Bell Witch- Mirror Reaper Review
By Marisa Kaye Janke
Bell Witch is the primary band that makes me extremely proud to live in Seattle. To know that I am breathing in the same evaporated ocean particles that saturate the oxygen source of these unfathomably deep, pensive, and articulate leaders of doom is a wonderful comfort. A comfort comparable to the nurturing caress of re-gathering myself in cathartic reprieve upon willingly submitting to the crushing devastation of Mirror Reaper, the highly anticipated new release from our area’s doom lords Bell Witch, out October 20th via Profound Lore Records.
A lot of this is exposed, wandering passages as the predominant instrumental voice meanders through darkened plains of grief while offering subtle breaths of retribution in the long form development riff style that is quintessential to Dylan Desmond’s consistently proven finesse of composition. He seems to tell a story of loss that is coated with sweet solemnity around fifteen minutes in, uninhibitedly taking his time to ponder emotional ruins. This pondering is soon met with low treacherous growls, setting free a repressed tormented pain that assures us listeners of our drifting far into the duo’s dismal abyss of dirging organ drones and melancholic longing. The observable presences of harsh and soft, spatial and penetrating, calculated but explorative fragments of the 83- minute examination into the depth of our souls affirms the album’s conceptual intent of explaining duality; all things exist reactionary to their opposite.
Speaking to loss, this album carriers an immense amount of emotional weight debuting Jesse Shreibman as percussionist in the band’s first recording since the passing of original drummer Adrian Guerra. Noting this fragility may assist in reaction to the piece’s exposition as it seems to commence in the space of a post-storm calm: soft, hurting, and damaged. Albeit weathered and remorseful, there is persisting strength in Desmond’s clean vocals that is particularly moving and inspirational.
Every time I see this band live it is almost painfully contemplative. They are compelling beyond belief- masterfully present in an obscured meditative trance. Mirror Reaper deserves high praise in continuing the lineage of unequivocal heaviness that is brought forth with each album from this band. We will be witnessing a newfound ferocity in honorary reflection of past suffering in their upcoming tour with Primitive Man (October 25th- November 17th).
In sincerest gratitude, thank you, Bell Witch, for continuing to astound us.
Pre-order the record here.