A true collaboration between two acts is something that we don’t get as often as we might like with a simple split being the course that’s taken much more often than not. There’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever, but it makes the mind wonder what would happen if two incredibly talented acts clashed to make one cohesive sound. Bell Witch is far from the first band that I would’ve picked to do a collab, but it’s certainly interesting to imagine what the recent titans of funeral doom could do with an outside influence. Joining with dark folk connoisseur Aerial Ruin, there’s no way to deny that “Stygian Bough” is a staggering creation like extremely few others if any.
I feel it’s safe to say that Bell Witch is clearly the bigger name between the two contributing acts here, but the impact that Aerial Ruin has had on the sound of Bell Witch over the years cannot be understated, and it’s because of that I believe that there couldn’t have possibly been a better act that Bell Witch could’ve paired up with. It’s led to an incredibly unique sounding experience that is driven by emotion and an incredibly esoteric nature whose gravity is present at all times even when there is just an acoustic guitar on stage. “Stygian Bough” wields an undeniable core of funeral doom, but this trio twists and contorts the niche style to their will in order to create a layered experience that really must be heard to be believed for it is absolutely the sort of release that we only get every once in a while simply because it’s a stroke of real genius, talent, and power in such a potent concentration of raw beauty that it’s damn near impossible to deny its titanic presence. If you were already a fan of Bell Witch before, Aerial Ruin adds a tremendous new dynamic with guitars and vocals that are implementing seamlessly, almost as if it was meant to be, and it elevates the funeral doom style to new heights that I didn’t even dare to fathom before “Stygian Bough”. And if you’re already a fan of Aerial Ruin, you’ve never heard the act heavier than right now with an entirely new set in terms of style, execution, and attitude as it bends perfectly with Bell Witch in such a way that it’s still absolutely stunning to me. In no small way, this a union that we should not lightly forget nor expect little things from on hopefully future efforts.
In more ways than one, this is an effort that is beyond unique and will definitely be making the rounds among the community for years to come, and it’s not hard to see why even if you were to throw Bell Witch’s previous acclaim out the window. While it’s the “Volume I” part that gets me particularly excited for the future, that would be to downplay the true grandeur that has started with “Stygian Bough” in all of its magnificence. It’s a piece that definitely must be heard should you consider yourself any sort of a fan of the style, and, with any luck, it won’t be too long before we’re blessed with another offering.
LISTEN to “Stygian Bough Volume I” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Bell Witch on Facebook here.
LIKE Aerial Ruin on Facebook here.