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June 19, 2024

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Bella Morte
The Quiet (Metropolis Records)

By: Vinnie Apicella

I don't think I've ever heard Americans sound so European. I could tell this was a great record one song in, when "Regret" with its teasing bass-line and impassioned pleas soared above the midnight blue, reminiscent of a ghost-like Gahan where haunting melodies peer through the night sky-- and alas another twelve tracks yet await. Now building upon the preceding, Bella Morte fuses a similar display of emotive Dark Wave to dazzling digital FX, oftentimes letting them stand to their own, "quietly" momentous as with the brilliantly sensual "First Light," or the disturbing title track which boasts one of the catchiest croons this side of the Corgan's "Crying Tree Of Mercury" Pumpkins track which too few have ever heard of and, well enough, leave it lay a foot or two below the ground with the rest of the hidden gems. But when mellow atmospherics are not lighting the way through the dark wanderings, Bella Morte becomes a dizzying Modern Rock band with a heavier edge, maybe step or two up from The Mission's flightier moments, where then surface an unlikely combination of power chords and programmatic percussion as on the awakening "Logic" or near Punk experience(!) of "Living Dead." "Echoes" turns the tables again, (or Mackey if you prefer) regurging the rave up with double duty dance beats and dual vocal/guitar harmonics that illuminate a spotlight chorus and riding the ascending wave toward another of the album's best. "Hope Again" returns the underlying ethereal feel with a beautifully tiered electrically sensual moment bore of remembrance and hope. Been a while since a new group's hit the electronic scene with a sound as deep, diverse and exciting as the latitudinal soundscapes radiating from "The Quiet." Featuring a five member combination of "Never Let Me Down Again" era Depeche Mode revisiting a cast of Haircut 100 and a number of never far away heroes of the Gothic underground that reveal an unlikely crossing of Morrissey, Voltaire, and Voodoo Glo Skulls to create an impossibly visionary developmental alliance where the resulting collaborative impulse leads to cutting edge opulence while remaining coolly affixed below the Pop mainstream.
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