Chelsea Wolfe “Ἀποκάλυψις” (2011)

October 9, 2011

One week ago I had no idea about Chelsea Wolfe’s existence. Now, her second LP entitled Ἀποκάλυψις (read “apokalypsis”) seems a natural contender for the title of 2011 best record. It is beautiful, deeply moving and, but of course, dark. What else would you expect from a singer who used to play in “cathedrals, basements and old nuclear factories” (according to her website)? The album’s cover depicts Wolfe as a possessed priestess or witch. It’s an obvious choice since Ἀποκάλυψις opens with Primal // Carnal, 25 seconds of woman screaming and shrieking as if some supernatural force was trying to take over her body. Second track is more “traditional” – in Mer we can finally hear Chelsea singing with her sharp and haunting voice. As well as some spine-chilling drums. Tracks (Tall Bodies) is more quiet, an exceptional ballad on which the singer dreams that we could be two straight lines in a crooked world. Most often, Chelsea sounds like an early PJ Harvey. On Demons she channels Sonic Youth while The Wasteland may be a lost Zola Jesus track. However, those are just impressions for Wolfe’s approach is very unique. It’s unbelievable since it’s her only second release but she seems to be a fully grown and aware artist. Her magnum opus is surely the doom-heralding Movie Screen with simple warning of Don’t you ever cross that bridge in your mind again (it’s like a movie screen). This is how Broadcast would have sounded if they had been playing rock. Wolfe also uses analogue techniques. It’s best heard on To the Forest, Towards the Sea, a creepy ambient number ending with very sensible question: What’s happening to me? It’s like the artist was going through some demonic process throughout Ἀποκάλυψις. Rock Album of the Year.

hydrameter: 5/5

Key Tracks: Mer, Movie Screen, The Wasteland, Tracks (Tall Bodies)

Watch Mer:


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