Next month Bell Witch hit the road on a full headlining tour in support of their acclaimed new album Future’s Shadow Part 1: The Clandestine Gate which is available now via Profound Lore. Today they’ve announced a December West Coast run which routes them through SoCal for the first time in five years. All shows this October, November, and December will have a visual accompaniment created by photographer / director and frequent collaborator Bobby Cochran. Today the band give fans a prelude of what they’ll experience at the shows with ’The Clandestine Gate – Movement 2 (Official Visual)’.
Bell Witch tell, “We knew that we wanted to present something visual alongside the music from ‘The Clandestine Gate’. We asked the incredibly talented Bobby Cochran to work on something surreal and dreamlike to evoke the themes inherent in the music. We’re ecstatic to be able to share this work with you as we tour through North America for the rest of the year.”
Cochran adds, “It was a super exciting and somewhat daunting project to put visuals to the music of ‘The Clandestine Gate’. I had a number of conversations with Jesse and Dylan about themes for the record and things they found visually inspiring in general. We came up with a theme that would run through this and future records, loosely tied to the mythology around the maiden/mother/crone archetypes. I wanted visuals that would support the depth and breadth of the music and would add another layer of complexity as well. This is my first time doing something of this magnitude and style, and I feel super grateful that it all ended up working so well together.”
The Clandestine Gate is an epic single 83-minute track — a composition that pulses and breathes on a filmic timeframe. It constitutes the first chapter in a planned triptych of longform albums, collectively called Future’s Shadow.
For more than a decade, the renowned Pacific Northwestern doom metal band Bell Witch have sent tides surging over the seawalls of the song form, unraveling conventional expectations about the ways music stations itself in time to absorb a listener’s attention. Rather than seek catharsis, the duo’s songs heave themselves through time at a glacial pace, staving off resolution in favor of a trancelike capsule eternity. Invoking both boundlessness and claustrophobia in the same charged gesture, Bell Witch cultivates a sense of time outside of time, an oasis inside an increasingly frenetic media culture.
The expansive scale of Future’s Shadow gave Bell Witch more leeway to plumb themes that have long percolated throughout their work. The concept of eternal return — that time doesn’t end and death doesn’t punctuate life, but both go on forever in an infinite loop no one can remember — inflected the development of The Clandestine Gate after Desmond encountered the idea in Nietzche’s book The Gay Science. The glacially paced films of 20th century Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky similarly supplied a framework for the movements of The Clandestine Gate and Future’s Shadow as a whole. Simple actions — carrying a candle across a room, tossing a metal nut into an overgrown field — carry life-and-death weight, a strategy echoed in Bell Witch’s suspension of minimal melodies across planetary expanses.
The immense gravity of a work like The Clandestine Gate allows these ideas to simmer in a way that feels profoundly and somatically intuitive — not just a philosophical exercise, but an embodied truth. By slowing down both their creative process and the tempo of the music itself, Bell Witch digs even deeper into their long standing focus: the way life spills on inside its minuscule container, both eternal and fleeting, a chord that echoes without resolution. As both the beginning and end of the Future’s Shadow triptych, The Clandestine Gate opens a new chapter in Bell Witch’s macroscopic minimalism: the start of a yawning orbit around an increasingly massive core.