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Chelsea Wolfe – Birth of Violence Review

Desert Wolfe

‘Birth of Violence’, the new album from Chelsea Wolfe, flips what we usually think a Chelsea Wolfe album should be. Having only created one acoustic-based album previously, Chelsea Wolfe returns to her acoustic side and channels her rage enter something more soothing whilst still being dark and delicious.

Across the albums 11 tracks, there are very few times when Wolfe breaks out the electric guitar, the drums or the anger. Instead ‘Birth of Violence’ is much more interested in creating pensive thoughtful acoustic melodies for Chelsea to croon over. It is lovely to hear her delicate side with understated anthems like ‘The Mother Road’, ‘Dirt Universe’ and ‘Highway’. Indeed a lot of the album’s undercurrent feels like a journey across a barren landscape.

Chelsea Wolfe

Sonically the album sounds dusty, well worn and dilapidated too. The acoustic guitar is weathered. When percussion does appear it’s muffled and crunchy. The electric guitar is sparse but taut like a choked siren. Even Chelsea Wolfe’s voice has audio trickery on it to sound distant and fragmented through the wind at times. She has committed to this audio world fully and it shows in every note.

That will mean those who came for raging walls of noise will not find it here. Instead, you’ll find a gothic carcass in the desert – stripped bare by harsh winds. The album carries the same Chelsea Wolfe emotions though – just without the guitar intensity. I would challenge anyone not to feel the pain and anguish from tracks like ‘American Darkness’, ‘Little Grave’ and ‘Preface for a Dream Play’.

This album is wonderful proof that emotional intensity doesn’t require noise intensity. Melodically and sonically up there with her finest, this will make you Deranged for Chelsea Wolfe’s brand of rock n roll. [sorry not sorry]

Recommended track: The Mother Road

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