Hiss Spun Image
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 31 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: The fifth full-length release for California alternative artist was produced by Converge's Kurt Ballou and features guest appearances from Queens Of The Stone Age's Troy Van Leeuwen and Isis/Sumac's Aaron Turner.
Buy On

Top Track

16 Psyche
I've spent, in different beds Many moons And that's the way I prefer it I can't, she said I'd save you but I can't hide I feel it crawl up my... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Oct 12, 2017
    100
    Hiss Spun is easily a contender for her best work.
  2. Sep 22, 2017
    90
    While Wolfe’s incredible vocals are the main draw, her long term collaborator Ben Chisholm deserves significant recognition too. Not only does his fuzzed-to-fuck bass make these songs feel genuinely threatening, his manipulation of sound and creation of washes and collages provides unsettling backgrounds for Wolfe to weave her magic over. Without him, the oppressive atmospherics of the album wouldn’t be nearly as effective.
  3. 85
    Hiss Spun is a hypnotic, cyclical work that becomes transformative with repeated listens.
  4. Sep 20, 2017
    80
    Listening to Hiss Spun is a punishing affair, but it's a rewarding one too. It's the sound of an artist not afraid to dig deep emotionally, and that challenges the listener to do so as well.
  5. Sep 26, 2017
    80
    Both fierce and fragile, Hiss Spun presents an artist in compelling control of the entire scope of her expression.
  6. Uncut
    Sep 20, 2017
    80
    A beautiful paradox of angsty noise and beguiling craft. [Oct 2017, p.40]
  7. Sep 20, 2017
    58
    Hiss Spun is a full-on sludge-metal extravaganza, never content to go slow and heavy when it could be going slower and heavier. The bombast is overwhelming, and while there’s an admirable zeal to her drive for making almost every second as intense as possible, it begins to get numbing.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Dec 14, 2017
    10
    Absolutely stunning record. Love the combination of Wolfe's haunting vocals with the sludge metal sound. Bears little comparison to anythingAbsolutely stunning record. Love the combination of Wolfe's haunting vocals with the sludge metal sound. Bears little comparison to anything else, but definitely has the weirdness and heaviness of Soundgarden, and at times the atmosphere created resembles 2:54 or early Tamaryn. Standout tracks: Twin Fawn, The Culling. Expand
  2. Sep 22, 2017
    10
    This album is so bright, noisy and heavy that almost made my whole **** head crush right in the concrete. But it actually has it's beuatifulThis album is so bright, noisy and heavy that almost made my whole **** head crush right in the concrete. But it actually has it's beuatiful twisted moments, like in the song ''Offering'', or the amazing and disturbing interlude ''Welt''. I also love the concept of the lyrics in the album, makes a pretty great contrast with the aesthetic of the instrumental and the singing. Expand
  3. Sep 23, 2017
    9
    Chelsea Wolfe has been growing consistently darker, and the quality of her albums, better. 2015's Abyss combined all of the elements thatChelsea Wolfe has been growing consistently darker, and the quality of her albums, better. 2015's Abyss combined all of the elements that Chelsea had used to convey her dark, ominous tone, through tracks that combined doom folk, dark eletronic, gothic rock and metal in a more homogenous formula.
    In Hiss Spun, she is as sinister as ever, but now fully diving in a doom/black metal instrumentation while keeping her melodic and beautiful voice on top of it, creating once again a very dynamic sound through that contrast. This time, she is bringing guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of The Stone Age, Failure), drummer Jess Gowrie (Happy Fangs), who only breathe more life into the mix, all wrapped up in a hellish production by Converge's Kurt Ballow.
    Of course, nothing here stays in the same place sonically, there are still some folk-ish build ups like on the track Twin Fawn, a space-rock influence on Static Hum, the gothic eletronics on Offering and even a break from her melodic vocals in the track Vex with some guttural work from Aaron Turner (Isis, Old Man Gloom), so she still manages to bring quite a bit of variety to the table while staying in the metal spectrum.
    A lot of the tracks here build up for then to have a pretty satisfying explosion, one of the highlights of this ability would be Twin Fawn. Its folk verses later explode in an incredibly agressive hook with quite the jumpscare fashion, which may scare the hell out of a lot of listeners (seriously try showing someone the track with the volume a bit high saying tha Chelsea is this very cute folk singer, it should be fun). Another outstanding example of that is the track The Culling, which has a more clear build, creating a very doomy, epic vibe.
    An issue that I had with Abyss (still love the record) is the fact that it definitely loses its momentum in its second half. This problem is most definitely non-existent in Hiss Spun, with a constant sense of urgency, it's as if Wolfe is constantly dragging you through hell, you don't even have time to feel depressed with all the darkness around, it's as if the listener had to struggle to escape it all the time, with the journey ending in the song Scrape, which for some may seem a little inconclusive, but personally I believe it makes sense to have sort of a ''Cliffhanger" ending to it, adding to the constant heaviness and desperation the record gives us.
    As for negatives, I do believe that there are some moments that could have been shortened, like the folky chords in the track Two Spirit, that while not being necessarily unpleseant to listen to, they wind up getting redundant in its 5 minute length. Also I'm not quite sure why the interlude Strain had to be 1 minute long, I mean it sure adds tension to the record, but it doesn't feel conected to the track before and the next, being a lost opportunity of making a pretty awesome and climatic bridge between the songs.
    But overrall, Hiss Spun is an extremely satisfying record, beating you with consistent heaviness and darkness, always keeping the momentum, more than in any Chelsea Wolfe album. Because of that, and the fact that we may have here the biggest quantity of memorable melodies and riffs of any of her projects, that this may he her strongest one yet.
    Expand
  4. Sep 27, 2017
    9
    Unlike anything I've ever heard before. Noisy, beautiful, dense & jarring all balanced masterfully. Songs assault you out of seeminglyUnlike anything I've ever heard before. Noisy, beautiful, dense & jarring all balanced masterfully. Songs assault you out of seemingly nowhere. Somehow both incredibly beautiful and exceedingly ominous. I would argue that this is her best album yet Expand
  5. Sep 27, 2017
    9
    Wolfe brings heavy, dark synths containing pinches of doom metal and gothic alternative with her banshee-like voice melodize over preachingly.Wolfe brings heavy, dark synths containing pinches of doom metal and gothic alternative with her banshee-like voice melodize over preachingly. This album contains twists like "Twin Fawn" which simmers down in your ears then explodes with drums and guitar and "Strain" which contains only pure instrumentation. Wolfe's voice is the bow on all of this "metalness", she runs free on tracks and pierces the heart, arguably one of Wolfe's best albums to date. Expand
  6. Oct 22, 2017
    8
    This album makes me think of a metal album PJ Harvey would make. Which is totally a good thing! While I'm not familiar with Chelsea's earlierThis album makes me think of a metal album PJ Harvey would make. Which is totally a good thing! While I'm not familiar with Chelsea's earlier material, from what I've gathered it's gothic folk music, as my first foray into her musical world I dug it and want to dig into her back catalog.

    This album is heavy, both sonically and lyrically, dealing with repented memories of her past as well as themes of metal heath, paired well with heavy doom metal riffs and loud, distorted downtuned guitars and heavy drumming. It's one hell of a trip! There are times when the songs are sluggish and slow, particulary in the second half, and even if you are a metal head you might be left cold feeling like it's not too metal enough. But for people that aren't into metal, this is certainly an album for you! Especially if you can get behind the dark subject matter. As for me, while there are low points, the high points are high! I'll be rocking to album standouts 16 Psyche, Vex, the Culling, and Scrape when I pick it up!
    Expand
  7. Oct 12, 2017
    5
    The stylistic organization of this album was interesting to a degree, from lyrical motives to changes of textural density and guitar usage,The stylistic organization of this album was interesting to a degree, from lyrical motives to changes of textural density and guitar usage, but the emotions were more self-serving than actually well conveyed, and the constant weak and light voice, the lack of strong harmonic movement, and the overall inability to stretch the imagination with their musical execution left this work to be rather boring. My Score: 98/180 (Deficient) = 5.4/10 Expand

Related Articles

  1. Fall Music Preview (2017): 40+ Key Albums

    Fall Music Preview (2017): 40+ Key Albums Image
    Published: September 7, 2017
    Get details on the most-anticipated albums arriving this fall (including new releases from St. Vincent, Taylor Swift, U2, Beck, and more), and listen to tracks from each one.