CHELSEA WOLFE: Abyss: CD/LP

Chelsea Wolfe’s latest album Abyss is easily her best. It is also fair to say it is her heaviest, musically speaking, and darkest lyrically. Put heavy and dark together and you’ve got this reviewer’s attention. The heaviness is in large part due to Russian Circles guitarist Mike Sullivan who adds some great riffs. The darkness in the lyrics can be attributed to Wolfe’s experience with sleep paralysis, Robin Williams’ suicide, and the suicide of a Chinese poet. This lyrical darkness is mirrored musically by some exquisite additions of strings and keys as well as small things like the bite of the snare on “Grey Days.” It’s the little things that add up on Abyss. It doesn’t hurt that John Congleton (Swans, Explosions In The Sky) is behind the helm, making everything sound big without being grandiose. Wolfe still has that folk/goth/metal thing going on, but on Abyss she’s made it all her own, turning in a stunning, morose, meditative fifty-six minutes of music. 

 –kurt (Sargent House, sargenthouse.com)