Seattle doom duo Bell Witch (Dylan Desmond and Jesse Shreibman) have collaborated with dark folk musician Aerial Ruin (Erik Moggridge) on all of their albums, but now the three musicians have a fully collaborative album together, Stygian Bough Volume I, coming June 26 via Profound Lore (pre-order). As for what exactly makes this different than Bell Witch, all five songs on the album were collectively written by all three members, and going by lead single "Heaven Torn Low II (the toll)," it sounds different too. Moggridge has helped add a slowcore/folk side to Bell Witch, as on "Rows (of Endless Waves)," which was Moggridge's first appearance on a Bell Witch song and the "real fuel" to Stygian Bough Volume I, but even that song is still something firmly rooted in metal. "Heaven Torn Low II (the toll)" really isn't metal at all - this comparison might seem random but it reminds me of the Perfume Genius single from earlier this year. Moggridge says:

They presented that song [“Rows (of Endless Waves)”] to me in a mostly instrumental form with the idea that it's about a ghost trapped on rows of waves that can’t reach the land. I ran with this idea and started to think of the ghost of a king who, if he reached land could be reborn and rule again. The king is also a larger metaphor for humanity who rules over the planet and other species. On this new album our ghost upon the waves flees not towards the land but towards death. The narrative, as much as it exists, is loose and not linear and definitely stream of consciousness. There are cyclical and spherical qualities to the journey where death, desolation, and the spirit are reflected in myriad ways.

The new song is very worth its eight-and-a-half minute running time, and you can listen to it right here:

1 - The Bastard Wind
2 - Heaven Torn Low I (the passage)
3 - Heaven Torn Low II (the toll)
4 - Prelude
5 - The Unbodied Air