Bella Morte The Quiet

From what I remember of Bella Morte’s 2000 debut Where Shadows Lie, they were quite goth, and I’m not just talking about their big hair and plastic pants. With this their second record, they seem to have gone the route of more generic electronic, with a sprinkling of goth/synth-pop and even punk. Some of the better synth-pop elements remain, but the vocals have changed. Where we once heard Andy Deane working the dark, brooding melodic goth vocal, we now find him a little rougher around the edges. That’s fine, but it’s the James Hetfield/Glenn Danzig moments that don’t gel here. Even though the mood is a little more abrasive overall with heavy, chugging guitars, Deane’s vocals are given better representation when he keeps those edges smooth. That was part of their gothic charm. And where are the synth-pop stylings that made their first disc so appealing? This record just takes them all over the place, but not necessarily the places where they sound the best. Between the punk track "Living Edge” and the New Order-inspired "Always” it seems like with this sophomore release, they are a little confused as to what their true voice is. I say they should go back to the land of all things gothic and synth-pop. (Metropolis)