Alison Chesley, the musician behind Helen Money, is a most unusual of creatures: A punk with a cello. A long-time Chicago music scene fixture and frequent Steve Albini collaborator, Chelsey’s cello career has spanned more than two decades, including a stint in 90’s alt-rock duo Verbow.

But there’s nothing gimmicky in Chesley’s use of the cello—this isn’t one of those bands where the joke is in the utilization of classical instruments to play heavy music, can you even believe it? Instead, Helen Money draws on classical music’s own history of heaviness as much as she does metal, doom and other dark musical arts to create this potent and menacing sonic cocktail.

Money’s new album, Arriving Angels, brings together a broad range of moods and textures—from traditional classicism to spaghetti Westerns to bracing metal—in service of a unique sound as darkly atmospheric and doom-laden as anything Albini himself has recorded. This album is the feel-bad hit of the winter.

It’s no surprise that Chesley frequently works as a composer for theater and dance—these eight songs are each packed with a dramatic tension that makes you feel like you’re trapped inside a movie (and not the kind with a happy ending, either). From the refined classical menace of “Upsetter,” to the proggy jam of “Beautiful Friends,” to the delicate restraint of “Radio Recorders,” all of Arriving Angels’ tunes are suggestive of something very unpleasant about to happen, just off-camera.

Arriving Angels has a few moments, like the middle of “Midwestern Nights Dream (Metheny),” that drag on with excessive repetition. But those moments are few and far between, and overall, this album is a stand-out achievement and a release to appeal to adventurous hard rock fans and avant guardians alike.