Chelsea Wolfe Distorts Despair at The Metro in Chicago

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Chelsea-Wolfe-Photo-credit-Erica-McKeehen

Gloom goddess Chelsea Wolfe returned to Chicago on October 24th, 2017 to perform a spooked out set to adoring fans in Wrigleyville’s historic Metro. Draped in black, in heels Wolfe stood over six feet, lurching over the mic stand (also draped in black) — an insidious siren with a foreboding cry to match — a wall of electric guitars and papery thin vocals.

Chelsea Wolfe Setlist, 10/24/17

1. Spun
2. 16 Psyche
3. Vex
4. Particle Flux
5. Carrion Flowers
6. Dragged Out
7. Tracks (Tall Bodies)
8. Feral Love
9. The Warden
10. The Culling
11. Twin Fawn

Encore:
Halfsleeper
Scrape

Amidst deep discomfort, Chelsea Wolfe embraces her own truth and trauma on her latest release, 2017’s Hiss Spun. Similar to 2015’s Abyss, the songs deal with Wolfe’s individual pain — struggles with anxiety, insomnia, and addiction — alongside the collective, entangled tragedies of war and environmental abuse. Wolfe’s demons creep up through the symphony of sounds as she oscillates between specific and broad suffering at the hand of startling sludge metal. The heavy drone of songs like “Scrape” and “Spun” annihilate self-pity, though, as Wolfe’s vocals swim furiously in a sea of thunderous strings and drums. Body-rattling doom riffs embed a sense of mass ruin in the psyche. Moments on the record — and in her performance — like the sweet-sounding “Culling,” seem to offer only small recovery periods from this intense depletion. “Sweet dead eyes,” she sings as if it’s a lullaby, not a deceptive serenade into a deep, dark nightmare.

For more information and tour dates in support of Hiss Spun, be sure to check out Chelsea Wolfe’s official web site.

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About Erica McKeehen

photographer and baby burlesque dancer based in Chicago; general weirdo whose fond of Adam Ant, post-punk/grunge/general alt-rock, cleaning products, home goods, breakfast foods, long walks, and Siamese cats.

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