Monday, September 19, 2011

Album Review: Chelsea Wolfe-Ἀποκάλυψις

Ἀποκάλυψις is just the sort of thing that really makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Odd, considering how dark, desolate, and cold it actually is. Yet can't deny the marrying of a low-fi, Enemies List Recordings-esque sound with the charm of a female folk artist. It's languid, mystifying, and completely arresting. Chelsea Wolfe has made an unsettling, but comforting record that really displays a great sense of creativity, as well as musicianship.

Ἀποκάλυψις (a title which I won't even pretend to know how to pronounce, or explain its meaning) is a tough nut to crack. It's part folk, part indie, and part low-fi avant-garde. Largely it revolves around a very dark aesthetic. The fuzziness of the production only furthers this, as it makes Wolfe's already eerie vocals come off as otherworldly. That's the charm of Ἀποκάλυψις though, because even withing it's harsh, cold sounds, it somehow sounds so wonderful human and inexplicably comforting.

The album is fairly standard in its set-up, consisting of ten average length songs. It's the compositions themselves that really standout however, as Chelsea Wolfe really knows how to make on hell of an atmosphere. In fact, the entire affair is one of the most dense and atmospheric things released this year. It's moody and ominous, but ultimately gorgeous. Wolfe utilizes a multitude of instruments and a bevy of sounds to warp everything to her liking. Guitars provide a lot of the album's mood with their extraneous feedback, and percussion is used rather heavily, often giving a somewhat 'tribal' feeling. All of this makes up the utter brilliance that is Ἀποκάλυψις.

Chelsea Wolfe hasn't made one of the best albums of the year, but she has however crafted one of the strangest and alluring pieces of music one is likely to hear in 2011. For adventurous souls searching for something haunting and beautiful, Ἀποκάλυψις is essential.


01. Primal / Carnal
02. Mer
03. Tracks (Tall Bodies)
04. Demons
05. Movie Screen
06. The Wasteland
07. Moses
08. Friedrichshain
09. Pale On Pale
10. To The Forest, Towards The Sea

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