The queen of gothic industrial is back. Chelsea Wolfe gets heavier than ever before on Hiss Spun, her oppressive new record that sees her sound take a new direction.
Wolfe's music has always had an evil nature to it. Her last album Abyss was aptly named: every single note hit you deeper and deeper into an abyss of sound, a growing sense of never returning from the black depths to which you have been sent building with each song. Hiss Spun doesn't quite have a specific thing it tries to push you into, but it certainly keeps up with Wolfe's dark and oppressive sound. Opening track 'Spun' is hugely oppressive, introducing guitars as the main element that will hit you hard rather than huge, pounding synths like in previous efforts. Her haunting vocals are immediately chilling, which is no surprise - her melodies are really the defining factor for many songs, including the more electronically focussed 'Particle Flux.'
Hiss Spun sees Wolfe's metal and hard rock influences come to a more defined light. It's pretty evident throughout the album, especially on '16 Psyche' with its destructive riffs that are just crushingly evil. 'Vex' is borderline death metal, had it not been for Wolfe's industrial element. 'Twin Fawn' begins quietly and almost groovily, though it builds and introduces some evil riffs along with it. Not all songs are necessarily guitar-driven, like 'Particle Flux,' but for the most part songs at least climax with help from the guitars, like the slowly, distortedly building 'The Culling.' Closing track 'Scrape' uses everything together to build a frantic and paranoid end to the album, rampant drums and angry guitars paired with her frantic vocals to build something schizophrenic.
Chelsea Wolfe's sound is something that no one else has ever really tried to replicate. Her gothic tones paired with her industrial instrumentals have always been the soundtrack to evil, but not any evil. Her music is the sound of the evil that lives inside you. Chelsea Wolfe gets heavier than ever before on Hiss Spun, continuing to speak to your demons while bringing in some heavy guitars to add some new crunch to her music.
Favorite Tracks: 16 Psyche, The Culling, Twin Fawn, Scrape
Least Favorite Track: Static Hum
Rating: 84 / 100
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