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Chelsea Wolfe - She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She review




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Band: Chelsea Wolfe
Album: She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She
Style: Neofolk, Experimental rock
Release date: February 2024


01. Whispers In The Echo Chamber
02. House Of Self-Undoing
03. Everything Turns Blue
04. Tunnel Lights
05. The Liminal
06. Eyes Like Nightshade
07. Salt
08. Unseen World
09. Place In The Sun
10. Dusk

In sound, it appears fairly streamlined and straightforward. It’s only when one begins peeling back the layers of the onion on paper that the true majesty reveals itself.

For the better part of 15 years, Chelsea Wolfe has been blurring the lines between neofolk, metal, goth rock, and a sort of distorted, darkwave-esque electronica. Like other artists who shift their sound significantly album to album (see Swans, Death Grips, Blut Aus Nord etc), one can never quite tell the exact same ways in which Madame Wolfe might combine these factors from one release to another. But indeed, that’s only what serves to maximize her allure.

It’s been a while, relatively speaking, since Chelsea dropped an actual studio LP. The last such effort from her was 2019’s The Birth Of Violence, a return to the more neofolk sound after experimentation with some much darker and heavier elements on Abyss and Hiss Spun. Then, as a follow up to a Roadburn performance, she teamed up with Converge of all bands in 2021 for the collaborative Bloodmoon: I, arguably her heaviest release yet. Where to from here?

Enter 2024’s annoyingly-titled She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She. This album has yours truly assuming Chelsea really gets down with her doom and sludge influences at the day’s end, as once again it sees her returning into more of a plodding, riff-heavy and metallic territory. Maybe, maybe not to the same extent as on Hiss Spun or the Converge collab, but certainly enough to whet the whistles of those who were looking for her to go more in this direction after The Birth Of Violence. “Everything Turns Blue”, for instance, sounds like the closest we might ever get to “electronic sludge”, and “House Of Self - Undoing” has a very energetic, almost galloping-type pace to its melodies that’s simply delicious.

As with artists like Botanist, Neptunian Maximalism, and others, the music of Chelsea Wolfe is particularly commendable for carrying a metal-like gravity without being overtly metal in and of itself. This arguably comes to a peak on She Reaches Out To, which even among its more restrained, neofolk-leaning tracks like “Salt” and “Place In The Sun”, demonstrates Chelsea’s weight and versatility as a composer.

With She Reaches Out To, Chelsea Wolfe offers a bite size, "happy meal" type rendition of her metallic personality. Past material has shown that this is not necessarily as heavy as she could go, but in an ironic way that’s not quite a bad thing, for it then serves to make this release a little bit more unique in sitting somewhere between Chelsea’s metal-oriented delivery and her more relaxed, melodious one. Is this then a bit of a “something for everyone" type Chelsea Wolfe album? This reviewer believes so. Play it loud and put it up nice on your year end list, metal or non.

REVIEW NUMBER 300. I chose to celebrate with this album in particular because Chelsea Wolfe is perhaps one of the strongest examples of the ultimate malleability of heavy metal music, as we charge into the mid 2020s and the beloved future of our genre. Cheers to all, 13 years and counting as an MS writer!






Written on 24.03.2024 by Metal Storm’s own Babalao. Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.


Comments

Comments: 8   Visited by: 111 users
24.03.2024 - 19:44
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Glad to see Chelsea shifting focus again after the more muted The Birth Of Violence. Don't remember her sounding this trip-hop-ish before.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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24.03.2024 - 21:25
Auntie Sahar
Drone Empress
Written by RaduP on 24.03.2024 at 19:44

Glad to see Chelsea shifting focus again after the more muted The Birth Of Violence. Don't remember her sounding this trip-hop-ish before.

That’s definitely there as well, more so in the first half of the album I would say

There really is a lot to unpack here and that’s really what I meant by the opening sentences of this review. I love how deceptively simple Chelsea’s music is
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I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.

~ II. VII
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24.03.2024 - 23:21
X-Ray Rod
Skandino
I agree with Radu in that there is a considerable amount of trip-hop here. I'm thinking some bizarre Portishead (like on their Third album) or even Björk at times (specially on tracks like "Tunnel Lights"). To be honest I find close to zero metal/rock on this album. It is mostly darkwave/electronica related to me. "Unseen World" is probably the "heaviest" track together with the closer "Dusk".

All in all a pretty neat album but it doesn't grab as much as her other albums like Abyss for exaple. I'm most grateful that Chelsea Wolfe continues to find new ways in which to cover the listener with a cozy blanket of goth-like darkness.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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25.03.2024 - 00:47
Auntie Sahar
Drone Empress
Written by X-Ray Rod on 24.03.2024 at 23:21

I agree with Radu in that there is a considerable amount of trip-hop here. I'm thinking some bizarre Portishead (like on their Third album) or even Björk at times (specially on tracks like "Tunnel Lights"). To be honest I find close to zero metal/rock on this album. It is mostly darkwave/electronica related to me. "Unseen World" is probably the "heaviest" track together with the closer "Dusk"

And yet, trip hop emerged initially as something of a merger of hip hop, rock, and electronica. So when one says “there’s a trip hop vibe here,” some more rock - oriented songwriting can be included as a part of that orientation

Different ears, I suppose. The point I was really trying to make with this review is that the music, while not distinctly metal, carries a metal - like gravity and also has plenty of plodding, galloping melodies here and there I could easily see a Doom or Sludge band pumping out
----
I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.

~ II. VII
Loading...
25.03.2024 - 09:25
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Also congrats on reaching review 300! No small feat.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
Loading...
25.03.2024 - 10:43
Auntie Sahar
Drone Empress
Written by RaduP on 25.03.2024 at 09:25

Also congrats on reaching review 300! No small feat.

Why thank you, Nephew!

My numbers certainly have dwindled lately, especially when compared to the likes of yourself, musclassia, and a few others, but it is indeed great to have finally reached this mountain and be able to reflect a bit on the legacy!
----
I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.

~ II. VII
Loading...
25.03.2024 - 11:38
X-Ray Rod
Skandino
Written by Auntie Sahar on 25.03.2024 at 00:47
And yet, trip hop emerged initially as something of a merger of hip hop, rock, and electronica. So when one says “there’s a trip hop vibe here,” some more rock - oriented songwriting can be included as a part of that orientation

Different ears, I suppose. The point I was really trying to make with this review is that the music, while not distinctly metal, carries a metal - like gravity and also has plenty of plodding, galloping melodies here and there I could easily see a Doom or Sludge band pumping out


The trip-hop point is a absolutely valid hehe. But you shouldn't be surprised if people end up expecting something heavier than what this album actually is after reading your review.

Same as Radu: Congrats on your 300th review. Sorry I forgot to mention that the first time.

I wonder how this album will translate to a live setting. I'm not really sure I will be able to catch a lot of her set at Roadburn. It makes a lot of sense that she will be touring with Kælan Mikla, given the sound shift on this album to more electronic/goth tunes.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
Loading...
25.03.2024 - 19:05
Auntie Sahar
Drone Empress
Written by X-Ray Rod on 25.03.2024 at 11:38

I wonder how this album will translate to a live setting. I'm not really sure I will be able to catch a lot of her set at Roadburn. It makes a lot of sense that she will be touring with Kælan Mikla, given the sound shift on this album to more electronic/goth tunes.

Damn, I forgot she was even gonna be there. Haven’t been following the news and lineup too much as I once again have to pass this year. Too much Big Girl Shit going on. A return to Tilburg in ‘25 though? Methinks so

Anyway, yeah, if you do catch some or even all of her, please do offer your take here, album page, or in the inevitable RB articles. I know Radu will if you don’t
----
I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.

~ II. VII
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