EIGHT BELLS “Legacy Of Ruin”

By Lord Randall

Released parallel to the compiling of its prior works, the aptly-titled “Histories 2010-2016”, EIGHT BELLS delivers its third long-player, “Legacy Of Ruin” on some expectant ears. Well, these, at least. Sonically I’ve always found Melynda Jackson & co. not-so-distant cousins to the now-defunct SUBROSA, albeit more diverse in their palette. Where the former came from the dark heart of folk, EIGHT BELLS treads more in the realms of doom, all the while tossing shovelfuls of hard prog ala POPOL VUH, the devilish dirge of JACULA and orbit-twisting YOB…

All evidenced splendidly on opener “Destroyer”, which had me reaching for my headphones to experience the turbulent, tuneful ocean washing over me as nature intended. “The Well” begins plaintively, vocal harmonies keening, calling a liturgy for the end of…of all, its simple beauty such as to render the ceasing welcome, a rest of sorts. Locusts arrive, beating the fetid air with sharp wings around the four-minute mark, stirring sound and sand , leaving behind a chorus, a eulogy of the self. “Will you…be there…when I die?”.

Liquid, yet viscous, nearly clotted, “Nadir” exists in both realms equally, musically downcast, soaring vocally, PINK FLOYD turned on its head and tossed into an eiderdown, where we, fitfully, come to the house of “The Crone”. In truth, this tune makes me uncomfortable at its start, though I can’t say why with any surety. Angular, jagged guitars, blackened rasp, and I’m not so sure a song of such name should fill one with a sense of peace in the first place. Thus, after a few listens, I believe it’s “The Crone” that will show me the most different elements over time of anything else found on within this album.

Yes, this is an album that won’t satisfy everyone on first listen. It’s an album that will bring solace at times, sorrow at others, and carry you into uncharted emotional waters. One has the feeling that it did the same for its composers. And I believe that describes “Legacy Of Ruin” better than any more I could say.