Funeral Doom Friday: In Memoriam of Adrian Guerra, BELL WITCH's Longing
It’s the weekend! What better way to get it started than with the latest installment of “Funeral Doom Friday”. This weekly column looks to shed some light onto some of the darkest, most depressing, and discordant metal out there. Funeral Doom stems from the deepest depths of Death-Doom and Dirge music. Each week, the goal is to highlight some of the newest music or rediscover classic works from some of the earliest bands and originators such as Australia’s Mournful Congregation, United States’s Evoken, UK’s Esoteric and the Finnish Thergothon. Feel free to share your opinions and suggestions in the comments!
Had last week's post not been done earlier in the week, this most certainly would have run in its place. Losing Adrian was quite tough, he was a brilliant drummer who had a hand in a number of projects. Most notable, of course, was his work with Dylan Desmond in Bell Witch, the Funeral Doom duo that created the monstrous Four Phantoms in 2015 as well as today's focus, Longing, and a self-titled demo. Having already covered Bell Witch's Four Phantoms at the end of last year and naming it the best Funeral Doom album of 2015, it would have felt rehashed to discuss it again. Therefore, we will move a little further back in time to talk about the duo's 2012 release which was a launching point for Desmond and Guerra's project.
Longing features six tracks that span over an hour and nearly a third of that runtime comes in the form of the album opener, "Bails (of Flesh)". Twenty minutes can be a daunting endeavor for anyone trying to listen to a song, however, such the lament that "Bails (of Flesh) is, focus and feelings spend most of their time in a state of mourning to worry about such a length of time. The opener rolls into the somewhat shorter, but no less menacing, "Rows (of Endless Waters) and "Longing (the River of Ash)". The album takes a bit of reprieve in song length as enters the back half of the track list. "Beneath the Mask" and "Outro" are the album's shortest songs at six and three and a half minutes long, respectively. Desmond and Guerra exchange vocals that mix between ghostly bellows and Gregorian-esque clean vocals throughout Longing in addition to bringing utterly leveling bass guitar and drums that flip the script on what qualifies to make heavy Doom Metal.
Guerra left Bell Witch in September and was replaced by Jesse Shreibman. He went on to continue working with a project called Sod Hauler as well as a project called Morose. Meanwhile, Bell Witch continues to tour following Four Phantoms. Adrian leaves a lasting legacy within his works and with his family and friends. He has also certainly made his mark on myself and the music I listen to, for that, I am ever grateful. His and Dylan's works have been crucial in bolstering my delight towards Funeral Doom.