First angel media
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First Angel Media

First angel media

Bella Novela-Incinerate

Can heavy metal be playful? Southern Californian trio Bella Novela seem to think so. Romantic angst isn’t something they hide from either.

Several albums deep into their career, Bella Novela been described as Blondie meets Queens of the Stone Age meets Pat Benatar meets Thin Lizzy meets Abba meets Metallica meets Blue Oyster Cult meets Heart meets Queen meets…Linda Ronstadt???

I would attempt to simplify things by cooking Bella Novela down to a sauce of Gygax, Horisont, Sleigh Bells, Sanhedrin, and…

But it’s pointless, ain’t it?

I listen to opener “The Reckoning” and hear Hammers of Misfortune colliding with Sinergy, the hearty vocals of frontwoman/keyboardist Jackie Laws calling up Kim Goss. Jacob Heath’s shining leads permeate a title track that invokes Iron Maiden, of course, along with that trademark thoroughbred gallop that packs stadiums, and in Bella Novela’s case, should, drummer Jannea McClure keeping it all pocketed and taut.

Then things get Ghostly and Blue Oyster Cult-ish for “Darkest Hour,” a track that would dominate radio in a fairer world.  Charmer “Loved Ones” plays  High Spirited Cheap Tricks while “Dreams” takes us back to the NWOBHM only for “War Woman” to get Deeply Sabbath and Blackened Purple on us.

Good time rocker “Tides” is positively Bostonian, chrome-plated, and wonderfully summery until “Haunted,” “Faster Than Lightning,” and closer “Battlelines” remind us that this act carries lead in their pockets mined by Malmsteen and Friedman as lyrics that borrow more from indie rock than blood-and-thunder heavy metal compliment the proceedings.

Ignore the flowery name. Bella Novela may like a bit of honey in their tea, but there’s plenty of whiskey and hemlock in the mix to keep hessians on edge and interested. Evidence is ample that they are quite the kickers live as well. Plan on seeing them if this clever, critically lauded, prolific, and winsome threesome ever makes it to Pittsburgh or wherever you or they may be.