Seattle doom duo Bell Witch may not have released a new album of music this past year, but they did offer up something else that was characteristically titanic: an 83-minute visual album to serve as a companion piece to 2017's stunning one-track Mirror Reaper LP. In that way, and with an array of pummeling live performances, the band made its mark on 2018, and 2018 made a mark on them, too. We asked bassist-vocalist Dylan Desmond (pictured above, left) to share his favorite music from the last 11 months and counting. Below is what he offered up.
The kings. Every year that Mournful Congregation doesn't release an album is a shitty year.
As far as I'm concerned, anything Matti Makela touches is gold. As I just typed that, I have a memory of typing the same phrase about that last Tyranny album when it was released. If anyone asks me, I'll say the same thing when Profetus releases their new album, also. Maybe Wormphlegm will also get back together so I can say it about them? A guy can hope. The artwork is great, also.
This is the band's sixth full-length and they seem to keep simultaneously refining and expanding on their sound. I understand that the record is also about World War I, which is very cool!
This record technically came out on December 29th of 2017, which is practically 2018. Nortt makes the perfect mixture of bleak and beautiful. I would kill to see it performed live someday!
Not only is it a treasure that this band is still releasing records after 31 years, but the fact that they're all stylistically in line with the initial material and great in their own right is a high point to heavy metal itself.
UADA and Bell Witch have been touring the same regions of the world a week to a day apart all of 2018. It's been kind of a running joke amongst us month after month, tour after tour. We finally ran into each other in person at Quebec Deathfest this year, and their set was amongst the best of the fest. The intricacies and textures on this record are magnificent.
Getting see some of these songs worked through from show to show in Seattle before the album was recorded was great! UN is one of Seattle's treasures and they keep getting better with each new record. The artwork on this is incredible, as well!
This is an instant classic black-metal record that captures everything perfect about Emperor and shapes it into a very unique and synth'd out monster. The instrumentation and composition are spectacular.
I was literally listening to O Solitude (one of my favorite records in the genre) when I read about this new record coming out. I've been listening to it feverishly ever since and it's as spectacular as anything they've ever done! We're playing with them in London near the end of this month and I have no doubt that will be one of the cooler shows I'll see this year.
The first time I saw Brainoil live was around 2011. I was going to a wedding south of San Francisco, but accidentally arrived in The Bay a day early and had nothing to do. One of the luckiest mistakes of my life — Brainoil was playing at 924 Gilman that night! This record stays right in line with all their older material in temperament, composition and adrenaline. Nothing is as tough as Brainoil.