Dead Lights Coldwave, Rock Bellhead Post-punk duo Bellhead got their start in 2019 and quickly rose to prominence thanks to their raw and minimal approach to making music. Their blend of darkwave, rock, and industrial influences on their songs speak to multiple crowds at once all while under the general umbrella of the Goth scene. This was solidified when, in 2020, they released their debut EP "Unicorn Bones" to both critical and fan appeal. Both Ivan Russia and Karen Ringheimer followed that success with successive appearances on various compilations, as well as by releasing a single after the EP and a remix EP. "Deadlights", then, is the next natural step for the project. With nothing but a high bass, a low bass, vocals, and a drum machine, Bellhead not only manages to create another EP that's addicting, but one that sounds like nothing that they've done before. Dead Lights by BELLHEADPerhaps it's due to the name of the song 'Frankenstein', or the general imagery Bellhead supports their music with, but there's always an air of horror about their work. This begins on "Deadlights" as soon as the fuzzy bass guitar and hurried breaths play on 'Mercy'. Russia's almost whispering vocals add tension and Ringheimer's own silent chords only add to that air. During the chorus, harder vocals and guitar play out but only briefly. The song is perfectly paced to keep that tension going throughout its duration. It's also impressive how many phases a single song can go through on "Deadlights". Taking the next song in order, for example, 'Nothing As It Seems'. It begins with throbbing percussion and Russia's vocals. Around the twenty-five second mark, elements of drum'n'bass kick in matching Russia's lyrical rhythm. Dirty guitar notes come in around the forty-four second mark as both Russia and Ringheimer sing together. This lasts only until the fifty-four second mark where the track goes back to minimal; slight plucks at the bass aide their vocals and then that same drum'n'bass beat from earlier comes back around the one-minute and twelve second mark on top of a higher-pitched synth-line. Now, imagine everything that I just said, but just continued on for another two-and-a-half-minutes. The philosophy in songwriting in Bellhead is simply phenomenal. 'The River' is a decently mellow track featuring moody bass guitar and slow drumwork. The middle of the song is dedicated towards hard rock. I preferred the quieter bits of the track, as I felt as if this middle-section felt pretty stale and generic in comparison to everything else Bellhead has going on for themselves. A fairly fun dive into Mary Shelley's classic novel comes in the form of 'Frankenstein', which is just as spooky as one might expect. The final song, 'Dead Letter', is a purposefully lo-fi sounding track complete with piano keys and general moodiness. Bellhead is a project whose minimal approach works wonders. Though they use select few instruments in their production, they are able to turn songs into multi-parted ballads that never fail to entertain. This type of music is well beyond of what I have in my personal playlists, but I enjoy it for both its variety and unique qualities. Seven-and-a-half out of ten. I can't wait to see what they come up with next. This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page. 450
Brutal Resonance

Bellhead - Dead Lights

7.5
"Good"
Released off label 2021
Post-punk duo Bellhead got their start in 2019 and quickly rose to prominence thanks to their raw and minimal approach to making music. Their blend of darkwave, rock, and industrial influences on their songs speak to multiple crowds at once all while under the general umbrella of the Goth scene. This was solidified when, in 2020, they released their debut EP "Unicorn Bones" to both critical and fan appeal. Both Ivan Russia and Karen Ringheimer followed that success with successive appearances on various compilations, as well as by releasing a single after the EP and a remix EP. 

"Deadlights", then, is the next natural step for the project. With nothing but a high bass, a low bass, vocals, and a drum machine, Bellhead not only manages to create another EP that's addicting, but one that sounds like nothing that they've done before. 



Perhaps it's due to the name of the song 'Frankenstein', or the general imagery Bellhead supports their music with, but there's always an air of horror about their work. This begins on "Deadlights" as soon as the fuzzy bass guitar and hurried breaths play on 'Mercy'. Russia's almost whispering vocals add tension and Ringheimer's own silent chords only add to that air. During the chorus, harder vocals and guitar play out but only briefly. The song is perfectly paced to keep that tension going throughout its duration. 

It's also impressive how many phases a single song can go through on "Deadlights". Taking the next song in order, for example, 'Nothing As It Seems'. It begins with throbbing percussion and Russia's vocals. Around the twenty-five second mark, elements of drum'n'bass kick in matching Russia's lyrical rhythm. Dirty guitar notes come in around the forty-four second mark as both Russia and Ringheimer sing together. This lasts only until the fifty-four second mark where the track goes back to minimal; slight plucks at the bass aide their vocals and then that same drum'n'bass beat from earlier comes back around the one-minute and twelve second mark on top of a higher-pitched synth-line. Now, imagine everything that I just said, but just continued on for another two-and-a-half-minutes. The philosophy in songwriting in Bellhead is simply phenomenal. 

'The River' is a decently mellow track featuring moody bass guitar and slow drumwork. The middle of the song is dedicated towards hard rock. I preferred the quieter bits of the track, as I felt as if this middle-section felt pretty stale and generic in comparison to everything else Bellhead has going on for themselves. A fairly fun dive into Mary Shelley's classic novel comes in the form of 'Frankenstein', which is just as spooky as one might expect. The final song, 'Dead Letter', is a purposefully lo-fi sounding track complete with piano keys and general moodiness. 

Bellhead is a project whose minimal approach works wonders. Though they use select few instruments in their production, they are able to turn songs into multi-parted ballads that never fail to entertain. This type of music is well beyond of what I have in my personal playlists, but I enjoy it for both its variety and unique qualities. Seven-and-a-half out of ten. I can't wait to see what they come up with next. 

This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
Jun 29 2021

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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