Preview: Chelsea Wolfe with True Widow_lowres


Asked whom he was most excited to play alongside at Katowice, Poland's OFF Festival in August, Michal Kuzniak — the ghost-faced frontman of Polish metal killers Furia — passed over the throngs of impossibly heavy countrymen on the bill (as well as My Bloody Valentine, The Smashing Pumpkins and Godspeed You! Black Emperor) in favor of a waifish singer/songwriter from Los Angeles who looks like Marilyn Manson's kid sister and sounds like a closetful of screaming demons. "When I listen to her, I feel this is black metal," Kuzniak told Pitchfork, gushing about Chelsea Wolfe — who, it turned out, had just canceled the gig. ("I was so f—king disappointed," Kuzniak added, "like a little child.") Who is this woman, whose mere absence can reduce the most terrifying of black-metal wraiths to tears? Wolfe, 29, debuted in 2010 with The Grime and the Glow, but it's likely her 2012 follow-up Apokalypsis resonated in the coldest, darkest corners of Poland. Opening with a frighteningly demonic utterance that would make Linda Blair's head spin ("Primal/Carnal"), Wolfe rides nerve-rattling detuned guitars and droning arrangements to "Pale on Pale," her reverberating voice an executioner's axe falling in painfully slow motion: "When the light in your eyes goes out for the last time/ When your hands are tied, pale on pale and mind on mind." On the new Pain is Beauty, out this week on Sargent House, she unleashes the same feral anguish and suffering on the frequently trespassed synth-pop genre, making Zola Jesus swear to God and Class Actress withdraw. True Widow opens. Tickets $12. — Noah Bonaparte Pais