Bella Morte

Where Shadows Lie

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A promotional sticker that Cleopatra's marketing department provided for Bella Morte's Where Shadows Lie describes this goth rock release as "Dead or Alive meets Bauhaus," an attention-grabbing description, to be sure. Considering that Bauhaus' relentlessly gloomy goth rock sounds nothing like Dead or Alive's relentlessly exuberant blend of Hi-NRG/Eurodisco and pop/rock, you might wonder how elements of Bauhaus and Dead or Alive could possibly be fused. But occasionally, that description is somewhat accurate; Bella Morte's imaginative cover of Berlin's "The Metro" successfully combines the type of moodiness goth is known for with an infectious Euro-dance outlook. Bella Morte's Berlin cover isn't really Hi-NRG, although it's as close to a goth/disco blend as the group gets. Most of the time, however, Where Shadows Lie doesn't sound anything like Dead or Alive. The bulk of the material is state of the art goth, and dark, shadowy offerings like "The Rain Within Her Hands" and "Neverland" have a lot in common with Bauhaus but nothing in common with Dead or Alive. Bauhaus meets Dead or Alive? For the most part, no. But if you accept Where Shadows Lie for what it generally is -- pure, unapologetic goth rock -- instead of hoping for something that's more expansive, you'll find the CD to be mildly uneven but appealing and memorable more often than not.

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