Sunday, February 18, 2024

Chelsea Wolfe's "She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She" & North American Tour: Feb 27 - Mar 30


A true genre hybrid for the times, the music of Chelsea Wolfe has absorbed, distorted and recontextualized post-goth, electro-industrial, doom metal, modern neo-folk and indie singer songwriter forms into her own maximal sound. Her contemporaries more closely reside within the doom and hardcore scenes of the last two decades chronicled in The Quietus' Columnus Metalicus. This cultural association was further affirmed by contributions to her recent string of albums from members of the post-shoegaze outfit True Widow, labelmates Russian Circles, and the collaborative album,"Bloodmoon: I" with Converge. As The Guardian review suggests, "Converge & Chelsea Wolfe: An Explosive Combination", it is an album in which Converge's rampaging post-hardcore has been brought to a deadening crawl, sacrificing speed for a slower, more melodic, and often weightier battering of sound and song. It is in this dynamic between this lumbering crawl, and the brief blistering explosions of hardcore bombast that the album defines itself as something singular. As a foretaste of this album, her most recent quartet of releases run a gamut that suggests the hybrid of the sounds and genres touched upon throughout the releases that precede them. Beginning with the most coherent fusion of all of her previous work with the new addition of electro-industrial sounds heard on 2013's "Pain is Beauty", the string of following albums for the Sargent House label would disassemble this hybrid into their particular genre components. Beginning with 2015's "Abyss", which again focused on the electro-industrial, post-punk and gothic rock aesthetics, the following "Hiss Spun" shifted its weight toward a doom metal sound, enlisting members of Converge and the post-metal band Isis to lend additional weight. With 2019's "Birth of Violence", the sound had again found a new genre focus in the neo-pagan and dark folk sounds coming out of central Europe. On the new label home of Loma Vista, this year's "She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She" again looks to reassemble all of the constituent genre forms into a cohesive whole. Where the last decade of releases for Sargent House stressed individual genres, shifting their focus from album to album. This new work, heard on tour this month with a date at Seattle's Neptune Theatre, aims to be an amalgamation of all of these forms into a singular style. It's also an album of exploring a familial heritage of touching on "different realms", as The New Yorker suggests in their "Chelsea Wolfe’s Eclectic Hauntings", through Wolfe's time spent with her elders, as a journey in which "Chelsea Wolfe Embraces Her Inner Wisdom". This lengthy peregrination has brought her to a point wherein, "Chelsea Wolfe says Witchcraft and Sobriety Informed Her Latest Album". With the fruitful harbor she has found in a new state of being populated by the subjects of her Favorite Sh*t, for Revolver, "On Archery, Oracle Cards, Cape Dresses and More".