dies” rocks out with old-fashioned metal guitar licks, reminiscent of Motley Crue, while “Awake” is straight-up weird-ass synth-pop, with the angry electronic noises that made Soft Cell so fascinating. There’s so much diversity packed into twelve songs that if even if you end up hating some of it, you’ll only have to wait a few minutes to hear something you like.

With this much talent, it’s hard to believe that they’re not already famous. Pick their stuff up now, and you can say you were into Bella Morte before you could buy their T-shirts at Hot Topic.

Check them out at http://www.bellamorte.com.


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