Highly emotive and raw, this is an album of heaviness, both musically and emotionally.
With several able and talented guests on the album to back her up, Chelsea Wolfe takes the listener on a harrowing and cathartic journey cross almost 50 minutes of heavy guitars, pounding bass, leaden drums, dark electronica, and, of course, her own dangerously seductive and beautiful singing.
There’s a barely restrained darkness that floats with this music like an ever-present phantom, ready to settle and smother what little light remains at a moment’s notice. The music effortlessly channels this feeling of being close to despair and loss into songs that manage to harness this dark energy without becoming a victim to it. This allows the music to live up to its own potential when placed alongside Chelsea Wolfe’s incredibly alluring and engaging vocals. Her voice is the focal point that dominates these songs, but due to the imbued strength of the music, her singing isn’t the only star of the show.
It’s a relatively diverse listen, but the album never loses focus and the listener is held in thrall throughout. There are 12 tracks on this release, each showcasing a different spin on the artist’s dark vision. It’s hard to overstate the impact they have either; Chelsea Wolfe pulls no emotional punches, and these are the types of songs that simply don’t come along very often.
This is my first experience of Chelsea Wolfe’s work, and Hiss Spun is as musically striking as its cover. It comes across as a highly emotive mix between Chrysta Bell and Russian Circles, with some extra lashings of electronica, doom, and alternative metal/grunge in places. Hiss Spun is as diverse and impressive as that heady mix of styles sounds, but without anything sounding forced, disjointed, or hastily put together, as it might imply.
This has well and truly ensnared me. Hiss Spun is one to explore again and again.