Eight Bells, the Portland, Oregon power trio, describe their music as experimental metal -- and it is. But its shifting dynamics and dour yet passionate heaviness also owe much to post-rock, psych, doom, and prog metal, with blackened overtones. The band was founded by former SubArachnoid Space guitarist Melynda Jackson. Feeling she'd hit a sonic wall with a neo-psychedelic instrumental rock group -- there were limited possibilities for nuanced storytelling -- she enlisted bassist Haley Westeiner and SubArachnoid's drummer Christopher Van Huffel in 2011. Jackson assumed vocal duties.
The bandmembers write collectively. Their debut offering, 2013's conceptual The Captain's Daughter, narrated the tale of a woman lost at sea, often in the first person. It was recorded by Billy Anderson and released in 2013 by Seventh Rule. The band toured with Agalloch and SubRosa, and also played festival stages. Van Huffel left after those tours. He was replaced by drummer Rae Amitay (from Immortal Bird, making Eight Bells an all-female trio) just in time for the recording of their sophomore offering, Landless. Anderson sat in the producer's chair as well as engineering the set. Landless continued the story begun on The Captain's Daughter; it was issued in February 2016, just before a tour with Voivod and Vector. ~ Thom Jurek