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As far as collaborations come, you’d be hard pressed to find two artists more sincere and complex than Converge and Chelsea Wolfe.
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On the one hand, there is the black metal turned cinematic gothic songstress, continuing the push boundaries and pissing off the true believing metal horde by the thousand. On the other is hardcore royalty, who have flown the flag for post 90’s metal experimentalism with utmost fervour for over two decades, whilst commanding a rabid cult of fans lapping up their every sonic move.
This combination of the polarised and the worshipped works wonders on Bloodmoon: I, the collaborative album produced by the two artists, alongside Wolfe’s bandmate Ben Chisolm and Cave In guitarist Stephen Brodsky. Opening with the 7 minute + title track, things feel cinematic and eerie from the get-go, with Wolfe’s ethereal vocals quickly giving way to her unsettling shrieks and wails, backed by a hellishly metallic symphony. It’s just the kind of overblown pomp that one would expect from two seasoned artistic forces—yet it seems like there is no room for the punkish outrage of Converge to shine through.
Bloodmoon: I makes you work for the rewards—cuts Tongues Playing Dead and Crimson Stone are filled with all manner of twists and turns—but the rewards pay off in spades.
From here though a musical sleight of hand is pulled; Viscera of Men kicks off with the frenetic pace of straight edge Hardcore’s truest, whilst with the likes of Failure Forever and Lord of Liars tap into the hookier side of melodic punk rock whilst holding onto the Edgar Allen Poe frills supplied by Wolfe. Clocking in at nearly an hour, Bloodmoon: I makes you work for the rewards—cuts Tongues Playing Dead and Crimson Stone are filled with all manner of twists and turns—but the rewards pay off in spades. A disc worth re-visiting time and time again.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Viscera of Men, Flower Moon, Failure Forever
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Myrkur, Cult of Luna, Nine Inch Nails