Chelsea Wolfe Pain is Beauty

Chelsea Wolfe Pain is Beauty
8
To say that the title of Chelsea Wolfe's new electro-based studio album, Pain is Beauty, is indicative of the content would be an understatement. Branded a doom-metal-art-folk musician, Wolfe describers her newest effort as "an exploration of ancestry" via her beautiful and brooding soundscapes. Wolfe crafts songs as though they are tales — a product of her preoccupation with, and love for, movie scores. There's a prevalent sound arc within each track: a slow, melodic build and breathtaking crescendo that's followed by a slow descent. "House of Metal" involves a continuous violin loop that aids in pushing the track's atmosphere outward, creating a waxing/waning affect, while Wolfe's vocals — an echoey ambience — are in the background, as is the case with most of the album. "The Waves Have Come" is an eight-minute ballad of severity, as well as the album's most poignant track, inspired by the most recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami. The electro aspects of the record don't distract from the vocals and vice versa, creating a homogenous entity that gives a curt nod in the direction of doom gods Swans and Sunn O))). Nothing is in the foreground and everything counts. (Sargent House)