Bell Witch
Longing


4.5
superb


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A wretched ghost howls through the night

With the word “witch” in the band name, you’d probably expect some sort of doom metal in the vein of Electric Wizard and Sleep. Longing is doom metal, but on the opposite side of the spectrum. It is not “fun.” It’s not the type of doom you would throw on to rock out and smoke some weed to. Longing is the embodiment of despair, emptiness, and of course, longing. This is funeral doom, one of the bleakest forms of music in existence. For the masochistic few who choose to inflict that sort of thing on themselves, read on.

There are only two members: Bassist Dylan Desmond and drummer Adrian Guerra. One could easily mistake this band for a three-piece, maybe a four. Desmond’s instrument certainly isn’t lacking in power, and his six-string bass makes for a slightly unique tone. With it, he slams home riffs as slow as molasses and delivers melodies as mournful as a bereaved lover, playing rhythm as well as lead on the same instrument.

Both members handle vocals. Guerra, along with his duties as a funeral march drummer, handles the guttural death metal vocals, sounding like a ghost howling from a distant haunted forest. Desmond does the clean singing. His voice is sometimes layered and drenched in reverb, turning him into an ethereal choir or a droning invocator taking part in an esoteric ritual. Other times, when the effects are scaled back, his performance is more personal and vulnerable.

"Beneath the Mask" feels like a sort of interlude, and is the most minimal track on the album. It features only the bass playing a sparse melody that slowly changes over time, droning over a sample from the film The Masque of the Red Death, making for a sobering moment of reflection.

Longing wraps up with "I Wait," a twelve minute dirge. It begins with heavy distortion and a fairly sinister chord progression, then cuts the distortion and summons droning vocals before exploding again with a piercing scream and more spine-chilling howls from Guerra. Nearing the midway point, the song softens up some, crushing chords contrasting with a somewhat bluesy melody. As the song leads up to the climax, the tempo is lifted a bit, Guerra becoming busier behind the kit and Desmond returning with the melody from "Beneath the Mask." This time around, it doesn’t sound so despondent. The song hits the climax with tortured screams and choir vocals before the outro track plays the album out. The outro hearkens back to "Beneath the Mask" yet again; a lone bass guitar playing that same sparse melody. However, this time the strumming is more forceful and less drawn out. If "Beneath the Mask" was a descent into the terror of hopelessness, the outro is the strength gained from going through hell and coming out to the other end not unscathed, but alive.



user ratings (137)
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Deathconscious
October 22nd 2017


24874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this really needed a review. i thought someone already did one, maybe they deleted it.

Digging: Shakey Graves - Look Alive

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
October 22nd 2017


20191 Comments


Nice review man, I will definitely check this and Phantoms.

Digging: Paysage d'Hiver - Im Wald

BlackwaterPork
October 22nd 2017


4390 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice one mate, really good job. Pos’d

Astral Abortis
October 22nd 2017


6745 Comments


forgot that i wrote a review for this when it was released then got it deleted

Astral Abortis
October 22nd 2017


6745 Comments


i shouldnt have had all my old reviews deleted

Deathconscious
October 22nd 2017


24874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@dewi, blackwater thanks guys m/



@snox yeah i remember cause youre the one who was hyping this band.

Astral Abortis
October 22nd 2017


6745 Comments


Glad to see this have a review again, good work

Spluger
October 22nd 2017


1972 Comments


Nice review dude. I gotta give more Funeral Doom a shot

foxblood
October 22nd 2017


10465 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great album

Deathconscious
October 22nd 2017


24874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks bromies m/ im actually a little proud of this review. Ive still got a long way to go but i feel its a definite improvement over my other two.

Darius The Imposter
October 23rd 2017


22346 Comments


Good review. Pos'd.

And yeah this kicks ass.

Hawks
October 23rd 2017


73793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Omg about time this one got a review.

Digging: Wake - Devouring Ruin

Deathconscious
October 23rd 2017


24874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah pretty much, thats why i did it.

Hawks
October 23rd 2017


73793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good idea. m/

Dinosaur
October 23rd 2017


1368 Comments


Thanks AC, great review. This is better than four phantoms

Hawks
October 23rd 2017


73793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Four Phantoms is fantastic and it's my least fav of their 3 albums. Band in general slays so hard.

Darius The Imposter
October 23rd 2017


22346 Comments


Band in general slays so hard.

[2]

Deathconscious
October 23rd 2017


24874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Four Phantoms is my least favorite as well, but by a small margin. This and Mirror Reaper are sort of tied for me.

Darius The Imposter
October 23rd 2017


22346 Comments


Id think I agree. All their stuff slays though.

Deathconscious
October 23rd 2017


24874 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like that Bell Witch has been saturating the front page since Mirror Reaper was reviewed m/



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