Chelsea Wolfe
Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs


4.0
excellent

Review

by Michael Snoxall USER (47 Reviews)
October 30th, 2012 | 60 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A truly unique female artist in the spectrum, Chelsea Wolfe creates dense, lo-fi folk music with sinister tones. Returning with a new compilation of acoustic songs and a new label, Sargent House, Wolfe shows us just why she’s a valuable gem in the scene

In the space of time in which it takes for the music to hit my ears, flow through me and manifest into an idea, I find myself wanting. Always do I desire more too quickly and, as a result, I fail to soak in what I already have been given. Time, multiple listens and patience are required on my part to gain enlightenment on the music’s body. The idea is that I wish to understand the purpose of the music and how it will fit into myself as a person and an artist. It’s tough to grasp the fact that I will never fully digest a piece of music the way I wish to. As if I desire to assimilate its gift into my system entirely. In the darkness that Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs is presented to me in, I no longer find myself wanting. Wolfe sings the ideals perfectly in the opening track ‘Flatlands,’ a song in which one craves simplicity (“I want flatlands/I don’t care about money and all its friends/...I want flatlands/will you go there with me”). Unknown Rooms is a simple album. Stripped down and soul bare. As the album essentially is a collection of acoustic songs (most of which Wolfe had written/been writing years prior to its release), each song is crafted beautifully and Wolfe shows her gift for the art of subtlety. We quickly find ourselves embraced by the shadowed arms of Unknown Rooms’ beauty.

At its core, Unknown Rooms is carried by Wolfe’s ethereal vocals, lingering and hanging on the listener’s ear. As if her voice floats solemnly like a hushed breath on the wind, it intertwines its body of influence with the contrast of Wolfe’s stark and solemn guitar arrangements. In the background, multiple songs feature a light and gradual build of various instruments. ‘Flatlands,’ ‘Appalachia’ and ‘Spinning Centers’ feature haunting demonstrations of violin and viola, in which they form and meld with Wolfe’s voice; other songs featuring a minor bass presence, as well as drumming, piano and synths. When all of this comes together, the album has underlying tones of loneliness, the music feels weightless and airy, almost as if it could escape you. Songs like ‘Flatlands’ and her cover of Karlos Rene Ayala’s ‘Boyfriend’ (which was also originally composed by Ben Chisholm, Wolfe’s bandmate for this record) present an ominous, brooding tone, the latter of which coming across much more foreboding in its execution, the former seeming more hopeful, but gloomy nonetheless.

While 2011’s Apokalypsis saw Wolfe bringing forth a claustrophobic feeling of blackness and tension, Unknown Rooms is the chilling breath after. Working against its favour is the album’s length, which is a lonesome twenty-five minutes, but that much is to be expected as this isn’t so much a full-length album, and is described by Wolfe to be a collection of songs that were “once-orphaned, [and] given a home.” While I have referred to the album’s length as something that works against it, it is only as I wish for time to find myself lost within the Unknown Rooms, but the album’s brevity compliments the feel and strength of the music. Short and sweet, as the saying goes.



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3.9
excellent
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Comments:Add a Comment 
MichaelSnoxall
October 30th 2012


12163 Comments


Thought this needed a review. I don't know if this review does the album justice, but it's here now. I feel this is one of my weakest reviews yet.

onlyhuman
October 30th 2012


83 Comments


negged. poor review

MichaelSnoxall
October 30th 2012


12163 Comments


Well, at least you made the effort of reading it.

onlyhuman
October 30th 2012


83 Comments


of course i did. and then i negged. not the worst review ive ever seen, however.

jtswope
October 30th 2012


2433 Comments


have to check this album out

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 30th 2012


20063 Comments


yeah i'm actually gonna have to check this out too I love me some folk.

Digging: Trophy Eyes - Mend, Move On

Jash
October 30th 2012


4244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I really enjoyed this album, more so than her last release

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2012


4453 Comments


I dont know what everyone is talking about, review is very solid. POS'd.

MichaelSnoxall
October 30th 2012


12163 Comments


Thanks, Hernan.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2012


28770 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

wow you are an impressively horrible writer

nice opinion tho

Ire
October 30th 2012


41820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

tehehe

MichaelSnoxall
October 30th 2012


12163 Comments


wow you are an impressively horrible writer

Haha that's a new one, but thanks for the honesty.

Ignimbrite
October 30th 2012


5460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't get the hate... It's not the perfect review, but it's pretty solid overall. Actually, it's a fairly good review.

Pos

Digging: Downfall of Gaia - Aeon Unveils the Thrones of Decay

MichaelSnoxall
October 30th 2012


12163 Comments


Thanks, Ig.

WolvesInTheWalls
October 30th 2012


192 Comments


Not a bad review, though it seems a bit short compared to your others. Good work, pos.

AngelofDeath
Staff Reviewer
October 30th 2012


16137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album. Just doesn't quite match up to Apokalypsis, though.

BlueInTheSoul
October 30th 2012


12 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

wow you are an impressively horrible writer

Says the guy whose one and only review is an overbloated pile of crap filled with spelling and gammar error written in spanish. You're not one to talk loser.

Review and album is boss. Pos. Fuck the haters broski!

MichaelSnoxall
October 31st 2012


12163 Comments


@Angel, I feel this is a step up from Apokalypsis

MichaelSnoxall
October 31st 2012


12163 Comments


@Silent, really? I thought this'd really be your dig.

@Andcas, yeah man, get it. Rules hard.

MichaelSnoxall
October 31st 2012


12163 Comments


nah man, he needs it



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