We’re back at the Comic Book Soundtrack Album to Archie meets the Death Metal Chipmunks (or something). The same compilation that put forward Mastodon and their recent post Forged By Neron. I mentioned in the review some of the other bands on that album. The ex-vice presidents percussion skills (Al Gore Rhythms*) have pushed forth Chelsea Wolfe and her contribution. A tribute to a princess, Diana. No, it’s not a cover of Candle In The Wind. Not that princess. I’m talking about Wonder Woman. Diana Prince. She of the only decent DC Universe films since The Dark Night. She of the generational formative experience for many a young man (and I’m sure many a young woman too) the ageless Linda Carter and now the immaculate Gal Gadot.
Yes I saw the second movie. No I didn’t haaaaate it. I didn’t much like it either but… It gets hard to care after so many of these damned things. I think I covered this last time. Look Run The Jewels met Captain America recently. It’s all getting rather crossover-tastic on Infinite Earths around here.
But again, I digress. That is not what we are here to talk about today. Today I finally found out what Chelsea Wolfe sounds like. See the name has come up a lot but I’ve never heard the music. Until now. She’s been putting our gothic folk metal for a decade and I’ve somehow missed it all. Entirely. This is not pity though. This means I have catching up to do. It means there’s a deep and dark well in which I can lower myself (on a metaphorical rope you see, I don’t mean I’m superior to listening to this) down.
She’s proper Goff is Chelsea. I don’t mean dress up and play punk pop goth. She’s making cold ethereal unsettling mood music that sounds like storm clouds gathering over carrion in a field…
*Hysterical coincidence edit* No sooner had I typed this sentence the playlist I’m spinning put on a fuzzy dark moodscape track by Wolfe titled Carrion Flowers. So my clever clever analogy is either bang on or (the more likely scenario) her song titles are really representative of her sound *Hysteria subsides*
Diana then. The Song. Dischorded piano and thuds of Iron Man plodding beats walk you up to an industrial weeeeoooh riff that Trent Reznor would take in and feed thin gruel to. Chelsea is singing low hymnal melodies between the thud and squeal. It’s a heady brew. In lieu of a chorus there’s a cacophonous moan and guitar sludge. I like it. I really like it. As soundtrack music I bet it’s really effective. As a moodscape it’s pretty ruddy powerful.
I’ve been listening to her other stuff while I type this. I have a Live on KEXP performance on in the background and I feel what they’re doing. The sound they cook up is like NIN meets Portishead in the woods to burn damp logs and come out smelling like Smoke Fairies covering Sleep. Which is a shape of hole I did not know I had in my life until this very day.
With album titles like The Abyss, Birth Of Violence and Pain Is Beauty it’s clear Wolfe is not a casual listen. To get the full effect I would recommend you immerse yourself in stuff like this. CW is not for tourists. She and her band makes an uncategorisable mix of truly original dark art, I’m finally catching up. As a single track on a compilation record though soundtrack albums make perfect sense. I’m still not really any the wiser about the comic book but on the strength of it’s soundtrack album alone I think I should go and buy a copy.
*I will never not love working that pun into the ground