Metal isn’t a hobby sport – or so the story goes. It is more than the sum of its distortion pedals, down-tuned guitars and molten cymbals. Metal is a cradle-to-grave church of the outsider; birth occurring when you first heard Black Sabbath, Slayer or Metallica. On Abyss, however, Los Angeles’ Chelsea Wolfe dabbles in it, owns it, then walks away.
The opening track, ‘Carrion Flowers’, gains the attention it seeks from stabs of power electronics contrast with choral ambience. ‘Iron Moon’ lunges from the gates, teeth bared, its lava-flow force and scorched desert vibe evoking Washington metal band, Earth. “My heart is a tomb/My heart is an empty room,” Wolfe wails over growling bass guitar in a chorus as epic as the words suggest. Men’s hearts are typically crushed, chained, bleeding or destroyed. The harm that precedes Wolfe’s emotional wasteland is implied, not explicated, and is more intense as a result.
*Finish reading this review over at The Quietus*