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label: Profound Lore
Released at: June 7, 2023
For their new album, bassist/vocalist Dylan Desmond and drummer/vocalist Jesse Shreibman exploded Bell Witch's bounds. Like 2017's lauded “Mirror Reaper”, “The Clandestine Gate” is a single 83-minute track -- a composition that pulses and breathes on a filmic timeframe. It constitutes the first chapter in a planned triptych of longform albums, collectively called “Future's Shadow.”
While traces of organ and synthesizer hovered over “Mirror Reaper” and Bell Witch's 2020 collaboration with Aerial Ruin, “Stygian Bough Volume 1”, “The Clandestine Gate” drew those instruments closer to the center of its compositions. The band reunited with their longtime producer Billy Anderson as they began negotiating these new compositional weights. On “The Clandestine Gate”, Bell Witch's twinned voices build off of the chantlike textures of previous records while steering toward more developed melodic lines, structured harmonies, and rhythmic death metal growls.
The immense gravity of a work like “The Clandestine Gate”, which features exclusive stunning cover art by Jordi Diaz Alama, allows ideas to simmer in a way that feels profoundly and somatically intuitive -- not just a philosophical exercise, but an embodied truth. By slowing down both their creative process and the tempo of the music itself, Bell Witch digs even deeper into their long-standing focus: the way life spills on inside its minuscule container, both eternal and fleeting, a chord that echoes without resolution.