Absorbing “Birth of Violence” by Chelsea Wolfe Album Review

Dillon Neibel
dneibel@lc.edu

 

Friday the 13th is a day shrouded in superstition and mystic lore, and on this recent Friday the 13th on Sept. 13, 2019, witch-like doom metal, goth rock, singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe released her newest album Birth of Violence at the perfect time for this Halloween season. So what better album to review for the Oct. edition of this paper?

The dark ambient sounds with a folky resonance that circles around Wolfe’s voice like a lingering shadow trying to come to life is only kept in its place by the pure power that Wolfe brings to the table. That power, her voice, ast it hauntingly howls and whispers in an unreachable echo, always leaves me questioning whether or not I’m listening to a woman possessed by a demon or witch begging for help, or is the witch just trying to lure me in?

In her new album Birth of Violence, Chelsea Wolfe has really amplified these chilling sounds

that give her the unique brand and following she has built for herself. The entire album is an obvious expression of her growth and recollection from years on the road and the general toll of the business. Of course, Wolfe makes everything appear like it has something to with some sort of dark ritual.

In the first song “Mother Road” she croons “building a broken but precious web like a spider in Chernobyl” and chants in the chorus “Guess I needed something to break me”, making it known that she is transformed both as an artist and a person. 

It appears to me that a big part of this transformation is her self-recognition as a woman. In the title track “Birth of Violence” she sings “I’ve come to know what I need, I visualize while I bleed.” Which I interpret as her discovering herself through her pain, both physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

After listening to the entire album, I’ll say that “Erde” is my favorite song, but don’t even want to attempt to analyse those lyrics. The whole album is fantastic, like dark-hallowed poetry seeping through a mist. The final song “The Storm” is a perfectly simple finale to an album that might be the story of a ritual, or of a loving couple getting married at their funeral. Whatever the story is, it’s worth a listen for those who are intrigued by mysticism.

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