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Eight Bells – Legacy of Ruin

Eight Bells
Legacy of Ruin
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 08 February 2022, 4:08 PM

EIGHT BELLS were conceived as the brainchild and songwriting project of Melynda Jackson in 2010. The guitarist and vocalist named the band after the final album of her previous act, SUBARACHNOID SPACE. While the trio evolved through several line-up changes in the beginning, Melynda is now supported by vocalist and bass player Matt Solis (CORMORANT, URSA) Brian Burke (NO SHORES, CAVE DWELLER) on drums. Lyrically, "Legacy of Ruin" focuses on themes of the human condition, natural destruction, death, regret, loss, malice, and retribution. The new album here contains six tracks.

“Destroyer” leads off the album. It opens with some clean, dark tones and background choirs. The instruments kick in with a heavy sound, while the harmonized vocals bring melody to what is otherwise a desolate sound. Harsh vocals then come in amidst a changing meter. The combination of styles is fascinating. “The Well” is an eleven-minute opus, beginning with slow, clean tones. The ethereal vocals over top remind you of the themes of the album…destruction, death, regret, and loss. The riff widens a bit to take in more of these pains. It slows to a grind of bass guitar notes at the half-way point, almost registering as Doom Metal…the harmonized vocals are really the only thing keeping this music out of that realm.

“Torpid Dreamer” is a shorter song that opens with off-beat guitar and drums. The bass then comes thudding in and the song turns to a dark and powerful offering. This time, the vocals are shared between male and female. “Nadir” is another shorter number that begins with clean, tense tones that are both desolate and melancholy. The vocals are dreamy at first, as the song flirts with positive tones, that are soon dashed by heavy instrumentation. It picks up at the end with rolling drums and then dies off. “The Crone” begins with a positive chord, save for the final note, and ethereal vocals. It segues pretty quickly to harsh, angry vocals, that are full of rage and hate. It shifts several times throughout, going from benign to malignant, to full and utter destruction and back again.

“Premonition” closes the album. It begins with a steady dose of dark elements and some weighted riffs. Clean vocals turn to harsh as the rage continues with galloping drum work. It slows after the half-way mark, as anger turns to despair. The last few notes are absolutely agonizing.

Overall, this was a very dark and dreary album…the kind that will kick you in the face when you just step out of the gutter disheveled from the past month, and then pour a gallon of salt into your wounds. Furthermore, it will go after your family and pick them off one by one, until you have nothing left in the world…not even a soul as it will suck that dry as well. Warning, this is some heavy subject matter with even heavier music that can drag you down pretty quickly.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Destroyer
2. The Well
3. Torpid Dreamer
4. Nadir
5. The Crone
6. Premonitio
Melynda Jackson – Vocals, Guitars
Matt Solis – Bass, Vocals
Brian Burke – Drums
Record Label: Prophecy Productions


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