Of all the reviews I’ve written in my time on this site, this may be the most ambitious thing I’ve ever given thought to. Doom has never been one of my favorite genres of metal. I appreciate the absolute hell out of it, and I can see the beauty in long tones. It’s just a style that I need to be in the right frame of mind for. I’ve heard some outlandish shit in doom, but Bell Witch’s latest Mirror Reaper may be the most out-there thing I’ve heard yet.
Mirror Reaper is one 83-minute long track spread across different movements, almost all of which sound absolutely somber. Being just a two-piece now (bass and drums only), these Seattle guys had their work cut out for them for sure and what they delivered is a huge work of art.
I can’t express enough how you need to both be in the right mood for this album and to be patient with it. If you go in expecting breakdowns and shreddy guitar you’re going to be disappointed, as there is no guitar here. But if you expect something that’s lengthy and can take you on an absolutely heartbreaking trip, your patience is rewarded in spades.
Bell Witch crafted this work after the death of their former drummer, and the anguish and pain translates very well into the music here. It’s almost cathartic in a way; you can tell they were letting their emotions and their pain out in the only way they knew how. It’s just beautiful.
The vocals are very, very low and almost inaudible. Within the context of the track though, it works wonders. There’s no need for high pitched screaming or death metal vocals here. It’s something more akin to Incantation’s old school vocals. In writing that doesn’t sound like it would work at all, but I promise you it does.
It should be clear that I really enjoyed this work, and regret not hearing it until now. However, I have to preface again that you need to be ready and patient for this. Go through this in one sitting with headphones on and no distractions and it will absolutely floor you. It’s an ambitious work of art that deserves your attention.
I give Mirror Reaper a 4/5.