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Belladonna - 'Shooting Dice With God' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/dd/07/61/belladonna-shooting-dice-with-god-80-1391559915.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 05, 2014    
 
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If you are looking for a less than straight forward, but non-Progressive challenge, this might be exactly what you're after.

As if there wasn't enough sub-genre tags already, Italian outfit Belladonna have started inventing their own, christening their piano led vocal heavy mix of reserved riffs and melodic outbursts "Rock Noir". It is however an apt tag, with dark, theatrical themes being tempered by guitars which remind of toned down Lacuna Coil, Evanescence or even The Rasmus. However two aspects stand out on the fourth Belladonna album, 'Shooting Dice With God', and those are the ever present piano work of Licia Missori and the evolving, breathy, vocals from Luana Caraffa. Without these two constants, Belladonna would be nothing, with them however they do stand proud as reasonably original, if hardly ground breaking.

Almost Soft Rock in places, the guitar work from Dani Macchi boosts the intensity considerably, while hardly leading from the front. Meaning strangely that the hardest aspect to pinpoint, is who is an album that Rocks without being strictly Rock and remains commercial without being Pop or AOR inspired, aimed at?

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The main strength of 'SDWG', as alluded to, is the vocal from Caraffa, this young lady having quite a spectacular range and power, although being far removed from the operatic styles often heard. While the ability of the guitar and keyboard interplay to push atmospheric themes into energetic areas is also a pleasant surprise. The drawbacks however are that it does take serious time investment to coax the real beauty from the eleven songs presented and that they can all begin to merge if careful listening is not employed. 'All Is Vanity' and 'Ishtar Blues' do stand out and 'Wonderlust' is almost modern cabaret meets Enya via the aforementioned Evanescence. Odd, yet engaging.

Words like classy, assured and unusual spring to mind for this release, yet somehow I still can't quite tell you it completely works as an album from beginning to end. Therefore if you are looking for a less than straight forward, but non-Progressive challenge, this might be exactly what you're after...?

Steven Reid

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