The latest example of a musician's career taking a 180-degree-turn belongs to former Altar of Plagues mastermind James Kelly. His new project WIFE finds the former extreme metal-head steeped heavily in smooth electronics and adopting a soulful croon. James Blake is an obvious reference for this U.K. musician, but Kelly's vocals aren't cut to pieces, and the production is slightly more offensive than the polite blue-eyed Blake would ever allow.
When the songs get really rude, WIFE recalls the work of another recovering metal musician, Justin Broadrick. On "Salvage," the sublime vocals of Jesu are folded in on the punishing percussion of Godflesh. Handling the production duties on What's Between is the Haxan Cloak, whose own cavernous soundscapes are perhaps the most metal thing in electronic music these days. The pairing is apt and the results are fantastic. (Tri-angle Records)