Chelsea Wolfe - Birth of Violence (Sargent House)
From the very opening track “The Mother Road” with its subtle softly booming bass drum spine, that sounds like a rolling storm edging closer and closer to a broken township from the violent seas, the Birth Of Violence has a quiet sense of dread permeating the entire runtime.
A deeply unsettling, have-you-on-the-back-foot feeling that worms it’s way through each song. The title track is a porcelain doll that is rested precariously next to an open window, gentle strings and haunting vocals – swells and gentle effects breathing in the space between spaces, all the while that muted boom of the bass coils and wraps serpentine amongst the throng.
“When Anger Turns To Honey” takes Chelsea’s vocal gymnastics and cranks them to uncomfortable levels of haunting malevolence. “Preface To A Dream Play” pushes the thematic motifs our further and farther – the spine of the bass and the strong sweeps never leaving the scene, instead, building to gloomier and gloomed levels before final track “The Storm” finally brings all the themes and the loose ends crashing together in a cacophony of finality. Sometimes misery and contemplation can be beautiful, and Chelsea Wolfe has highlighted that perfectly on this wonderful, bare, soul searching album.
It may prove to be a bit difficult of life has weighed you down, but equally, it may well be the hand you need to navigate the darkness. Chelsea has a knack for making the darkness bearable and – on occasion – blindingly beautiful.