As the frontman for Altar of Plagues, James Kelly was praised for crafting some of the more innovative music in the metal scene in some time, and according to critics and fans, he was also partially responsible for ushering black metal into the mainstream. However, after the release of Altar of Plagues’s critically praised, widely renowned third album, which many believed was a creative high point for the band, the band quickly and surprisingly split up. 

After Altar of Plague’s breakup, Kelly embarked on a project that is a sonic departure from his best known work. Performing under the moniker of WIFE, Kelly’s newest project possesses elements of pop, industrial clang and clatter, pulsating techno beats, a moody yet ethereal atmospheric feel created by swirling electronics, along with Kelly’s plaintive vocals that sing lyrics, which focus on what exists in physical and emotional space between two people. In some way, when you hear “Heart Is A Far Light,” off Kelly’s solo debut as WIFE, What’s Between, it should evoke a sense of dichotomy – in the darkness there’s always a bit of light, and in light there’s always a bit of darkness. And in almost all long-term human relationships there’s a bit of that dichotomy that should feel familiar – that confusing and dysfunctional mix of love, hatred, resentment, distrust, trust and so on. 

Without a doubt, “Heart Is A Far Light” is an eerie song but with moments of quiet, unassuming beauty right underneath it’s murky surface.