Chelsea Wolfe embodies this strange mixture of subtle atypical softness and creepy darkness all at once. She is raw in both image and music, as shown on her sophomore LP, Apokalypsis.
The album’s opening track punches you. Wolfe screams on “Primal/Carnal” as if she’s exorcising demons, creating a track that could accompany a scene from Paranormal Activity. Once you’re immersed, you’ll notice that the rest of the album relaxes into a softer, more melancholy atmosphere.
The second track, “Mer,” is jarringly calmer and softer than “Primal/Carnal,” and Wolfe’s distorted and distant vocals shine through the primal drumming. The song’s dark melody is extremely mature and domineering, and soon into the track Wolfe’s vocals seem nothing more than just another backdrop layer to the haunting melody.
Sometimes you’ll find your mind wandering away from Apokalypsis, as the album dips into lulls that are quite tranquil and borderline insipid. Songs like “Wasteland” and “Pale On Pale” drop the energy and could easily be forgotten among the stronger tracks on the album. The instrumentation on each song, though, is rich and brooding, weaving a distinguishable sound that suitably ties Apokalypsis together.
“Demons” features tribal drumming with Wolfe’s faded voice providing a backdrop for the track’s melody. It’s quite the pick-me-up after “Tracks (Tall Bodies)” and builds this sort of energy that isn’t aggressive, yet hints of hostility and danger are detected. “Movie Screen” is stunning. It seems otherworldly and is the first real sample of Wolfe’s amazing and deep vocal range. This song is the spookiest track on the album, even creepier than “Primal/Carnal” because it feels much more personal than the horror-film soundtrack.