Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper (2017)

Bell WitchMirror Reaper (Profound Lore Records, 10 October 2017)

 

Today we’re going to talk — again — about Bell Witch. Since the release of their demo recording back in 2011, this bass+drums+vocals duo of doom has been delighting our auditory cortices with a combination of immense gravitas and lofty, haunting melodies. With the departure of drummer/vocalist Adrian Guerra following sophomore album Four Phantoms, bassist/vocalist Dylan Desmond soldiered on with a new partner in Jesse Shreibman.

As observed in our 2016 review of that 2015 double-LP, the tragic passing of friend and former bandmate Guerra devastated the members of Bell Witch — who, as it turns out, had just started working together on the first new material with their current line-up. As you might expect, this event would certainly have a strong effect on the writing process, the result of which became Mirror Reaper, revealed to the world last fall.

With these guys hitting the road TONIGHT for a month-long expedition all over North America (including stops at two different festivals this weekend), alongside fellow Pacific Northwesterners Yob, we’ll spend some time with Mirror Reaper, and then share that list of tour dates down below.

 

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Bell Witch – Four Phantoms (2015)

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Bell WitchFour Phantoms (Profound Lore Records, 28 April 2015)

 

For those who may have missed the news, I’m very sad to report that yesterday we learned of a monumental loss to the music world, in the passing of Adrian Guerra, co-founder of Seattle doom duo Bell Witch, co-writer of all of that band’s material to date, and former drummer/vocalist (up through summer 2015).

After that time, his position behind the kit had been replaced by Jesse Shreibman, including on the band’s most recent tour where they pulled double duty — playing a full set of their own in addition to serving as the backing band for Wrekmeister Harmonies. But from the band’s inception through its formative years, it was Guerra and bassist/vocalist Dylan Desmond from their groundbreaking 2011 demo (incidentally, one of the very first reviews ever published on this website, back in December of that year) up through and including last year’s Profound Lore full-length Four Phantoms.

In honor and in memory of the co-creator of some of the greatest and most moving music to have reached my ears over the past five years, today I’ve decided to present you with a discussion about that latest album, the last one to feature the original Bell Witch line-up. Rest in peace Adrian, and our thoughts and sympathy are with your friends and family, colleagues and former band members.

 

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Some Awesome News: New Bell Witch Album On Its Way Soon!!

 
Ladies and Gentlemen and whoever else may be out there reading this: I just have two words for you. FUCK YEAH, NEW BELL WITCH!

And following that, a few more words: SHUT UP, I KNOW IT WAS FIVE WORDS, I CAN COUNT, HONESTLY!

Anyway, believe it or not, it’s been almost a year since the official release of the band’s demo EP (see it reviewed described in excruciating detail here.) And now reports are starting to come in about their upcoming full-length debut album, so it’s definitely time to start getting excited…

 
Late last night I stumbled across this little gem from Profound Lore Records, revealing the title and release date, and a sneak peek at one of the tracks! Well, half of a track anyway — only about the first eleven minutes’ worth. But still.

 

BELL WITCH – Album/Tour Announcement, New MP3 Posted

Published September 11, 2012 | By Profound Lore Records

 
Seattle extreme doom metal duo Bell Witch, comprised of bassist/vocalist Dylan Desmond (also of Samothrace fame) and drummer/vocalist Adrian Guerra, have completed their soul crushing debut album Longing along with announcing a U.S. tour to coincide with the release of Longing respectively.

By creating massive, epic, and crushing soundscapes of doom, all this merely with just bass, drums, and a dual vocal pummel, Longing expands on the promise Bell Witch laid down with their 2011 demo, which was seen as one of the best doom metal demos of last year. Longing (which features guest vocals by Erik Moggridge of Aerial Ruin on the track “Rows”) is a slow, time-stretching trodden journey through sounds of darkness, pain, and suffering and serves as one of the saddest, morose, and most despondent, stripped down, doom metal releases of the year.
 
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Get to Know: Bell Witch (Review of Bell Witch Demo 2011)

Bell WitchBell Witch Demo 2011 (3 October 2011)

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I am forwarding this to you, because otherwise I would be responding to the message directly.

And I know if I did that, I would get into a lot of trouble.

That is a direct quote from an email I wrote to my boss today, passing along a rather impolite message I had received from someone in a different department. Without going into any specifics about the situation, I think that should give you enough of an idea about how MY day has been. How about you, Dear Reader? Are you in a better mood than yesterday? Have extra days off work or school on account of the holiday this weekend? Got all your presents bought and wrapped? Paid for all of them in cash, so there won’t be any huge credit card bills to look forward to, AND managed to pay all your regular bills this month, too?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, or if you answered “yes” or if you just said “fuck off, why are you asking me so many questions” — in any case, I suspect that you could benefit from some more holiday cheer. And I don’t mean a bottle of wine (although I’m sure that couldn’t hurt, either!). No, just like I said in yesterday’s post, the best way to brighten your day, even if it’s just for a little while, is a healthy serving of some nice, bleak DOOOOOM. As I promised yesterday, I’ve got one batch coming your way today, and then another to follow tomorrow.

Our journey of discovery now takes us to the northwestern United States; specifically, to the city of Seattle, which was made famous in the 1990s as it is commonly regarded as the birthplace of the grunge movement. However, what we are seeking is something much deeper, much darker, and a whole lot slower — and we find exactly that on the recent demo recording by Seattleite duo Bell Witch, which is cleverly titled Bell Witch Demo 2011.

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