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Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss - Sargent House Print E-mail
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Saturday, 18 March 2017
Music review of the Chelsea Wolfe Album Abyss from Sargent House on Severed Cinema


Band: Chelsea Wolfe
Album: Abyss
Members: Chelsea Wolfe (Vocals) Ben Chisholm (Guitar, Bass, Keyboard, Piano, Programming) Ezra Buchla (Viola, Vocals) Mike Sullivan (Guitars) Dylan Fujioka (Drums)
Year: 2015
Country: USA
Produced by: John Congleton
Cover Art: Henrik Uladen
Mastering: Alan Douches
Runtime: 55min 20sec

Label: Sargent House
Official Website:

Track Listing:
1. Carrrion Flowers
2. Iron Moon
3. Dragged Out
4. Maw
5. Grey Days
6. After The Fall
7. Crazy Love
8. Simple Death
9. Survive
10. Color of Blood
11. The Abyss

If you could imagine plunging Nine Inch Nails, PJ Harvey and Portishead into a deep chasm filled with the echoes and noises collected over aeons of human existence, which have over time, distorted into a mesh of nightmarish dream spearing sounds, then that would be close to Chelsea Wolfe's 2015 album, Abyss.

This album isn't necessarily connected to horror, however, the sonic waves build an aura which could soundtrack a very sick experimental film in your mind. Chelsea's music over a handful of albums are a disturbing set of tunes. Her 2011 LP, Apokalysis and the next one, Pain is Beauty have been very well received. So much that her music is featured on adverts for major TV series such as Fear the Walking Dead. Chelsea's live shows and videos carry a heavy doom atmosphere and this girl's songs have been described as 'doom-folk'. Cool.

Abyss opens with Carrion Flowers, and this track in particular carries a NIN feeling clashing with something Alec Empire may fiddle with. Banging loud electronic bass thumps over her vocals can take some getting used to if you've never ventured into such musical territories. “Hold on to the pain, of love taken from you! A plague!” she croons. The album eases down (slightly) with the melodic Iron Moon. Chelsea's words sound gorgeous: “I go to him in paths of dreams, in bed awake with shadow beings, they crawl inside and wait with me.....” Is it a love song or a heartbreaking tragedy? The guitars gallop over slow zombie swaying drums as the lyrics alter from over laden electronic screams, and gentle chords. It's diverse and quite stunning.

Dragged Out begins with tampered with electric harmony voices which, as they fade into the sludging music begins to sound like demented seagulls. Then tolling bells ring.... Huge respect to Ben Chrisholm who handles almost all guitars, bass, keyboards and piano. As Abyss hurtles itself onwards, Grey Days almost owns the whole album simply for the sadness inducing electric viola which haunts the chorus, After the Fall which slows down to a minimum, is hard to describe in words because the effects and little touches throughout defy belief (listening to the album in one go sort of makes you drift away) then the shocker arrives, Crazy Love. It's a normal acoustic driven love song. Wow. “I don't want to live without you...” One of my personal favourites has to be, Survive which feels almost Ennio Morricone in its guitar and majesty.

Once you've made it through the chaos (in my opinion, if you can feel the music, there isn't a dull moment on this album, it's perfect in every sense) the final track is the title track. You know in video games how the last bad monster or whatever is the craziest one? Chelsea could be alone in an abandoned apartment, surrounded by dolls which she has pieced together in ways unexplained, whilst a piano tinkles, and she hears the raging cries of spirits in her head. As she describes The Abyss, it's a cold tale which will not end well. I was reminded of very early Peter Gabriel lyrics and it's a pure head fuck!! Dark ambience? Possibly. Muddy deep rivers of madness? Likely. Californian, Chelsea Wolfe is in a cupboard all on her own.

To prove it, here's the official video for Carrion Flowers...

 ALBUM: 1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema1 
Skull - Severed Cinema


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Last Updated ( Saturday, 18 March 2017 )
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