Chelsea Wolfe seemingly appeared out of nowhere, first gaining recognition with a Burzum cover, and has been subject to great fanfare ever since. Each album, she has progressed, adding new elements to her sound yet still retaining a sense of individuality that makes her instantly recognizable.

On Abyss, her newest album, her backing band is made up of members of True Widow and Russian Circles but the sound is unmistakably hers. Abyss is a continuation of her droney, drugged out sounding downtempo rock music, but with more emphasis on electronics than ever before. This isn't a techno album by any means, and the electronic elements simply bring more texture to her sound. Sometimes, the electronics act as added atmosphere, in ways similar to bands like God is an Astronaut or Lights Out Asia have done them. Other times, they are used in a percussive fashion, and make certain songs heavier, with parts reminiscent of Godflesh. This gives Abyss a very distinct identity from her past work. However, as always, her voice and her guitar are the focal point of every song.

It's really hard to neatly categorize "what kind of stuff Chelsea Wolfe is" because there are elements of folk, drone, post rock, shoegaze, and even black metal, all at play here. While fans of any of those genres would find something to like here, Abyss is not really an album you can get a feel for simply through one song, so patience is required.

As for the quality of this album? This whole record is simply beautiful. From Ms. Wolfe's gorgeous voice, to the lush atmospheres created by the guitars, and the other instruments such as keyboards filling the spaces in between her riffs, you are almost immediately lulled into a trance. There are no real fast moments on Abyss, but this works out well because the writing is so strong, being able to hear every nuance is actually a good thing.

There really aren't many, if any artists like Chelsea Wolfe out there. She walks the line between so many genres, but has truly created an identity for herself. The only drawback I could see with Abyss was that this is by no means a light hearted or fun album. If you're looking for that perfect summer album, maybe wait to check this out, but not too long, because it's god damn great.