We know – it’s been a minute since we’ve posted. It’s been tough to Geek properly, with all of our meetups and cons being cancelled. Don’t despair! There are still plenty of great things to geek about, AND still maintain social distancing.
One of those great things is a unique and wonderful musical group called Valentine Wolfe, long time friends of The Charlotte Geeks. Formed in 2006, Valentine Wolfe is the combined effort of Sarah Black and Braxton Ballew. Having dubbed their music “Victorian Chamber metal”, the duo have synthesized a love of metal, classical and industrial, infusing them with a Victorian sensibility that evokes the likes of Bram Stoker and Edgar Allan Poe.
The ethereal soprano vocals of Sarah Black–which call to mind not only the aforementioned Brightman, but also Dianne van Giersbergen of Xandria and Tarja Turunen–are buttressed by the thunderous growl of Braxton’s electric upright bass, and the two coalesce over pounding rock and electronic grooves punctuated by a maelstrom of synthesizers, keyboards, samples and sound design.
The group often draws inspiration from all things Victorian, including literature, poetry, and history, and blends them with their musical proclivities, sensibilities, and new media. As a result, they have a new music video to share with us!
|Creation in Seclusion: Valentine Wolfe celebrates the Poetry of Emily Dickinson|
Gothic Metal duo Valentine Wolfe (Sarah Black, vocals and keyboards, Braxton Ballew, double bass) released a new music video on August 7 promoting their upcoming album “Only Gossamer My Gown: 11 songs celebrating the eerie poetry of Emily Dickinson”. The song, This World is Not Conclusion, is a collaboration with Robert Gowan of Other Southern and Jaidra DuRant from Niad Studio.
Holding fast to their Greenville, South Carolina roots, Emily Dickinson as a subject for a gothic metal band was inspired by conversations with their supporters at the library, and this video has been made possible by a grant from the Greenville’s own Metropolitan Arts Council.
Emily Dickinson was famously reclusive, and the COVID-19 crisis led to art imitating life for This World is Not Conclusion. Shooting was delayed for several weeks during the stay at home order while the project was re-imagined to require a crew as small as five people. “Obviously, we can’t change the conditions we’re all living with right now” says Valentine Wolfe bassist Braxton Ballew. “But continuing to create, taking a ‘well, this is what we’re working with, now how do we make this happen?’ really drove home how incredible it is to be able to make something and share it. For me, that’s really inspiring and empowering’.”
Too many artists are having to put dreams on hold during 2020. The haunting, ephemeral qualities of Emily Dickinson’s work still holds the power to inspire and, thanks to the Metropolitan Arts Council, it inspires Valentine Wolfe to forge ahead on their creative path along with their friends Niad and Other Southern as collaborators.
This past to present connection, despite our enforced separation, demonstrates that this COVID-10 world is indeed, not conclusion.