[DOOM 'N GLOOM] Albums in the increasingly stagnant genre of doom-metal don't get much more ambitious than Bell Witch's recent Mirror Reaper. The entire album—a single 83-minute-long song—moves from one glacially paced movement to another, reaching dynamic peaks and valleys but taking its sweet time en route. Minimal passages of Dylan Desmond's meditative bass melodies give way to punishing bouts of heaviness sparked by Jesse Shreibman's monolithic drumming, forming a master class in patient tension-and-release. The effect is nothing short of hypnotic and cleansing. The album was composed after the death of founding drummer-vocalist Adrian Guerra, and between the two current members' growls, guest vocalist Erik Moggridge's mournful tenor and even some posthumous vocals from Guerra, the album manages to convey the full human range of sorrow. Since releasing their debut five years ago, the Seattle band have found a new niche in an old genre, and imbued every note with a passion that's rare in any school of music. Bell Witch were already one of the most promising doom bands in recent memory, but Mirror Reaper has elevated them to leaders in their class. Support comes from crushing French veterans Monarch and local sci-fi doom favorites Usnea. An extremely loud and incredibly slow show by all accounts.
SEE IT: Bell Witch plays Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy Blvd., on Saturday, Dec. 2. $10 advance, $13 day of show. 21+. Get tickets here.