Posts Tagged ‘Chelsea Wolfe’

Solemn Wave Records – 6th December 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

We’re inching into winter and again my inbox seems to be getting darker and gothier in its content – or perhaps it’s just my SAD-attuned headspace. Either way, this is one extremely welcome arrival.

As a prelude to the album ‘Black Light, White Dark’, Evi Vine have given us ‘Sabbath’ as a single release, featuring The Cure’s Simon Gallup on bass, along with guitar by Peter Yates of Fields of the Nephilim. It’s a slow burner, and it’s epic and then some: fully nine brooding minutes of slow, smouldering atmosphere and hauntingly evocative melodies which burst into dazzlingly kaleidoscopic curtains of sound.

It’s one of those songs that lures you in with its grace and delicacy: Evi’s nuanced, emotionally rich and moving vocal, reminiscent by turns of Jarboe, Chelsea Wolfe and – perhaps at a short stretch – Julianne Reagan (she can swoop and soar, and I suspect her choice as backing singer by The Mission is no coincidence) is alluring, ethereal, simultaneously creating a sense of vulnerability and otherness. And as the sonic storm swells into a dense and richly-layered mass, the effect is intensified, until finally, the surging sound is all there is… nine minutes simply isn’t enough. Allowing the hypnotic bass and deliberate groove to take over and transport me downstream as the guitars build and build, deeper, louder, more and more, until I’m drifting, I find this is a song to loop, and loop…

The six-minute single edit is even more not long enough, and probably isn’t short enough to get much radio play either – even though it absolutely deserves all the audience it can reach. The fact mainstream audiences aren’t likely equipped to handle the intensity is their loss, but also a sad reflection on things. Because this is music to embrace, and be blown way by.

AA

Evi Vine

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16th November 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

The latest offering from gothy New York duo GHXST is appropriately titled. That said, ‘gloom’ carries connotations of moping, listlessness, and the six tracks here are anything but mopey or listless: the downcast, foreboding bleakness of atmosphere is matched by a crackling tension which provides a more complex dynamic.

It begins with a dark pulsating throb and a heartbeat bass drum, distant, buried. Guitar excess howls over the top before settling to a dirge-like crawl of spindly, echo-soaked twang reminiscent of latter-day Earth with hints of Neurosis-inspired post-metal. Shelly X croons and whispers, a combination of ethereal longing and menace as shoegazey washes of sound carry her disembodied voice through the clouds towards the stratosphere.

‘Ocean is a Desert’ is still atmospheric, and combines searing country an psychedelia into the mix to create something epic and immersive Moreover, it brings a greater sense of solidity and a more obvious structure as they start getting riffy and the mechanised drums kick through the murk, and things grow denser still on ‘Vaquero’, which invites comparisons to Chelsea Wolfe and Esben and the Witch at their most sonically dynamic with its brooding drama.

Samples and strings and quivering synths pave the way for the 80s-shaded synth-goth of ‘Bad Blood II’, a chilly, steely grey song that’s both graceful and tense and calls to mind Curve at their best. Single cut ride is dark and dense, taking cues from The Jesus and Mary Chain’s ‘Mushroom’ and offering hints of A Place to Bury Strangers to deliver a deep, dark buzzing throb of mid-tempo droning guitar noise, before ‘Ride’, unveiled in advance of the release, is a gritty, grainy, mess of low-slung low-end riffage swamped in reverb and dirty distortion. And that’s the appeal of GHXST right there. Music to get lost in and to drag you down into the undertow of those dark, deep currents.

AA

GHXST - Gloom

Sargent House – 22nd September 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

Chelsea Wolfe is one of those artists who seems to continually grow with every release, and 2015’s Abyss was something special: a grand, powerful, and intense musical work that reached the parts other albums cannot reach. It’s fair to say that expectations for Hiss Spun were set high as a consequence.

As the accompanying blurb tells us, ‘the album was conceived as an emotional purge, a means of coming to terms with the tumult of the outside world by exploring the complexities of one’s inner unrest’.

Chelsea gets down to conveying this turmoil from the first bars: opener, ‘Spun’, is a throbbing deluge of dense, low-tempo, Godfleshy, bass-centric grind, a seething surge of low-end noise with an overloading, freewheeling lead guitar that’s not so much a solo as an out of control rollercoaster of fretwork that heaves and lurches every which way as if uncertain of its own direction but desperate to find a route to the end. ‘Particle Flux’ is also centred around a tectonic, subterranean low-end pulsation, and builds to a multi-layered, multi-faceted crescendo.

Single cut ’16 Psyche’ has the epic qualities of some of the strongest tracks from previous album Abyss – ‘Iron Moon’ in particular – and ‘The Culling’ repeats the trick of bursting into a crushingly powerful bloom from a quiet, delicate bud. But while nailing choruses of immense scale, these tracks also pound hard, sonically and emotionally.

Placing Hiss Spin side by side with Abyss is instructive: this latest work marks a considerable shift from the brooding industrial-edged gothic folk of its predecessor toward a much more metal-orientated sound that’s not only heavier and more abrasive, but more overtly challenging and confrontational. In fact, everything about Hiss Spun is more.

Following a heavy synth drone intro, ‘Vex’ brings blistering guitar dynamics and a shoegaze atmosphere to a twisted, reverb-soaked vocal that’s simultaneously emotion-rich and curiously detached. ‘Scrape’ draws the curtain with a dark, murky grind that’s as intense as it is dense, and Chelsea’s voice soars higher than ever, wracked with desperation. Thunderous tribal drumming blasts through the squalling guitars to render an imposing finale.

The production on Hiss Spun is immense. The percussion is enormous, every snare hit an explosion, every bass thump enough to trigger an earthquake or tsunami. Every beat, every note, strikes deep into the soul and drags at the deepest levels. To explain precisely how and why Hiss Spun resonates so deeply would be to ruin its magic: this is an album which connects subconsciously, subliminally, pulling as it does between fragility and fury, and with such stunning grace, and it drives, but as a slow pace.

Instrumentally, the dynamics are breathtaking. And never has Wolfe sounded so raw, by turns so fragile and so powerful, channelling emotions to utterly devastating and bewildering effect. Superlatives are inadequate: Hiss Spun is an album so strong as to be almost overwhelming and marks, my a mile, a new career high-point.

AAA

Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun Cover 3000x3000 300 dpi (1)

Chelsea Wolfe has shared ‘The Culling’, the final and most expansive single from her upcoming album Hiss Spun. Stretching out to six minutes, the track begins with a tense atmosphere of foreboding, slowly growing into a dense mass of guitar, bass, electronics, and drums.

Of ‘The Culling’, Wolfe says, “I’m at odds with myself, exploring different characters, comparing war stories…desperation, withdrawal, clarity, disgust, grief. There is a sense of feeling like a vulnerable mess, but giving into that and turning it into some kind of beautiful decadence; becoming stronger through accepting the mess of yourself…accepting that you’re this feral creature full of instincts, cycles, rage and love.”

She also defined the four words she repeats at the end of the song:

Flux – movement, flow

Hiss – positive life force

Welt – brutality of life

Groan – sensuality, death

Listen to ‘The Culling’ here:

Hiss Spun, Wolfe’s sixth album, is out September 22nd on Sargent House.

Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun Cover 3000x3000 300 dpi (1)

Chelsea Wolfe shares new song ‘Vex’, featuring harrowing bellows from Aaron Turner (SUMAC, Old Man Gloom). Dynamic, heavy, and raw, her sixth album Hiss Spun (Sargent House, 22 September), also features prominent guitar contributions by Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age, Failure) throughout.

With heavy hints of Cranes, ‘Vex’ is a dark, intense and claustrophobically gothic track, brimming with drama and tension. It’a also her heaviest cut to date. Listen to it here:

Photo by Zohn Mandel

Chelsea Wolfe has announced the release of Hiss Spun, her sixth album, upcoming via Sargent House on 22nd September 2017. Additionally, Wolfe has some remaining European dates, and has announced an extensive Autumn tour of North America. A full list of dates is below.

Following her acclaimed 2015 album Abyss, Hiss Spun is at once dynamic, heavy, and raw.  Recorded by Kurt Ballou (Converge), the album was conceived as an emotional purge, a means of coming to terms with the tumult of the outside world by exploring the complexities of one’s inner unrest. “I’m at odds with myself,” she explains. “I got tired of trying to disappear. The record became very personal in that way. I wanted to open up more, but also create my own reality.

Hiss Spun features prominent guitar contributions by Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age, Failure) throughout the album, and a guest spot from Aaron Turner (Old Man Gloom, SUMAC) on the song ‘Vex’.

By way of a taster, she’s unveiled ‘16 Psyche’. You can get your lugs round it here:

 

 

Chelsea Wolfe Live Dates:

14/6 Malmö, SE – Babel w/ Christine Owman
17/6 Clisson, FR – Hellfest
19/6 Antwerp, BE – Trix w/ Moon Duo
18/8 Las Vegas, NV -  Psycho Las Vegas

North American tour:
28/9 – Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room
30/9 – Los Angeles, CA – The Regent Theater
2/10 – San Diego, CA – Belly Up Tavern
3/10 – Tucson, AZ – 191 Toole
4/10 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
6/10 – Austin, TX – Paramount Theatre
7/10 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
8/10 – Dallas, TX – Kessler Theatre
10/10 – Nashville, TN – Exit/In
11/10 – Atlanta, GA – Aisle 5
13/10 – Chapel Hill, NC – Cat’s Cradle
14/10 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage
15/10 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts
17/10 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
19/10 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
20/10 – Montreal QC – Le National
21/10 – Toronto, ON – The Opera House
22/10 – Detroit, MI – El Club
24/10 – Chicago, IL – Metro
25/10 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
27/10 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
28/10 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
30/10 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox
31/10 – Vancouver, BC – Venue Nightclub
1/11 – Portland, OR – The Wonderland Ballroom
3/11 – Sacramento, CA – Ace Of Spades
4/11 – San Francisco, CA – The Regency Ballroom
* Youth Code will open all North American shows

Chelsea Wolfe recently announced the release of the Hypnos/Flame 7” scheduled for April 1st via Sargent House, following on from her most recent album Abyss. She has now unveiled a haunting new video for ‘Hypnos’.

The video features Wolfe draped in serpents, fading between fleeting moments of clarity and pixelated visual noise. Hypnos was the Greek god of sleep, and this video translates Wolfe’s distorted love song of the same name into a stark, black-and-white hallucination. The video was self-directed by Wolfe, shot and edited by Ben Chisholm with additional camera by Ricky Verrett.

‘Hypnos’ and ‘Flame’ are both spare and haunting; even at her quietest Wolfe’s music is full of tension and fierceness. ‘Hypnos’ is available to listen and share now via the Sargent House soundcloud. The two songs are available on a special deluxe version of Abyss, available digitally April 1st, which will also feature demo versions of album tracks ‘Grey Days’, ‘Simple Death’, and ‘Survive’. Pre-order is available for the 7” via Sargent House, and digitally via iTunes.

Meanwhile, you can watch the video here:

Chelsea Wolfe Online

 

She will also be undertaking an epic tour of the US in April with support from labelmates A Dead Forest Index. Dates are as follows:

Chelsea Wolfe 2016 Tour Dates

4/24 Las Vegas, NV – The Bunkhouse
4/25 Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
4/26 Albuquerque, NM – Sister Bar
4/28 Austin, TX – Mohawk / Levitation Kick Off
4/29 Dallas, TX – Trees
4/30 McAllen, TX – Cine El Rey
5/02 Memphis, TN – The Hi-Tone
5/03 Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade Heaven
5/04 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
5/06 Asbury Park, NJ – The Stone Pony
5/08 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
5/09 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
5/10 Boston, MA – The Royale
5/11 Providence, RI -  Fete Music Hall
5/12 Hamden, CT – The Space
5/13 Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts
5/14 Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Small’s Theatre
5/16 Montreal, QB – Theatre Fairmount
5/17 Toronto, ON – The Opera House
5/19 Detroit, MI – El Club

5/20 Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall
5/21 Columbus, OH – Ace of Cups
5/22 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club
5/24 Omaha, NE – Slowdown

5/25 Denver, CO – Gothic Theatre
5/26 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
5/28 Portland, OR – Revolution Hall
5/29 Vancouver, BC – Imperial
5/30 George, WA – Sasquatch Festival *
6/1 San Francisco, CA – The Chapel

6/2 San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
6/7 Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom

6/8 Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom

*Chelsea Wolfe only