Chelsea Wolfe - Apokalypsis
Goth The title of Chelsea Wolfe's new album, 'Apokalypsis', taken with her hollow-eyed cover art, serves to set an expectation of destruction, darkness, and emptiness. Sometimes, she delivers on that expectation, fusing elements of goth, doom, and even black metal beneath her haunting, hazy vocal presence.

The opening track "Primal/Carnal" is a short, noisy collection of howls, howls shrieks and noise that wouldn't be out of place in any early experimental noise group or in a black metal setting. And as soon as it begins, it's over, and we're dropped into "Mer", and the change is quite jarring, with a quiet guitar riff that expands into a moody, sparse goth-inspired track, then shuffled off into "Tracks (Tall Bodies)", which reminds me a bit of Portishead, and then off into the straight-ahead goth rock of "Demons".

Wolfe has a lovely voice for the kind of material she's presenting, and her voice is consistently intriguing throughout the opening songs, but the songs are uneven. "Demons" isn't necessarily a bad song, and I could actually see it being a favorite for some people, but it feels out of place here. Similarly, "The Wasteland", which opens with a pulsing synth blast that called to mind the opening notes of Coil's cover of "Tainted Love", becomes a song not at all evocative of a wasteland.

The closing tracks of the album provide the best opportunity to hear the fulfillment of the promise of the album's, and of Wolfe's unique musical talents. The long, doomy "Pale on Pale" is an outstanding track where her vocals perfectly match the instrumentation. "To the Forest, Towards the Sea" provides delivers a short, unsettling glimpse into the arrival of the apocalypse, the blaring horns signaling the end of days, and the album closer "Movie Screen" features some lovely, unintelligible vocal work over instrumentals and noise and chaotic guitar riffs.

I found myself thinking of this album like an old vinyl record where all my favorite songs were the B side. Wolfe is a perfectly capable vocalist, and when she eschews typical songs for something a little more unusual and frightening, she's at her best.
3
Brutal Resonance

Chelsea Wolfe - Apokalypsis

5.0
"Mediocre"
N/A
Electroracle
Spotify
Released 2011 by Pendu Sound Recordings
The title of Chelsea Wolfe's new album, 'Apokalypsis', taken with her hollow-eyed cover art, serves to set an expectation of destruction, darkness, and emptiness. Sometimes, she delivers on that expectation, fusing elements of goth, doom, and even black metal beneath her haunting, hazy vocal presence.

The opening track "Primal/Carnal" is a short, noisy collection of howls, howls shrieks and noise that wouldn't be out of place in any early experimental noise group or in a black metal setting. And as soon as it begins, it's over, and we're dropped into "Mer", and the change is quite jarring, with a quiet guitar riff that expands into a moody, sparse goth-inspired track, then shuffled off into "Tracks (Tall Bodies)", which reminds me a bit of Portishead, and then off into the straight-ahead goth rock of "Demons".

Wolfe has a lovely voice for the kind of material she's presenting, and her voice is consistently intriguing throughout the opening songs, but the songs are uneven. "Demons" isn't necessarily a bad song, and I could actually see it being a favorite for some people, but it feels out of place here. Similarly, "The Wasteland", which opens with a pulsing synth blast that called to mind the opening notes of Coil's cover of "Tainted Love", becomes a song not at all evocative of a wasteland.

The closing tracks of the album provide the best opportunity to hear the fulfillment of the promise of the album's, and of Wolfe's unique musical talents. The long, doomy "Pale on Pale" is an outstanding track where her vocals perfectly match the instrumentation. "To the Forest, Towards the Sea" provides delivers a short, unsettling glimpse into the arrival of the apocalypse, the blaring horns signaling the end of days, and the album closer "Movie Screen" features some lovely, unintelligible vocal work over instrumentals and noise and chaotic guitar riffs.

I found myself thinking of this album like an old vinyl record where all my favorite songs were the B side. Wolfe is a perfectly capable vocalist, and when she eschews typical songs for something a little more unusual and frightening, she's at her best.
Apr 14 2012

Karl Middlebrooks

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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