Thursday 30 October 2014

Review: Bella Morte – 'Exorcisms'


Bella Morte have progressed a long way from their darkwave roots. The band have augmented their electronic origins with more raucous punk, goth, and alt-rock elements that have continued to transform the band's sound with every release. The band's last outing 'Beautiful Death' back in 2008 saw the band hit their stride in a big way showing a perfect balance between the different elements of their sound. Now after six years, their latest full-length studio release, 'Exorcisms', looks to bring a more mature sound to the fore.

'Exorcisms' is a hauntingly beautiful record that tempers the powerful hard rock core with the kind of luscious electronics and rich soundscapes that originally made everyone take notice. The title track kicks things off in a big way with its mournful electronics and emotional vocal performance driving the song forward and setting up the rest of the album nicely. The band then bravely follow this up with a Depeche Mode cover in the form of 'Never Let Me Down Again'. You could argue that this should have been saved for further along in the album's pecking order, but the band make a good job of it and it does compliment the ethos of the album, so it works. 'As Fire' Follows on nicely returning to the slow and mournful power ballad style of the title track, but brings things down a little more. 'Watching The Sky', 'Reflections', 'Tired' and the utterly sumptuous 'Entwined' follow suit with the slow down-tempo rock, big synths and soaring emotional vocals continuing to take centre stage for the majority of the album.

The band do rock things up a bit though with the more upbeat and bouncy sounding 'Water Through Sand' and 'A Quiet Place To Die' which push the rock punk elements a little more respectively, and break up the dark atmosphere of the rest of the album. The stand-out track though has to be 'The Dark' which perfectly synthesizes the luscious layers of electronics with a slow and measured rock punch.

As you'd expect from a veteran unit like Bella Morte, they know exactly what they are doing. The song writing is strong and memorable, he performances are passionate, and the album has got the high-class production that it deserves to really bring out the best in the tracks.

Bella Morte are back with a bang. It may be a slower and gloomier album that fans of 'As The Reasons Die', 'Songs For the Dead', 'Bleed The Grey Sky Black', and 'Beautiful Death' will be used to. But it works so well and still packs a big punch. This is Bella Morte at their best.

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