Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss (Sargent House; 2015)
Dense and clouded in a thick, billowing fog of dread, Abyss is appropriately titled to say the least. Chelsea Wolfe continues to be unclassifiable in five albums, this time treating her trademark darkwave sound to a welcome dose of doom metal and roping in a secret weapon: Mike Sullivan of Russian Circles. While Wolfe is no stranger to guitars herself, Sullivan’s crunchy tone feels like a real master-stroke at times; lead single “Iron Moon” lurches along with jolting vigour, its guitars plodding with immensity at every down-stroke before unfurling into a cacophony of shrill noise. Wolfe and her band refuse to let up, filling nearly every song with so much brooding atmosphere that it almost becomes overbearing. Later tracks “Survive” and “Color of Blood” while solid, nonetheless offer a familiar dynamic in light of opening track “Carrion Flowers” thundering ballet of eerie silence and deafening pads. Even in spite of this, Abyss remains as impressive as it is downright filthy.
Trial Track: “After the Fall”