Posts Tagged ‘Hiss Spun’

Sargent House – 22nd September 2017

Christopher Nosnibor

Chelsea Wolfe is one of those artists who seems to continually grow with every release, and 2015’s Abyss was something special: a grand, powerful, and intense musical work that reached the parts other albums cannot reach. It’s fair to say that expectations for Hiss Spun were set high as a consequence.

As the accompanying blurb tells us, ‘the album was conceived as an emotional purge, a means of coming to terms with the tumult of the outside world by exploring the complexities of one’s inner unrest’.

Chelsea gets down to conveying this turmoil from the first bars: opener, ‘Spun’, is a throbbing deluge of dense, low-tempo, Godfleshy, bass-centric grind, a seething surge of low-end noise with an overloading, freewheeling lead guitar that’s not so much a solo as an out of control rollercoaster of fretwork that heaves and lurches every which way as if uncertain of its own direction but desperate to find a route to the end. ‘Particle Flux’ is also centred around a tectonic, subterranean low-end pulsation, and builds to a multi-layered, multi-faceted crescendo.

Single cut ’16 Psyche’ has the epic qualities of some of the strongest tracks from previous album Abyss – ‘Iron Moon’ in particular – and ‘The Culling’ repeats the trick of bursting into a crushingly powerful bloom from a quiet, delicate bud. But while nailing choruses of immense scale, these tracks also pound hard, sonically and emotionally.

Placing Hiss Spin side by side with Abyss is instructive: this latest work marks a considerable shift from the brooding industrial-edged gothic folk of its predecessor toward a much more metal-orientated sound that’s not only heavier and more abrasive, but more overtly challenging and confrontational. In fact, everything about Hiss Spun is more.

Following a heavy synth drone intro, ‘Vex’ brings blistering guitar dynamics and a shoegaze atmosphere to a twisted, reverb-soaked vocal that’s simultaneously emotion-rich and curiously detached. ‘Scrape’ draws the curtain with a dark, murky grind that’s as intense as it is dense, and Chelsea’s voice soars higher than ever, wracked with desperation. Thunderous tribal drumming blasts through the squalling guitars to render an imposing finale.

The production on Hiss Spun is immense. The percussion is enormous, every snare hit an explosion, every bass thump enough to trigger an earthquake or tsunami. Every beat, every note, strikes deep into the soul and drags at the deepest levels. To explain precisely how and why Hiss Spun resonates so deeply would be to ruin its magic: this is an album which connects subconsciously, subliminally, pulling as it does between fragility and fury, and with such stunning grace, and it drives, but as a slow pace.

Instrumentally, the dynamics are breathtaking. And never has Wolfe sounded so raw, by turns so fragile and so powerful, channelling emotions to utterly devastating and bewildering effect. Superlatives are inadequate: Hiss Spun is an album so strong as to be almost overwhelming and marks, my a mile, a new career high-point.

AAA

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Chelsea Wolfe has shared ‘The Culling’, the final and most expansive single from her upcoming album Hiss Spun. Stretching out to six minutes, the track begins with a tense atmosphere of foreboding, slowly growing into a dense mass of guitar, bass, electronics, and drums.

Of ‘The Culling’, Wolfe says, “I’m at odds with myself, exploring different characters, comparing war stories…desperation, withdrawal, clarity, disgust, grief. There is a sense of feeling like a vulnerable mess, but giving into that and turning it into some kind of beautiful decadence; becoming stronger through accepting the mess of yourself…accepting that you’re this feral creature full of instincts, cycles, rage and love.”

She also defined the four words she repeats at the end of the song:

Flux – movement, flow

Hiss – positive life force

Welt – brutality of life

Groan – sensuality, death

Listen to ‘The Culling’ here:

Hiss Spun, Wolfe’s sixth album, is out September 22nd on Sargent House.

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Chelsea Wolfe shares new song ‘Vex’, featuring harrowing bellows from Aaron Turner (SUMAC, Old Man Gloom). Dynamic, heavy, and raw, her sixth album Hiss Spun (Sargent House, 22 September), also features prominent guitar contributions by Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age, Failure) throughout.

With heavy hints of Cranes, ‘Vex’ is a dark, intense and claustrophobically gothic track, brimming with drama and tension. It’a also her heaviest cut to date. Listen to it here:

Photo by Zohn Mandel

Chelsea Wolfe has announced the release of Hiss Spun, her sixth album, upcoming via Sargent House on 22nd September 2017. Additionally, Wolfe has some remaining European dates, and has announced an extensive Autumn tour of North America. A full list of dates is below.

Following her acclaimed 2015 album Abyss, Hiss Spun is at once dynamic, heavy, and raw.  Recorded by Kurt Ballou (Converge), the album was conceived as an emotional purge, a means of coming to terms with the tumult of the outside world by exploring the complexities of one’s inner unrest. “I’m at odds with myself,” she explains. “I got tired of trying to disappear. The record became very personal in that way. I wanted to open up more, but also create my own reality.

Hiss Spun features prominent guitar contributions by Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age, Failure) throughout the album, and a guest spot from Aaron Turner (Old Man Gloom, SUMAC) on the song ‘Vex’.

By way of a taster, she’s unveiled ‘16 Psyche’. You can get your lugs round it here:

 

 

Chelsea Wolfe Live Dates:

14/6 Malmö, SE – Babel w/ Christine Owman
17/6 Clisson, FR – Hellfest
19/6 Antwerp, BE – Trix w/ Moon Duo
18/8 Las Vegas, NV -  Psycho Las Vegas

North American tour:
28/9 – Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room
30/9 – Los Angeles, CA – The Regent Theater
2/10 – San Diego, CA – Belly Up Tavern
3/10 – Tucson, AZ – 191 Toole
4/10 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
6/10 – Austin, TX – Paramount Theatre
7/10 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
8/10 – Dallas, TX – Kessler Theatre
10/10 – Nashville, TN – Exit/In
11/10 – Atlanta, GA – Aisle 5
13/10 – Chapel Hill, NC – Cat’s Cradle
14/10 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage
15/10 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts
17/10 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
19/10 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
20/10 – Montreal QC – Le National
21/10 – Toronto, ON – The Opera House
22/10 – Detroit, MI – El Club
24/10 – Chicago, IL – Metro
25/10 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
27/10 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
28/10 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
30/10 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox
31/10 – Vancouver, BC – Venue Nightclub
1/11 – Portland, OR – The Wonderland Ballroom
3/11 – Sacramento, CA – Ace Of Spades
4/11 – San Francisco, CA – The Regency Ballroom
* Youth Code will open all North American shows