Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Chelsea Wolfe "Pain is Beauty" album review

    Pain is Beauty is another testament to the talent of singer/songwriter Chelsea Wolfe's limitless potential. With her fourth official release listeners are given bits of last year’s Unknown Rooms, mixed in with pieces of 2011’s Apokolypsis with more unique and raw sound integrated into the cauldron to make quite the interesting brew of music.

   The album opens up with "Feral Love" to which the title fits the song perfectly.Wolfe's voice has this beautiful yet ominous feel to it that is both addicting and almost unsettling. There's this almost primitive constriction with the repetitive that drives the song into the listener's head.  Accompanying the almost macabre feel are the laced in synth and sound distortions;  tweaked just right to give the song a truly unusual and powerful feel.

"We Hit a Wall" is something in the vein of "Moses" from Apokolypsis. It is expansive in its sound with a bass cord that sticks with a particular flavor while drums echo in.There's also some string sounds hiding in the mix  The vocals have this particular sound like they could have been recorded in an asylum room with a high ceiling, and though are a lighter feeling sound than the previous song still have a particular weight to them. 

 "House of Metal" has a particular tune to it as you work past the intro. The music sans vocals paints a picture of a worn down circus that has this edge of caution about it. Changing things up,“The Warden” is a lighter track with an electronica style to it.  “Destruction Makes The World Burn Brighter” seems like it could feel at home in an 60s setting. Think Woodstock love through an apocalyptic filter.

"Sick" builds a dyscrasian sound castle in your head that seems to bend the equilibrium of reality around everything. "Kings" has this droning note that builds through the song's progression. It's layered and like the tide to the shore changes with every wave of sound that comes gliding in."Reins" glides in on a chilly hushed note and again brings that very ebb and flow balance until a minute and a half into the song. From there the beat picks up and has this almost sense of panic to it.The overlaying and underlying vocals mesh to perfection while the guitar builds towards a conclusion. "Lone" begins as this acoustic airily vocal piece that winds up to a thicker corded sound. It's short at just over two and a half minutes but surly fantastic and in my opinion is the perfect ending of a fantastic record.

Beauty is Pain is a twelve song masterpiece carved into the silence. Wolfe's hazy vocals, uncompromising talent and musical experimentation are at their very best to date here.  It's the kind of album that will  not sink in with a single listen due to its depth and creativity and should be savored many times. It's beautiful, haunting and extremely powerful; there's no question that Chelsea Wolfe isn't afraid to think outside of the musical box. If you want music with the impact of a great novel this is where to find it.

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