By Tom Lanham
Derek Miller is the first to admit it. During and after the recording of Reign of Terror—his sophomore 2012 assault with vocalist Alexis Krauss as the gear-grinding noise-pop duo Sleigh Bells—the guitarist/producer felt like he was in the bleakest of pits, facing a razor-sharp pendulum swinging lower and lower to his inexorable, chest-slicing doom. And that’s putting it mildly, he chuckles lightheartedly today, as the band releases its new rapid-fire followup, Bitter Rivals. “Things could have been worse, but they were bad,” he sighs, referring to the untimely death of his father and his mother’s nearly...