Chelsea Wolfe – Pain is Beauty

Chelsea Wolfe is a rising figure in whatever genre she is a part of. Is she gothic, or is she dark folk, or maybe a dark singer-songwriter? I am not sure, but she was a very great accidental discovery. A friend of mine wanted to go see atmospheric black metal band Wolves in the Throne Room, so I decided to look into the openers, thus was how I discovered Chelsea Wolfe. Her previous album, Apokalypsis, was a very dark album, that is similarly difficult to describe, and one that definitely warrants attention. Her third–or forth, depending on what you consider the first–album, Pain is Beauty, is slightly different in sound and also among my favorites of 2013. Pain is Beauty has a substantial amount of dark synthesized beats that accompany Chelsea Wolfe’s ghostly, ethereal, reverb-laden voice. Apokalypsis focused more on dark ambience and a horror-movie cinematic feel, whereas Pain is Beauty is closer to quite dark dance music, although it is definitely not to be utilized for dancing. The album opens with the very electronic Feral Love, which sets the tone for this album. We Hit a Wall is a slower track with drums that plod along with the ghostly vocals. House of Metal is one of the better tracks and makes use of violins to set the mood. The Warden is another standout track that is more up-tempo with the dark synthesized beats and Chelsea’s ethereal voice. Sick is another of my favorite tracks. This track is perhaps the darkest on this album and quite gloomy and mysterious. Finally, the Pain is Beauty closes with The Waves Have Come, which seems like a grand sweeping track that builds and ascends with violins before dying and fading out. Pain is Beauty is a great addition to Chelsea Wolfe’s young discography and demonstrates she is capable of writing very unique albums, while still maintaining a core Chelsea Wolfe sound that is dark, mysterious, and ethereal.

Genre: Gothic, Experimental, Dark Folk
Country: USA
Label: Sargent House
Release: September 3, 2013

1. Feral Love
2. We Hit a Wall
3. House of Metal
4. The Warden
5. Destruction Makes the World Burn Brighter
6. Sick
7. Kings
8. Reins
9. Ancestors, the Ancients
10. They’ll Clap When You’re Gone
11. The Waves Have Come

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