Last year I reviewed Chelsea Wolfe's Apokalypsis. I thought it was a good release that kept my attention with surprisingly bearable female leads and its dark atmosphere. I recently refound my love for it so I decided to check out her previous release and 2010 debut, The Grime And The Glow.
It's similar in some ways, and different in many to Apokalypsis.
Sugarcoating a turd is pointless and I'll tell you right up front the production on The Grime And The Glow is shit. I'd go so far as to say the production is the top reason this album wasn't so well-received, and it gave her the 'noise' tag. I don't even mind noise rock or noise-influenced music (Ghola represent!) but The Grime And The Glow feels very inconsistent. Tracks like the "The Whys" are very lo-fi and it does have a novelty to it, but that novelty wears off about thirty seconds into the song. The mixing is weak on here too. "Fangs," has a bass sound that literally makes me cringe, and that's one of the better written tracks with a relatively 'decent' production compared to the rest of the album.
The songwriting on here isn't half as bad though, and Chelsea Wolfe does display a competence in writing decent doom-and-folk influenced rock. "Bounce House Demons" would later become the track "Demons" from Apokalypsis, and "Moses" would become my favorite Chelsea Wolfe track thanks to the redux. "Noorus" is a bending track that sports some very key-warping when the layered grooving takes a break. The Grime And The Glow is a very subtle album, although I'm not sure if that's a byproduct of the production or the songwriting. The grooves don't directly 'stick,' but they're noticeable, making the album bearable if not memorable.
Wolfe's great, woeful vocalwork is here in a less refined state. "Halfsleeper" is in my opinion her vocal apex on this album with its beautiful simplicity. Her voice harmonizes with itself to create a haunting, funeral atmosphere. This contrasts pretty actively with the bouncy opener, "Advice & Vices," which is surprisingly more upbeat and catchy. Like the majority of the album, it sounds like the whole master recording of this track fell into a vat of reverb and didn't quite make it out the same. The bonus tracks on The Grime And The Glow are listenable but that's about it. You won't be remembering them anytime soon.
Shame her debut wasn't as strong, but I guess it paved the way for Apokalypsis.
4.25 out of 10
1. Advice & Vices
2. Cousins Of The Antichrist
4. Deep Talks
7. The Whys
10. Bounce House Demons
12. Gene Wilder (Bonus track)
13. Move (Bonus track)
14. You Are My Sunshine (Bonus track)