Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Chelsea Wolfe: "The Birth of Violence"
I did not check out any of the singles leading up to this album so going into it totally fresh. Of course I am pleased that the opening track reminds me more of "Mistake In Parting" . Mainly due to the fact she is singing out and not in the more breathy spectral tone she can employ. It is not as rock n roll or grungy as "Mistake in Parting" The album is stripped down but at times still atmosphere. It is not a rehash of "Unknown Rooms" despite being acoustic at it's core. "American Violence" dials up the atmosphere by another degree. She also begins to use her softer higher register. There is a more PJ Harvey like mood to the title track. Her lyrics are more introspective. She sings in a lower register here with ambiance lurking in the background.
There is a darker brooding to "Deranged For Rock n Roll" . Her voice has a dreamy shimmer to it on this one. It is funny because my iTunes keeps shuffling over to either "Unknown Rooms" or "Mistake In Parting" in-between songs. This is allowing me to see how much it does not have in common with those songs. "Be All Things" sounds like it could have been one of the mellower moments on "Abyss" . There is a slight hint of country here, putting in the same zip code as Marissa Nadler sonically. Ambiance begins to play a larger role in "Erde" . This one is more dream folky. More intangible when it comes to traditional song writing. A darker more serpentine elements slithers out over the songs' climax. "When Anger Turns to Honey" is minimal, but with interesting vocal layering and production. \ "Dirt Universe" but is has a more solid arrangement that builds in instrumentation as it progresses. There is a more familiar melancholy to the mood of this song.
"Little Grave" is such a fragile folk song it took multiple listens. Somewhat similar to things we have heard from her before. With it's cooed refrain of "Hell is on earth" , "Preface to a Dream Play" catches my ear due to much like a great deal of this album the subtle oddities involved. The production choices and how things sit in the mix is to the left of what we have heard from her in the past. Not dramatically, but on "Highway" which is pretty straight forward, it's things like the vocal layering that stand out. I'll give this a 10, she once again made an album that show similar shade of what she does but from a new angle.