Bella Morte

As the Reasons Die

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Don't be fooled by the death's-head graphics, or by the band photo that shows Bella Morte on-stage looking fierce and leather-clad in a soupy morass of dark green fog . Although there are definite elements of industrial rock and darkwave in their sound, Bella Morte's most distinctive feature is the sweet and surprisingly approachable voice of lead singer Andy Deane; the group's synthesized beats are strong without being martial or overbearing, and most of these songs feature -- believe it or not -- actual melodies. In fact, the songs on As the Reasons Die are almost uniformly excellent; with the exception of a waste-of-time instrumental titled "A Time Before," they offer unique and shifting combinations of funk, industrial, darkwave and EBM elements that always sound familiar but never come across as really derivative. Highlights include the rockish and guitar-driven "Last Days," the darkwave-influenced "Awake," and a gently regretful and mildly industrial song called "Undone." Very nice.

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