Music Review : Bell Witch – Four Phantoms (2015, Profound Lore)
Following their first effort of 2012, Longing, the funeral doom duo of Dylan Desmond on bass and Adrian Guerra on drums delivers one of the greatest piece of music of 2015 with Four Phantoms.
Those four behemoth songs are spanned over an hour like a slow paced walk through the Fangorn Forest. Like the slow moving Ents, Bell Witch gets to the point with a precise yet almost minimalist sounds of loud restraint. Letting each other have their own moments and not stepping on each other’s toes, Desmond and Guerra form a nice symbiotic core that elevates their sound into more diverse territories like drone music. As the instrumental side of their music takes more depth we feel a maturity and a hatching in their song structures.
The album is immersing and takes us on a trip in a strange dark place. Just like the ballad in the aforementioned forest it’s meditative also like the Bell Witch myth, very haunting. The use of diverse vocals gives a nice texture to the different levels of sounds and slow-tempos. As often with doom or stoner records redundancy is the dragging element but here there is no redundancy in this whole hour of Bell Witch.
As I discovered lately Bell Witch’s Longing, the comparison with Four Phantoms is fresh and easy to do. Their new album might be ranked amongst the greatest albums of funeral doom of all time. With this new release the influences of Om, Sketicism, Esoteric, and many more are less perceivable and we feel we are in the presence of a genuine record from two masters at their craft.