Artist: Chelsea Wolfe
Album: Hiss Spun
Genre: Alternative / Doom / Gothic
I fiercely dove into the world of Chelsea Wolfe around three years ago and have not come back up for air since. Her wonderful album Pain Is Beauty instantly drew me into her doom-laden, dispirited shoegaze, quasi-goth-industrial web. From that moment began the conquering of her previous catalogue and the anticipated wait for new material. Since that time, two of her best records have been unleashed upon the world in 2015’s Abyss and the relatively new Hiss Spun. Although her other works hinted at her potential, the last two records see Ms. Wolfe truly forging an individualistic approach that leads listeners down a twisted, bleak tunnel of experimentally pensive instrumentation and beautifully solemn vocals.
With each album, Chelsea Wolfe’s songwriting becomes more chaotic, extreme and abstruse, but she never loses sight of her mission. She and her band flow between jarring, Melvins-heavy dirges into minimalistic, captivating elegies. The whole album is laced with power and beauty. If you listen closely, the complicated nature of the composition shines through, and with metal/hardcore master Kurt Baulou on the production end of things, the tones are abrasive and imposing. This is not a typical singer-songwriter album and has dynamics for days. I’ve read elsewhere in many publications calling this a metal record, and I could not disagree more. This record does get heavy, much more that her previous recordings, but there is just a different feel in the same way bands like Tool, Nine Inch Nails or Deftones use a heavier, more aggressive sound. This is up there for top album of the year for me. Siouxsie Sioux, Diamanda Galas, Gitane DeMone and Eva O need to move over and make some room for Chelsea Wolfe.
Listen to "16 Psyche" here.