AOTY 2019
Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss
Critic Score
Based on 23 reviews
2015 Ratings: #244 / 772
User Score
Based on 224 ratings
2015 Ratings: #53
August 7, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Sargent House / Label
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chelseawolfe.net / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
Tiny Mix Tapes

Abyss neatly encompasses the totality of her career, synthesizing the artist’s prolific catalog into her strongest and most ambitious album yet, a cavernous chasm filled with beauty, brutality, and endless possibility.

85
The 405

Ultimately, Abyss is like a nightmare. It consumes you, shows you a darkness you'd tried to keep away from, but in the cold of night, wide awake and heart-pumping you can't deny you enjoy the thrill of it.

81
Pitchfork
Overall, this is the first time you feel like the music consistently lives up to the power of her voice.
80
The Skinny

Abyss portrays a skilled songwriter at the peak of her game, capable of composing wonderfully harmonious, country-tinged laments – albeit drowning them in outlandish studio trickery and effects.

80
Drowned in Sound

Abyss proves that there's still much work to do in the dark side of alt rock. Chelsea Wolfe is surely ahead of the curve.

80
musicOMH

Wolfe’s previous albums have at times been hazy, barely conscious affairs, Abyss is perhaps the first that really seeks to plunge into the depths and explore the darker edges of the subconscious.

80
AllMusic

More than ever, Abyss proves that she knows when to unleash her full fury and when to rein it in, and the results are stunning.

80
Exclaim!

Abyss needs no visual accompaniment to conjure unshakeable images and intense sensations, so vivid are the pictures it paints with sound alone.

75
Consequence of Sound

There’s a vast landscape in Abyss, but most times it’s too dark to be certain of what you see.

75
Under The Radar

Abyss, like any Wolfe album, is a vast and immersive sonic universe, and her deepest and most personal yet.

70
Spin

This time Wolfe fully embraces the eerie darkness that’s always trailed her work. Abyss weighs unnecessarily heavy at times ... but Wolfe makes a convincing case to follow her into the underworld.

70
PopMatters

Abyss may not be a go-to for either late-night or summer listening, but it ably solidifies Wolfe’s presence as a devastatingly unique voice in our current musical climate.

70
The Line of Best Fit

With Abyss Wolfe puts front and center this darkness and uses it as both a bludgeon and catalyst.

70
Rolling Stone

There's no mistaking the real hurt in these songs — throughout Abyss, Wolfe uses her pain as a powerful tool, revealing the beauty underneath it.

70
No Ripcord

Despite the weak ending, Wolfe brings a chaotic, engulfing sound that makes this one of her heaviest works yet.

67
A.V. Club
The downside of all this bombast is that the album, taken as a whole, can feel ponderous.
60
Clash

When it is deprived of reverb, Wolfe's voice is as wraith-like and potent as ever and a fitting central motif to her most successful effort yet.

WhatTheFunk
88
No, this album has nothing to do with the Cameron movie released in '89, even if the cover could pretend the opposite. A glaucous version perhaps, without a diving suit, in which you visit the seabed with your feet moulded in a slab of concrete.

From the first creepy beats of "Carrion Flowers", you know that this Chelsea Wolfe album will be very dark. Oppressive, the darkness of the sounds contrasts with the clear voice of the young woman, hypnotic guitars are ubiquitous, cavernous ... read more
aaron
86
Haunting, in all the right ways.
Cybot2966
88
“Abyss” is one of Chelsea Wolfe’s most dynamic album as well as having the some of the best mixing in her discography. The instrumentation has an interesting amount of variety ranging from overly distorted synthetic throbbing to repeating and altered vocal samples amongst other things. With perhaps some of the most compelling vocal performance in her entire career, Chelsea’s singing is distant and almost swallowed by the torrent of fuzzed out guitars, colorful and dark ... read more
amygoodall
60
good
MarkCooper
77
I like this album about as much as her debut, though for very different reasons. Her debut had a certain charm to it, that Chelsea used to her advantage. The charm being that her anonymity added to the mysterious, dark, haunting aesthetic of the album. It sounded like a timepiece, of which I imagine was discovered in the same way the Jumanji board game was found in the movie. A kid is walking and hears a dark, pounding drum that gets louder the closer he gets to the album. He finds the album, ... read more
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Track List

  1. Carrion Flowers
  2. Iron Moon
  3. Dragged Out
  4. Maw
  5. Grey Days
  6. After the Fall
  7. Crazy Love
  8. Simple Death
  9. Survive
  10. Color of Blood
  11. The Abyss
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Added on: April 28, 2015