Tag Archives: Bell Witch

The Best Metal Albums of 2017

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This year was a waking nightmare, for reasons too numerous and too upsetting to mention here. Not coincidentally, metal sounded really good this year. Metal has always been a genre for a world gone mad, even when its practitioners don’t deliberately address the social issues of the day. The best metal albums of this year certainly weren’t written with our current political hellscape in mind, but they’ve nonetheless been necessary when the world has become overwhelming. The list below contains pure escapism, righteous anger, violent fantasies, utter despair, cautious hope. These albums served as the perfect soundtrack for a year of unhinged chaos—and, sometimes, they even managed to make us feel a little bit better.

[This list is ranked, counting down from #10 – #1 —ed.]

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Biggest Ups: Over 40 Artists Share Their Favorite Albums of 2017

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Bandcamp artists pick their favorite albums of the year.

One of the features on Bandcamp Daily that generates the greatest amount of enthusiasm is Big Ups. The concept is simple: we ask artists who used Bandcamp to recommend their favorite Bandcamp discoveries. So, in honor of our Best of 2017 coverage, we decided to take Big Ups and super-size it. Here, more than 40 artists to tell us their favorite albums of the year.

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The Best Albums of 2017: #40 – #21

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We’ll be revealing the full list, 20 albums at a time, this whole week.

Last year, the Bandcamp Daily staff put together our first “Best Albums of the Year List,” 100 albums we felt defined 2016 for us. At the time I remember thinking, “This is tough, but it will probably get easier as the years go on.” Now, one year later, I’m realizing that I was wrong. The truth is, the world of Bandcamp is enormous, and it contains artists from all over the world, in every conceivable genre (including a few who exist in genres of their own invention), and at every stage of their career. The fact of the matter is, any list like this is going to fall short because, on Bandcamp, there is always more to discover. Right now, there’s probably someone in their bedroom in Buenos Aires, making a record on their computer that is going to end up on next year’s list. So as comprehensive as we’ve tried to make this list, we realize that, even at 100 albums, we’re only scratching the surface of what’s available. The albums that made this list, though, were the ones that stayed with us long after they were released—the ones we returned to again and again and found their pleasures undimmed, and their songs still rewarding.

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The Best Metal on Bandcamp: October 2017

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There are a few clear reasons why October and metal are natural complements: Dying leaves, dropping temperatures, and the approach of Halloween make an obvious match for dark, menacing bands. This month’s Best Metal column includes some of the most anticipated metal albums of the year, all of which live up to their hype; Spectral Voice, Bell Witch, and Yellow Eyes all deliver the goods. There’s plenty more to be excited about below the surface, too, including an occult black metal demo from Spain and a truly bizarre tech-thrash album from Ukraine.

View the Best Metal on Bandcamp Archives

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Bell Witch Turn Personal Tragedy Into a Doom Metal Opus

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Photo by David Choe.

At first pass, the third full-length from Seattle doom metal duo Bell Witch seems designed to test its audience’s resolve. Mirror Reaper consists of a lone track of the same name, which clocks in at a gargantuan 84 minutes. Even in a subgenre—in this case, funeral doom, approximately—that mammoth length pushes the limits of the metal songwriting template. Bassist/vocalist Dylan Desmond and drummer/vocalist Jesse Shreibman have crafted the group’s single most challenging listen in years. They’d probably take that as a compliment.

“It was suggested to us that an 84-minute song may shrink the audience that will listen to the song,” Desmond says. “We understand that, but nothing about this song was written for someone who can’t listen to it.”

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