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Bella Morte | As the Reasons Die | review | electro | Lollipop
As the Reasons Die (Metropolis)
The Charlottesville, Virginia act Bella Morte, founded in 1996, continues their moody exploration of the introspective with their fifth full-length release, As the Reasons Die. Comprised of the new wave, synth-pop, punk, and darkwave influences that we've come to expect from Bella Morte, there's also an edgier guitar layer to most of the tracks which gives the songs a little more flesh, without turning into a KMFDM grind-fest. There's even a hint of emo on tracks "Forever Grey" and "Last Days."
Never allowing themselves to be pigeonholed, Bella Morte exhibit a wonderfully sensitive undercarriage on "If Tonight," a haunting ballad that features strains of guitar and piano accompanied by the sultry backing vocals of Lauren Hoffman (Lilith Fair, Homicide: Life on the Street, and the film Palmetto). The characters' inability to cope with love's loss is an unforgettable treat. Hoffman also contributed harmonies to "Another Way" and "A Dying World." Jessie Taylor, who may or may not be a porn star, contributes female vocal samples on "Awake," a caffeinated jolt of industrial rock and EBM rage.
As the Reasons Die is a rewarding first-person visceral trip down a path of personal pain, hope, and recovery. Bella Morte has the remarkable ability to explore a subject that's been done to death and find the quirky stories we haven't heard a thousand times, presenting them without a trace of pretension.