Chelsea Wolfe delivers career-best effort in stellar ‘Abyss’

Chelsea Wolfe‘Abyss’
Chelsea Wolfe (Sargent House)
4.5 stars out of 5

I’ve often found Chelsea Wolfe’s music feels like it exists in a dream state. Agitated, reflective, and often feeling like it comes from a state of distant observation, Wolfe’s work is like nothing else on this planet. Turns out Wolfe struggles with sleep paralysis, often confronting imagery that originates in the cavern between conscious and unconscious, and she confronts that realm on her amazing new album “Abyss.”

Wolfe cover artWolfe has been building her reputation and artistic resume the past few years with a collection of mesmerizing, evocative records, and her latest album takes things further than she’s ever gone before.

Over these 11 songs, Wolfe builds a feast of heavy-hitting beats, abrasive guitars, and her surreal words and vocals, peaking on tracks including the funeral bell-dressed “Dragged Out”; the emotional and despondent “Maw,” where she desperately asks, “Where are you?”; to the inky and liquefied “After the Fall”; to the raw, emotional “Simple Death,” where she admits, “I’m screaming, but I can’t wake up.”

Wolfe is a rare talent, and even if this is your first experience with her, you’ll be forever changed. Maybe tour dreams will be transformed, too. (Brian Krasman)

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