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Athens

Bell Witch – Four Phantoms

Published:

Last Updated on 12:53 AM by Giorgos Tsekas

Genre: Doom
Country: U.S.A.
Label: Profound Lore Records
Year: 2015

“What sick ridiculous puppets we are / and what gross little stage we dance on / What fun we have dancing and fucking / Not a care in the world / Not knowing that we are nothing / We are not what was intended.”

– John Doe, Se7en [1995]

In his book “Straw Dogs”, contemporary prophet of doom John N. Gray fiercely attacks every human achievement and artificial construct: from Religion to Humanism, Western Philosophy, Science, Morality, Free Will, they are all illusions or downright bullshit. There is neither meaning nor purpose in humanity’s existence, says Gray. Humans think they are free, conscious beings, in control of their destiny, with a moral purpose and responsibility, when in truth they are deluded animals. These are uncomfortable truths to stomach. They have been expressed variably throughout history through the oeuvre of significant thinkers and creative minds such as Arthur Schopenhauer, Gaspar Noe, Fernando Pessoa, Friedrich Nietzsche.

And Bell Witch.

Bell Witch joins the cynics, the godless, the nihilists, the pessimists and the rest of us pilgrims of nothingness in a great lament for humanity. This is funeral doom for the funeral of humanity. The riffs are sparse, massive and emotional. The growls are agonizing. The sounds evolve naturally, taking their time to feel out the environment like an organic entity would. The occasional clean (bass) guitar and vocal passages complement masterfully their down-tuned counterparts.

Yet there is something that Bell Witch are seeking. One can sense that in between the mournful, desperate riffs, there is a discreet quest going on for an elusive substance. Something made of stars and noble elements that will deliver us – band and listeners – from all evil we have brought upon this planet. To ourselves, and to other humans and animals, and to all those we inflicted pain upon. Enchanted, we follow Bell Witch in their emotionally charged tour-de-force searching for the substance but we find nothing. As the album reaches shore, we find ourselves shipwrecked, broken, disillusioned and empty-handed, yet in great emotional turmoil. Miraculously, we persevere and reach immediately for the “repeat” button. Not hoping to fail better, as Samuel Beckett once put it, but without any hope at all.

As in life.

5,5/6

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