When Eight Bells posits the idea of landlessness, they deliver — not only in the vast and unlocked landscape born in the ambience of their latest album, but in the narrative of their undertaking.

The new release fronted by singer/guitarist Melynda Jackson isn’t just grounded in doom, it tells an ill-fated story of doom through largely instrumental constructs that seem to carry the listener into a dreamlike oblivion.

At times, it feels like the sea of driving guitar and disjointed vocals will go on forever, indeed never discovering land. And then all of a sudden, there it is — in the beginning and end of the 12-minute title track and in the brief abbey-like a cappella of “The Mortal’s Suite.”

Like a long journey, sometimes it takes a while for Eight Bells to get where they’re going, and once they’re there you wish they could stay longer. But much like the doomed mortality about which they sing, it’s a short-lived moment of climax in a seemingly endless sea of aloneness.

If this album isn’t nihilist, I don’t know what is.

-Winter Doom-

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