Chelsea Wolfe's 'Hiss Spun,' Her Heaviest Album Yet, Was Inspired by '90s Rock and Industrial, Not Metal

Photo: Nick Fancher

BY Liisa LadouceurPublished Sep 21, 2017

Chelsea Wolfe's fifth studio album Hiss Spun could easily be called her heaviest recording to date. With contributions from Troy Van Leeuwen of Queens of the Stone Age and Aaron Turner of Isis, plus production by Kurt Ballou of Converge, it booms with the kind of riffs and rhythms common in doom or post-metal. But the American singer-songwriter tells Exclaim! those were not her influences.
"'Heavy' is an easy word because my albums aren't easily defined as one genre or another. I aimed to make a rock album, and was influenced by a lot of late '90s industrial and rock'n'roll, so it's actually surprising to me that so many people are calling it metal or doom."
Like Wolfe's previous albums, Hiss Spun is an atmospheric, moody listen featuring her soaring, gothic vocals. This time, the singer, who has previously guested on albums by King Dude, Russian Circles and Myrkur, also invited Aaron Turner to contribute extreme metal vocals on the industrial beat-driven "Vex," a beauty versus beast duet that is one of the album's mightiest tracks.
"I sent the song to him without my vocal parts and when he sent his back, I played them both at once and was happy to hear the way the two vocal parts worked together," she says. "I felt like the beast on that song. Aaron's voice is more of a peaceful, grounding element."
Hiss Spun comes out September 22 on Sargent House. A North American tour kicks off September 28.

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