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Release Date: 08/23/11
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CHELSEA WOLFE is Chelsea Wolfe, Ben Chisholm, Dylan Fujioka, Kevin Dokter
01. Primal / Carnal
03. Tracks (Tall Bodies)
05. Movie Screen
06. The Wasteland
09. Pale On Pale
10. To The Forest, Towards The Sea
It’s fitting that Chelsea Wolfe’s second album opens with a hair-raising, animalistic snarl — the sound of some beastly metamorphosis caught on tape. Ἀποκάλυψις (pronounced “apokalypsis”) finds the L.A.- based artist perfecting her distinctly doom-drenched electric folk. Here she graduates from mobile 8-track experimentation to an actual studio, enlisting a few friends to help even as she maintains the strikingly visceral elements of her powerful debut, The Grime & the Glow (2010). The end result is a both a broader sprawl and a tighter claustrophobia, a serious heaviness of sound and spirit prone to unexpected moments of beauty and triumph. Rightly, the album’s title is Greek for both “apocalypse” and “revelation.” Wolfe’s gift for tense beauty reigns supreme on “Tracks (Tall Bodies),” where warm guitar, cavernous drums, and her beguiling voice engender an elemental feeling of regret in tune with the words: It’s a machine we’re up against/Devoid of reason, devoid of sense.” The upbeat “Demons” follows, seemingly as counterpoint, rolling forth on a damaged surf beat and becoming a careening steam engine of scratchy thrash and tortured cries. Later, “Moses” demonstrates what Wolfe may very well do best, cooing choral over grinding Sabbathy guitars, somehow hinting at an odd ebullience hidden in the dirging murk. Though Ἀποκάλυψις’s tone is decidedly dark, it’s a dynamic album, evidenced by buzzing, organ-soaked soul of “The Wasteland,” the clanging blues of “Friedrichshain,” and the haunted ambience of “To the Forest, To the Sea,” which feels like a field recording from the bewitched woods of Wolfe’s youth. The LP’s undeniable high point however, is the unforgettable “Pale on Pale.” The seven-minute song slowly bores its way into the listener’s skull thanks to Wolfe’s ghostly moan — which deals death at every lyrical turn — and the thick black metal chords that push it along. Somewhere between the blood-curdling scream and squalling feedback that close out the track, transcendence is achieved, and Wolfe’s transformation into a true force of nature is complete.
PAPER MAGAZINE – “She unleashes guttural wails and sings in a chilling falsetto. The result sounds like it might provide the ideal soundtrack for a Black Swan sequel”
THE GUARDIAN – “By the narcotic, Teutonic drone-folk of Friedrichshain you start to believe the stories about Wolfe spending her formative years travelling abroad with a nomadic performance troupe playing cathedrals, basements and old nuclear plants.”
CHELSEA WOLFE – “Mer” from “Apokalypsis”
Directed by Zev Deans
Produced by Pendu Media LLC