Chelsea Wolfe – From the woods of Salem
The American singer Chelsea Wolfe will be in the UK in December for two concerts during the presentation tour of her latest album “Hiss Spun”.
On both dates she will open the concert to “A perfect circle”, and not by chance, as the guitarist of the band (and second guitar for the tour of “Songs for the deaf” of the Queens of the Stone Age) Troy Van Leeuwen features a guitar contributor to latest Chelsea Wolfe album.
“Hiss Spun”, her fifth studio album, was recorded in Salem, Massachusetts, the land of witches, where the famous trials took place in 1692.
Not surprisingly, it is to think, the Los Angeles based artist has chosen to record in a place so symbolic and mysterious, since her charm is very reminiscent of that of a sorceress or enchantress.
It will be the New England woods that made the record so dark and magical.
That the link between Salem and his folklore and Wolfe is strong, is also showed in the fact that she chose an artist from this city for magnificent illustrations for her fall tour. Bill Crisafi’s drawings portray the singer as a mystical creature, a witch precisely, giving a strong image of the singer.
And so, Chelsea Wolfe, just like a witch in the thick of the forest would do, shows us the way to the descent into the darkness of the human soul. She bravely opens the pages of her book and lets us read the darker chapters that she herself engraved on her skin with ink.
One by one we walk the infernal circles meeting anxiety, insomnia, addiction.
This is a “material” album that makes us touch broken glass, stones, obsidian, mud; it is a journey into the wet and cold earth that smells of grass and blood, afflicted by winds and storms, dominated by the unspeakable mountains of love. These are the emotions that the talented artist translates into music with sounds sometimes dark and muffled, sometimes massive like anvils; it is an alternation from the powerful bass that shakes your body to the background humming that comes into your head, like the one that hisses and cries in “Static Hum”.
But “Hiss Spun” is not the usual nostalgic and delicate female album; Chelsea Wolfe is not swallowed by darkness: she is a priestess to them and the souls in purgatory and hell are her orchestra. In “16 Psyche” the troubled and scratchy guitars of Troy Van Leeuwen accompany her clean voice, which in the powerful “Vex” creates a delicate echo to the canton at the edge of death metal of Aaron Turner, like a leaf that is dragged by the wind into the storm. But it is from this distressing abyss that the intriguing Wolfe shouts as powerful as a thunder, as in “Particle flux”, and then bewitches the darkness itself with the sensual voice of “Offering”.
In this talented artist coexist the sacred and the profane, the earth and the rain, the timid celestial sweetness and the power of the storm; all conveyed by a great communicative and evocative force. “Hiss Spun” is an album that leaves you pleasantly stunned after listening; it is a bit the reaction that is in front of the sublime: a feeling that leaves you fearful and bewildered, but of which, once known, you cannot do without.
Do not miss this great artist on the following dates:
Dec 03 Victoria Warehouse Manchester – Manchester
Dec 05 SSE Arena, Wembley – London
Words by Federica Diaz Splendiani