On Apokalypsis, Chelsea Wolfe brutally strips the one-voice/guitar template down to its most intimate essentials. As in Son House. As in Jandek. As in Diamanda Galas. And then, AND THEN, adds in a dose of black metal’s imperious frigidity. It’s not in terms of the sound — there’re no blast beats or goblin screams. And it’s not in terms of the thematics — no churches are burning. It’s an intangible, it’s a vague dread lurking in your peripheral vision, a feeling that this music is from older, altogether darker times. No wonder she’s gigging with the likes of Liturgy and Wolves In The Throne Room. When you listen, when you really listen, it makes perfect sense. Her powerful voice is swamped in reverb and recorded in such a way that it sounds murky and out of focus, unable to be captured or fully heard. The drums are great tribal blasts, intersected and slashed by dark telephone-wire guitar lines, blues drained of bravado. The whole album is recorded in the way a cult black metal album would be, physical and lo-fi at the same time. Any time you think she’s gong to take the easy way out with a harmony or a riff or a lyric, and maybe it will go into familiar boring territory, it veers wildly away. Quite an act of faith. Or heresy.
Pendu Sound: pendusound.com