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‘Aokalypsis’ is Chelsea Wolfe’s tirade against the ‘singer-songwriter’ record, a term it’s obvious she’s both disgusted by and interested in making disgusting.
Instead of making a directly confrontational record, akin to the more delicate, guitar-orientated gothic rock of Marissa Nadler, Wolfe’s amped-up brand of the genre is informed by a myriad artists who disguise, distort and fuck themselves up. The record’s intro, “Primal/Carnal”, sounds influenced by troubadour of evil Pharmakon, specifically her debut from last year -- it’s comprised of piercing howls, full-throated screams and a swirl of impossible-to-place noise that makes it feel distantly related to “Milkweed”. It’s only a fleeting foray into something that sounds purely power electronics, but it sets up a record that shows off Wolfe’s diverse interest in the morose: her next tune, “Mer”, centres around a knotty guitar riff with enough nihilism to make me think noise rockers Unwound must try harder.
“Movie Screen” toils in the fields of ambient before pounding drums and metal-scraping shape it into something uglier. On “The Wasteland” -- a song in which Wolfe’s vocals are distorted beyond the point of return, and in which every instrument is purposely diminished -- it’s most obvious what Wolfe intends ‘Apokalypsis’ to be: a record you have to squint at. You have to really listen if you want to be disturbed by the blood-lust of ‘Apokalypsis’ -- it’s a lush, incredibly well-ornamented work, but Wolfe couldn’t care less if you hear it. As long as the drums are in your ears.
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- Apokalypsis by Chelsea Wolfe
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