Review: Art Bell’s Dark Matter

As we enter the third week of Art Bell’s Dark Matter, I thought now would be a good time to share my opinion on the show so far.

I’m listening to it right now. Art Bell just read the news, and now he’s talking to his first guest this week, Dr. Michael Heiser. Not much else needs to be said, because at this point I can’t tell where Art’s Coast to Coast AM ended and Dark Matter began.

Sure, there are differences, and things haven’t been perfect. A certain guest may have spoken for three hours without taking a single breath, another may have arrived on the show ill-prepared and on a cell phone. Technical difficulties cancelled last Thursday’s show entirely. But those are hiccups, things that happen when a show’s just getting off the ground. Things that happen just because, and technical difficulties you can’t predict.

What’s good? Everything else. Art Bell hasn’t missed a beat. The new opening theme, Ride My See-Saw, kicks the night off, Art reads a few bits of news, and then it’s straight to the evening’s guest. If there’s extra time or things go south, unscreened open lines at the end. Can’t really ask for more, and so far every night has gone a full four hours long.

Image: Art Bell’s Dark Matter

Anyway, just to reference my previous article on the show, all of my “hopes” for Dark Matter have been achieved. All the old bumper music is back (including Chase!). The calls are unscreened, unless Art’s looking for a specific topic. Ads are very short, with about two five-minute breaks every hour (I think…). The first couple weeks have been mostly filled with familiar guests, but it’s been varied and we’ll see how things go in the future.

Best of all, Art Bell asks meaningful questions and listens to his guests. It’s the simple things, you know?

I guess I should also mention one final thing that happened during last Monday’s show (09/23), which I thought was very cool. During open lines, one caller brought up the Well to Hell recording. He wanted to hear it. Art obliged, but before playing the audio, he read a short description of the Well to Hell story. You know, an introduction.

So I’m sitting there listening, and thinking, “Hey, that sounds familiar.” Well, it should, because the description Art read on the air was taken from my article The Dark Side of Eternity: The Siberia Recording (the Well to Hell part, not the, uh, Dallas Thompson part). Hearing my words read in Art Bell’s voice was pretty awesome.

So there you go. Now, I’m not going to bother anyone by constantly writing about Dark Matter (this will already be my fourth post about the show), so unless something extraordinarily outrageous happens, I probably won’t bring it up much anymore. But I thought I’d just give my final opinion on how I think things have turned out.

In short, Art Bell is back. Uh, well…about that


Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.