Deathbell – A Nocturnal Crossing (Review)

Deathbell - A Nocturnal CrossingThis is the second album from French doom metal band Deathbell.

Deathbell present us with 42 minutes of doom that’s based on the traditional style, but shot through with occult psychedelia and haunting atmosphere. The music is heavy and immersive, drawing you in with fuzzy riffs and keeping you close with hazy melodies and seductive singing. The band’s doom is very moreish and slips easily into the soul.

The music is quite captivating and frequently beautiful. The tracks are crafted from esoteric magicks and raw emotion, given form by the band’s engaging music, and voiced by a singer whose voice is both ethereal and powerful. Of the singer, her vocals are deeply woven into the fabric of the songs, providing both highlights and emotional accents. The dirge-like  keyboard/organ sounds add further layers to get lost in, as the heavy guitars coast like waves and the melodic leads dig deep into your heart.

This is music that may be doomed to the core, but is also curiously life-affirming. The melancholic darkness of the music feels tinged with bright resplendence around the edges. The songs seem to exist both in and out of our reality, almost as if they can’t be touched and ruined by the everyday filth of our existence, but instead exist on a higher, purer level somewhere. I swear there’s a shoegaze influence here, in some of the affecting melodies and lighter, more fragile guitar parts, which I’m sure must contribute to this feeling.

A Nocturnal Crossing is a very strong album. With songs that are rich in atmospheric depth, filled with emotive appeal, and radiant with heavy riffs, Deathbell have produced a very striking and absorbing work.

Very highly recommended.

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