Overall Score: 10/10 songs: 10/10 production: 9/10 lyrics: 10/10 Pros: One of most spellbinding and atmospheric albums of the year Cons: nothing
Chelsea Wolfe is a transcendent artist. She creates a truly spiritual, almost religious experience through music. Taking the listener on a journey that they won’t soon forget.
Birth of Violence is the follow up to the hugely successful Hiss Spun,Chelsea once again takes her artistry on a completely different path, and a very dark on at that.
This is an album that needs to be experienced to be understood. It needs time to permiate your soul and work it’s black magic on you for you to really truly appreciate it’s many secrets.
This is a sparse record that makes the most of it’s orchestration to maximum effect. Mother Road employs desolate acoustic guitars to set the atmosphere early on, but just as you have begun to lose yourself in it, strings stab at you in the closing moments to provide an extra layer of horrifying theatrics.
American Darkness recalls Tori Amos at her most tortured and introspective. A soul crushingly bleak ode to lost love that will place a chill in even the coldest of hearts. It is one of the most spellbinding moments on the album.
Erde has somewhat of a trip hop quality to it, that evokes memories of Portishead and particularly Beth Gibbons at her most harrowing and nihilistic. The song exists on two plains, the music in the background and the vocal rising above it like a wailing spirit. The first time I heard this track was in the dark with headphones on, and it sent a shiver down my spine.
The imagery and emotion that Chelsea Wolfe manages to wring out of her music, with so little is what makes her so impressive as a songwriter and artist. She has an exceptionally powerful voice that is allowed to breathe and soar, by stripping down the music she puts her vocals front and centre allowing her to truly drive the narrative of the songs home, and it is the delivery of those vocals that will haunt you long after the album has finished.
The fact that the album is bolstered by an artist who is celebrating the strength of her own emotions, who is using this incredibly powerful art as the prism through which to filter and process that strength and those emotions is truly amazing.
Birth of Violence is an impeccable album. It’s a haunting,and devastatingly brooding album that will break hearts and curdle blood in equal measure. There is something so truly mesmering and dizzingly hypnotic about the way this album is written, performed and presented that it feels in many ways like her Magnum Opus.
Moments from this album have been spinning around in my head for the last few days, I’m sure they will continue to in the coming says. The only negative, if I must call it that, is that this album will be nigh on impossible to top, but I wait with baited breath to see what happens next, but until that time comes I will be surrending myself over to the beautiful darkness that is Birth of Violence for the foreseeable future.