Thursday, 10 October 2019

Chelsea Wolfe "Birth Of Violence" (2019)


Singer, songwriter Chelsea Wolfe returns again and with each passing album a new approach is found. This new chapter is a sombre, calm and almost soothing affair. In all its alluring abandon, Chelsea graces us with the haunting softness of her voice. Treated by shadowy reverberations and armed with a desolate acoustic guitar, she strums through the eerie and dreamy atmospheres the two conjure together. Lurking percussion, elements of noise and ambiguity converge on occasion to dial up the mania but much of the album explores the loneliness in voice, mirrored in minimalism where soft airy synths and grave strings may be the only backing.

The records pacing is drawn out as it lingers tortuously on the sadness each song seems to swallow itself in, its temperament dreary and drifting. There is little uplift, light or reprise but despite wallowing in the shadows her beautiful voice gives a sincere weight to the darkness that follows her. It makes for a mourning listen, a doom always present, yet its grace and musical harmony is welcoming. Its a strange dimension, a limbo for all pains to be laid bared and observed but for the listener to remain distant from. Its as if shes shut the lock and thrown away the key.

Birth Of Violence is a finely felt, crafted and expressed experience but for all its stunning harrows, it tends to pass one by in the best of ways. I kept listening to this record over and over. It would always drift towards my subconscious attention, birthing an atmosphere softly dark and painfully warm mood. It was pleasant yet full of suffering. Perhaps that is precisely what she was aiming for, It wasn't until the lens of writing examined my experience that I realized how particular it could be. I couldn't give you a favorite song or stand out moment, the music just exists, engulfs and then its gone with the storm! To say that feels like a conceptual through line.

Rating: 7/10

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