Tuesday, 17th July 2018. 7:33:21am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Bella Lune - Secrets

Artist: Bella Lune

CD title: Secrets

Label: Aetheria Music

Genre: Goth, Darkwave, Shoegaze

Website: http://www.bellalune.net

Released: 4-6-2013

 

Secrets-cover-square-small thumb

 

My first impression of Bella Lune was based off a few tracks from a compilation I got few years ago. The Phoenix-based darkwave act reminded me of a harder version of Switchblade Symphony and sadly I failed to see their promise outside of that initial sampling. Thankfully an old friend told me once, "Never trust first impressions, and always demand a second." I'm grateful I followed his advice because after listening to Secrets, I have a completely new appreciation for this band.

 

Secrets is Bella Lune's third full-length album and is an excellent example of how a darkwave band can blend the dreamy side of Goth with the increasingly popular electronic forms of dark alternative music. The album fuses shoegaze guitars with soft trippy beats and female-led vocal harmonies to create a musical world full of dusty attics, old memories, and digital life speaking through the shadows. Any ghosts that are haunting this aural space are "in the shell". Secrets has a very easy flow throughout the album. It opens with synth-heavy darkwave numbers, slides into some softer sounding but still electro goth rock, shifts into a few shoegaze indie tracks, and closes out with some sinister darkwave songs. I appreciate a good flow to an album, especially when there are so many genres and sub-genres at play, and Secrets nails this flow allowing the band to demonstrate their diverse sound perfectly.

 

The album opens with “Hollow Hearts", which is decidedly darkwave with its haunting vocals and steady clapping beat. The synths and guitars create a nostalgic attic-goth atmosphere, but the choppy altering of vocals in the chorus expresses the synthetic feel of modern goth rock.. I get the visual image of some tragic goth lolita character playing with broken computer parts rather than dolls and photographs. "The Biggest Lies" sees the band shed its softer side and gets angry with heavier beats courtesy of drummer R. Duke and guitars by Kal3id. Lead Vocalist, Fuchsia sounds small and timid in contrast to the wall of sound being built here, but the high pitched synths help to bring her voice more to the front. Songs like "The Wrong Way Home", "Utopian Dreams", and "Common Consciousness" ditch their electronic side almost entirely and are bouncy indie-rock/shoegaze pieces. Bella Lune have an organic sound on these tracks, even though the synths and digital vocal alterations are still in use. I really enjoyed how the band incorporates a violin on songs like "Utopian Dreams" and "The Afterglow". Violinist Beeka makes her contributions to the tracks well known, but isn't singled out, like many goth bands will do. Don't get me wrong, I love violins and cellos in dark alternative music, but not every album needs to give them solos. Closing out the album proper is "Take a Stand" which shifts back into a predominantly electronic sound with crunchy bass and synths, whispering vocals, and keening violin.

 

After listening to Secrets I'm glad I gave Bella Lune a second chance. I've read more than one review that supported my Switchblade Symphony clone impression, but I'm happy to say those reviews are wrong. Bella Lune is a clone of no one. They pull from every facet of goth rock out there to create a patchwork creature that is unique. While their sound can shift from darkwave to alterna-pop to shoegaze pretty quickly, the fact that the band can live under so many umbrellas at once is impressive. I'm tempted to put Secrets on my top 10 list for 2013. There's not a single song off the album I don't like, and it is some of the most progressive sounding goth rock I've heard in a long while.

 

I cannot recommend this album highly enough.

 

Overall Rating: 5 of 5

 

Buy Bella Lune- Secrets

 


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