Wednesday 18 October 2017

Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper (Album Review)

Release date: October 20th 2017. Label: Profound Lore Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Mirror Reaper – Tracklisting

Mirror Reaper


Bass/Vocals: Dylan Desmond
Drums/Vocals: Jesse Shreibman


Mirror Reaper is perhaps Bell Witch most ambitious and daring album to date. One single track running for eighty three minutes that encompasses almost everything great about the Doom/Sludge Metal scene. It's not an easy album to listen to. Nor should it be as Bell Witch has a lot of ground to cover here. Playing passages of Post-Black Metal, Drone, Doom, Sludge, Psych, Post-Rock and even Folk music. The album won't be for everyone.

Mirror Reaper is dedicated to their former drummer Adrien Guerra who sadly passed away. The band leave no stone unturned in creating a gut-wrenching and emotional bleak musical odyssey. The music is played at a slow pace to begin with and this allows Bell Witch to create an unsettling atmosphere with the post-black metal/doom sounds merging into something more fascinating. The instrumental work is almost flawless throughout. As Bell Witch put on an instrumental masterclass of Extreme Metal.

Maybe the band have taken that little bit too much on with this album as there are parts of the album that I didn't enjoy as much. Mainly the "Folk" style moments as it slows the mood down. However Bell Witch has enough tricks up their sleeves to put the album back on the right track. Mirror Reaper can be very trippy and psychedelic at times before heavier Funeral Doom-esque influences return the album to its more extreme natural sound.

Mirror Reaper does indeed sound amazing and that's down to the irresistible and intense production held on the album. Maybe I'm not the best person to review an album such as this. As I normally focus on Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal albums. However I'm glad that I was given the chance to review this album as it took me out of my comfort zone and made me appreciate bands like Bell Witch. As they've put their hearts and souls into this album release.

This album may see Bell Witch expanding their fanbase to the commercial masses. It's happened before with other extreme metal bands over the years. However, Bell Witch are perhaps truly deserving of that success without complaints from anyone.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Becky at Pioneer Music Press. Mirror Reaper will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Profound Lore Records from October 20th 2017.