AOTY 2019

Pain Is Beauty

Chelsea Wolfe - Pain Is Beauty
Critic Score
Based on 17 reviews
2013 Ratings: #113 / 961
User Score
Based on 172 ratings
2013 Ratings: #40
September 3, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Sargent House / Label
Darkwave / Genres
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chelseawolfe.net / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

80
Drowned in Sound

This is clearly the album that removes any lingering doubt that Chelsea Wolfe is a very special artist; one who is capable of the visceral and the surprisingly soothing in the same stroke.

80
The Line of Best Fit

Wolfe has crafted an impeccable release here, building upon her existing methods and evolving as a songwriter. Things feel more confident – there’s more energy and oomph

80
AllMusic

From many other artists, this vast scope and variety would sound unfocused, and to be fair, Pain Is Beauty isn't quite as cohesive as Wolfe's earlier albums. Regardless, it's exciting to hear her try so many new things and do them so well.

80
The 405

It's on this release that Wolfe actually sheds her veil to reveal just how special an artist she is.

80
Tiny Mix Tapes

... resulting in a richer, cleaner-sounding record that was more intricately layered than Wolfe’s prior work. In this sense, Pain Is Beauty stands out as yet another stylistic break in a brief career that has already been characterized by several of them.

80
Consequence of Sound

Her newest release, Pain is Beauty, takes listeners to the highest of highs, all thanks to Wolfe’s willingness to get low and descend even further into the gloom-hole.

80
Pitchfork

She seems to exist alone in her own world on Pain Is Beauty, crystallizing and strengthening her musical language without compromising her original, principled vision.

80
No Ripcord

Downright electrifying and beautifully eerie, Pain is Beauty is an album that unearths weighty emotional levels.

80
The Needle Drop
Darkened singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe returns with another diverse set of songs that approach pain, suffering, and isolation in the most beautiful way possible.
70
Sputnikmusic

While it's possible Pain Is Beauty would have benefited from some more time spent songwriting and fleshing out the overall direction of the album's sound, there's still more than enough impressive songs to make this a worthy addition to the Chelsea Wolfe catalog.

70
DIY

There isn't much cohesion, but more an assemblage of darkened thoughts unclear to the listener. Wolfe is scarily assured.

70
Under The Radar

Despite the appetite for genre exploration, Beauty exhibits some constants: it stays passionate and invested while still seeming distant, probing the ghosts of emotions instead of getting completely immersed in the moment. 

60
NME

If Christopher Nolan ever does one of his gritty makeovers on Twilight, the soundtrack’s as good as sewn up.

Meloetta
82
Accessible, yet conceptual. It's haunting, yet energetic. This album reaches some artistic heights, but some parts feel more like a less cohesive and more predictable plateau than the ever-rising mountain that this could be. With just a little more refinement, this could be a true classic.
GB9
70
Easily Chelsea's most accessible work to date and a good place to start for beginners. Very front-loaded, which seems to be a common thing throughout her discog, but a good album nonetheless.
FACEMOVIES
98
Im in love with this album and I just fucking love Chelsea Wolfe. Dark, but beautifully produced music. I love the overall atmosphere here a lot.
Sappy
90
Top Favorite: The Warden
Other Favorites: House Of Metal, They’ll Clap When You’re Gone, Feral Love
Least Favorite: Destruction Makes The World Burn Brighter
zaxapitsa
56
At times restrained and elegant, it´s too bad she often falls into her usual traps, empty crescendos and a flood of reverb.
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Track List

  1. Feral Love
  2. We Hit a Wall
  3. House of Metal
  4. The Warden
  5. Destruction Makes the World Burn Brighter
  6. Sick
  7. Kings
  8. Reins
  9. Ancestors, the Ancients
  10. They’ll Clap When You’re Gone
  11. The Waves Have Come
  12. Lone
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Added on: June 5, 2013