Sound: This is Bella Morte's 6th full length album, 4th with Metropolis Records. This is an American punk/goth/industrial band from Virginia, USA. They have quite a range of sound considering the multiple styles they pull from, and have made a decent impact on the goth-related world, as they are signed with Metropolis Records. The majority of the sound is punk inspired, but also has major influences of new wave, death rock, and some metal.
The band's overall sound is very unique, due to the influences and the voice of the singer, Andy Deane. The music sounds pretty much goth inspired, by imagery and subject matter, and the deeper vocals (not as deep as some, but it's not as high as the more pop influenced bands). Bella Morte uses extensive amounts of synthesizers in their music. A good portion of their songs are synthesizer/bass driven, versus having a huge draw on the guitar. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics like I briefly mentioned before are oriented around gothic subject matter; very somber, sad, slightly angry, and gloomy lyrics. The delivery of the lyrics fit's near perfectly with the musical style, though on occasion, they seem a bit forced, or rather, his tone doesn't fit as nicely in some songs than in others. The singer, Andy Deane has pretty good vocal skills, he sings the majority of the time, but sometimes there is a growl. But mainly when the vocals are distorted, it's because of an effect on the voice, versus Andy straining his vocal chords.
Here's a brief overview of each song:
01."On the Edge": this is an excellent opening track, possibly the strongest on the album. Great intro with a synthesizer (keytar during live performances)
02."Torn": a decent follow-up to the opening song. It's got a pretty good melody line, intensity is backing off a bit from the opening song.
03."The End Ahead": this song has very mellow, keyboard/bass driven verses. It has a beautifully executed guitar interlude/bridge right at the end, nothing complex, just comes out great.
04."The Alone": probably the first (maybe second if you count "Torn" as one) filler song on the album. The intro has a groovy approach to at first and then back off. It's very keyboard driven.
05."Ghost Land": extremely gloomy keyboard intro. After the intro, it picks up and takes on a slightly more aggressive approach with the drums pounding out the attack. This song contains both clean and distorted vocals. It's got a nice lead-in to the 2nd verse.
06."Dust": a very dismal, somber song. Aggression backs off completely on this song. Great contrast to the previous song. This song featues a guest vocalist - Lauren Hoffman. The vocal deliveries by Andy Deane and Lauren Hoffman are astounding in this song.
07."As the Storm Unfolds": an upbeat, bass driven song. Somewhat interesting, but a good filler. It's got a decent solo, nothing spectacular, but decent, nonetheless.
08."An Enemy Without": nice intro, but otherwise, another filler song. Maybe one of the best filler on the album, but not quite good enough to stand out with the others.
09."Bleed Again": maybe the most aggressive song on the album, being punk/metal inspired. Very upbeat tempo, and dirty, distorted, almost growled vocal delivery. It's got a nice solo, nothing jaw-dropping, but still good.
10."Earth Angel": a cover of the hit by The Penguins. It's almost a straight up cover. Nothing really added, per se. In other words, they didn't try to "goth it up" or anything. A great cover of a pretty classic song.
11."Grey Skies Black": sort of the title track, but not quite. Again, it has a somber atmosphere, it's almost like a lamentation. Not quite as dismal as "Dust" but in that area.
12."Haunted": the final song, a great finish. Beautiful organization to the song, great delivery on the solo. Piano driven, but still a strong finish. // 6
Overall Impression: Bella Morte's sound doesn't directly compared with any other bands a whole lot. They're somewhat unique, especially in the goth scene, since most of the other bands are driven by electronics, almost techno styled, versus Bella Morte's punk inspired music. The most impressive songs on this album are "On the Edge" "The End Ahead" "Ghost Land" "Bleed Again" and "Haunted." I love the overall sound and approach of this album, a good mix of multiple styles, it doesn't just stick in one main genre or sound. There really isn't much I dislike about this album, I'm not in love with it, but I do thoroughly enjoy it. If it were lost, I would definitely buy this one again. A very notable album by a not-so-known band. Excellent effort. // 8