Pain Is Beauty
Chelsea Wolfe didn’t exactly write a break-up album with Pain Is Beauty, but it certainly grates a bleeding heart. Her fourth record makes her fostered acoustic bits and likeness to PJ Harvey an afterthought, leaning on a patented mixture of conscious-petting electronics, metal-industrial-folk layering, and volleys of guitars and violins that hold a gorgeous yet carnal sentiment. Wolfe doesn’t let herself commit to what’s ordinary and her penchant for chronicling melodies puts her in a league of her own. Vocally, she finds time to split her narratives into brooding soliloquies (“They’ll Clap When You’re Gone”) and lucid dream pop (“Destruction Makes The World Burn Brighter”) but when Pain Is Beauty tackles the ripple of more graphic themes, Wolfe’s songcraft hastily thrashes at everything in sight. “My flesh is afraid but I am not” she sings towards the end, leaving your imagination in a well as the dark caves in.
Listen: “The Waves Have Come”, “Sick”, “House Of Metal”, || Watch: “Feral Love”