"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Belladonna - "Belladonna" (CD)

No cover art found for Belladonna - "Belladonna" CD

"Belladonna" track listing:

1. Belladonna
2. Sweet Hell
3. Roadkill
4. Closer & Closer

Reviewed by on December 9, 2010

"Though not poisonous, Belladonna's self-titled EP isn't particularly palatable either. It's simply a generic regurgitation of 1980s sounds, without much of the soul that went into creating the originals."

When you're going for the kind of no-frills rock that Swedish rockers Belladonna are going for on their self-titled EP, the one thing you need more than anything else is the riffs to back it up. Unfortunately, that's the area in which the band's lacking the most.

The band is obviously going for a 1980s sleaze rock vibe, mixing hints of AC/DC with some Poison and Ratt-style guitar lines on tracks like "Sweet Hell" and the title track "Belladonna." The problem is that guitarists H.B. Jewel and Andy don't seem all that interested in going beyond really generic sounds. "Belladonna" in particular has a riff that's basically "blues-rock-101." Bassist Peter Griffin and drummer Raz Cadillac don't exactly add much in terms of complexity or memorable material either, though at least Raz Cadillac has some interesting cowbell fills on the "Dr. Feelgood"-ish opening to "Closer & Closer."

Singer Bobby Hott is the star here, with a versatile voice that goes from low-range Rob Halford on "Belladonna" to a great approximation of Ozzy Osbourne on the comic-horror track "Roadkill," which is definitely the best track on the disc, owing to both the vocals and the band's go-for-broke punk-ish riffing.

Though not poisonous, Belladonna's self-titled EP isn't particularly palatable either. It's simply a generic regurgitation of 1980s sounds, without much of the soul that went into creating the originals.

Highs: "Roadkill"

Lows: Generic riffing mars most of the tracks.

Bottom line: A generic disc mostly fulled with '80s rock retreads.

Rated 2.0 out of 5 skulls
2.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)