Favorite Albums of 2017 – Part 1 by The Revue (Staff)

Chelsea Wolfe (USA) – Hiss Spun
(via Sargent House)


While some choose to grow old gracefully, Chelsea Wolfe has chosen to get louder, harder, and gloomier. She’s still in her 30s, but with each passing year and album her sound gets fuller and darker. Her seventh record is her most personal, which explains why Hiss Spun is also her heaviest and most menacing effort. It is not for the faint of heart, but those who make it though the 48-minute masterpiece will be rewarded with one of the most intense and rewarding experiences of the year.

The walls come crashing in immediately on the doom-metal opener “Spun”, and they keep crumbling with the hypnotic “16 Psyche”, the brooding and hallowing “Vex”, and the eerily seductive “Offering”. Even in the moments where there is a reprieve, such as on slow building “The Culling“, Wolfe still finds a way to burn a hole through our soul. This time, it’s her lyrics, as she reveals wounds inflicted upon her by her family. Even in the fairy tale-like storyline of the graceful “Twin Fawn”, there is still devastation in Wolfe’s path.

To fully comprehend why the album’s atmosphere, one must experience “Scrape”, the most honest of Hiss Spun’s twelve songs. Wolfe’s voice ranges from aggressive to stunning to piercingly urgent as the song centers around her pedophile great-grandfather who “fucked up every woman in my family.” It is a startling admission by the fiercely private Wolfe on an album that surprises on every turn. This album’s biggest surprise isn’t how foreboding it is but that Wolfe has persevered and now offers a glimmer of light within the darkness. ~~~ Ben

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