Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss: The real summertime sadness
There is something to say about an album that can totally and utterly immerse you. Pulling and pleading you to feel every strum, every synthetic drum beat, every nuance of a voice, until you are completely surrounded by a sonic cave, where time stands still, where song lengths don’t matter and you just exist. The listener has to be willing to take that step and take that time to get this experience, and the listener also has to enjoy the style of music in which they immerse themselves. Luckily, Abyss can pull just about anyone into, well, its abyss.
It lies in the name, it lies in the album artwork.
Chelsea Wolfe is a gothic/folk/experimental singer. She varies on this record from being just a voice to being accompanied by drum machines, acoustic guitars, and synthesized bursts of distortion. Her singular voice carries such an eerie, ethereal, yet still strong breath that also holds an incredible amount of soul and honesty. You believe in every word she sings.
Abyss ranges from pulsing industrial melodies to downright creepy piano and string instrumentals (“The Abyss”). “Iron Moon” is a perfect example of how strong and powerful she can be on this album. Soft verses that build up to huge choruses, with soaring vocals over heavily distorted noise with crashing symbols, it’s what gives Abyss its ability to draw a listener in.
Abyss does not shy away from its doom genre label. Songs like “After the Fall” and “Dragged Out” showcase this side. However the softer, downtrodden songs are the ones that really shine through on this record. “Maw” is minimalistic, hollow, and empty. It perfectly goes along with Chelsea’s piercing and emotional voice.
This isn’t really the album you put on when you are hanging with your friends on a nice summer night. This isn’t really album that exhumes happiness or pleasure. But that’s exactly what you want out this type of an album. It’s an album best saved for yourself, to listen to by yourself, and to experience by yourself. Move over Lana Del Rey, this is the real summertime sadness.
by Andrew Wilcox (@wilco204)