Chelsea Wolfe, “Abyss”
Sleep paralysis exists in a sepulchral space between waking and sleeping, conscious and subconscious, living and dying. Within her albums, Chelsea Wolfe goes there often, so you don’t have to experience it alone. Her fifth album, the confessionally titled Abyss, is a dark dive into a deep chasm of negation and dread. “The poison inside helps me along” she wails on “Grey Days” over death-march drumming and bursts of screeching guitars. And to be sure, you can feel the poison coursing through her envenomed veins. During “Iron Moon,” she goes as far as to introduce us to her tormentors: “They crawl inside and wait with me / The creatures here become machines.” Indeed, in her void, the demons are of a particular savagery. Perhaps more unsettling here is the mating of Wolfe’s rather seductive trilling and her palpable fear with a maleficent sonic landscape that seems to have been borne out of too many nights spent locked up with Black Sabbath and Nico.