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Bell - Tidecaller

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 01 December 2017, 8:19 AM

Gothenburg, Swedish trio BELL are releasing their debut album here titled “Tidecaller.” Originally the band issued their debut album as a limited private pressing. The new High Roller edition is bound to make BELL popular outside their home country for sure. “We're not out to compete, we were absolutely thrilled when High Roller Records contacted us and wanted to work with us. There are many great bands from Sweden, so we don't think that's too surprising,” comments Martin Welcel. “It's safe to say that you can hear when a band is from Sweden in general. It seems that there is a huge demand for Swedish bands, and Bell are hoping to ride that wave that was summoned with “Tidecaller.”

The heavy thuds and slow pace of “Secret Mountain” hint at the Doom/Stoner genre. Add in the guitar effects and the vocal longing, and you have all the ingredients needed. “Cross in the Sky” is considerably longer. Driven mostly by a single riff that lumbers along, some vocal harmonies help to keep it from lying on the ground too long. The title track is a bit quicker…somewhere in the mid-tempo range. There are some additional elements of instrumentation here that thicken things up nicely, because the drone can really start to wear thin. “Angel’s Blood” is the mastodon-ian track on the album; an eight-minute affair. Woefully it moves, crossing a frozen tundra where the fury of the wind and chill of the cold slows you down to a crawl. The bells, acoustic guitar notes and background ambiance in “Awoken” is a nice change of pace interlude.

“Blackened Sun” has a lone fuzzy and dirty riff fuels a slow but steady charge. The sound reminds me of a SAVATAGE riff that I cannot place at the moment. The then mix in some riff changes here and there, as well as some passages where the meter changes. It makes for a more complex and dynamic listen. “Locked and Burrowed” has an acoustical opening that quickly gives way to long held guitar chords with extended vocal notes as well. It has a very despondent tone of hopelessness. “Dawn of the Reaper” closes the album. The guitar work here is what drives the sound. Climbing up and down scales and varying in intensity, it creates a harrowing sound that reflects the title of the song. Overall, there were some moments when I connected well with the music, but the constant drone can underwhelm your senses too often.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Secret Mountain
2. Cross in the Sky
3. Tidecaller
4. Angels Blood
5. Awoken
6. Reach Out
7. Blackened Sun
8. Locked and Burrowed
9. Dawn of the Reaper
Martin Welcel – Vocals, Guitar
Manne Flood – Drums
Jesper Ljung – Bass
Record Label: High Roller Records


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