Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper album review

A resonant and rousing tribute to a fallen colleague

Cover art for Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper album

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Sorrow pervades the third offering of Seattle funereal doom duo Bell Witch, the death of founding drummer Adrian Guerra during recording forcing bassist/vocalist Dylan Desmond to find a suitable counterpart in drummer/ vocalist/organist Jesse Shreibman. Mirror Reaper fully explores their atmospheric, textural proclivities across one 84-minute track, a memoriam for a fallen friend that includes his vocals in tribute, heavy with bereavement, but galvanised by uplifting moments of power. In the hands of other artists there may well be 40 minutes of music here, but so slowly does the blood let, each and every drum beat, cymbal clash and corrosive chord is allowed to fully ring out unto expiration. It’s a bottomless, candlelit mausoleum within which to lose yourself, as terrifying bellows are propelled from the depths on gusts of ire, and soothed by mellifluous paeans sung by mournful acolytes. A dismally beautiful tragedy.