When: Thu., Feb. 25, 8:30 p.m. 2016
THURSDAY, FEB. 25
BELL WITCH & WREKMEISTER HARMONIES
How long does it take them to get from tour stop to tour stop—an eon? What's their tour van of choice—a stegosaurus? How long does it take the bands to load in, should they ever arrive at a venue—a month?
A joint tour between the graceful, glacial Seattle doom duo Bell Witch and Chicago drone sculptor Wrekmeister Harmonies prompts a slew of easy jokes about their respective speeds, or lack thereof. These are especially slow bands in slow genres, acts obsessed with finding and finessing an idea until they've examined every aspect of it. Wrekmeister Harmonies, the evolving collective led by JR Robinson, spends entire albums moving through one musical swell, turning a near-symphony orchestra of heavy metal musicians, harsh noise collaborators, and seraphic harmonizers into one dramatic musical movement. Bell Witch, on the other hand, filled sixty-six minutes with just four songs for last year's harrowing Four Phantoms, an album that examined death by way of the elements of fire, water, earth, and air. The patience gave the topics requisite deference.
In a world where the distance between wanting and getting seems to shrink by the instant, it's easy to interpret such a pace as lethargy. But the music of both Bell Witch and Wrekmeister Harmonies teems with erudition and possibility. On Four Phantoms, the melodies of six-string bassist Dylan Desmond and the motion of drummer Adrian Guerra alternately conjure spiritual jazz and prog rock, black metal and Tuvan throat singing. And Wrekmeister Harmonies's best records, particularly 2014's Then It All Came Down, are Godspeed-like in their grandeur but actually more impressive in their stylistic reach, able to fold in the roar of metal without merely alluding to it. Those metallic dalliances and Bell Witch's extra-metal influences allow the duo to serve as Wrekmeister Harmonies's touring band, a move that connects their sets in slow tenacity—that is, if they ever make it to town. With Bedowyn. —Grayson Haver Currin
KINGS, RALEIGH 8:30 p.m., $10, www.kingsbarcade.com