Music Review: Chelsea Wolfe balances the bombast with the beautiful on Abyss

Chelsea Wolfe has made an album the unites all her previous work, and then turns the dial up as far as it will go. Abyss, the new record from California’s foremost purveyor of goth/doom/folk/ambient/(insert multifarious modifiers here), sounds like a combination of the many different muses Wolfe has turned to throughout her past records, a means of figuring out how to join together those disparate stylings. The answer, it turns out, is simple: Loudly.

“Carrion Flowers,” the album opener, is a good indicator of the more metal direction this record takes. From its initial throbbing and overdriven bass, to the pounding drums and ambient wall of sound, it’s one of the heaviest things Wolfe has done. What makes it of a piece with her earlier work is the tone—haunting, elegiac, and drenched in gloom—and her ethereal-but-raw voice. She’s gone down this …

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