Listening to Chelsea Wolfe is an experience that I’d liken taking acid and trying to swim to Mars. It’s good. It’s really, really good. To create a serious cult following in the over-saturated and often intensely clichéd (we’ve all heard Black Sabbath’s Vol.4.; you know that and I know that. Stop. Stop it please. Stop re-making it – this is not okay, what you’re doing, man) world of doom metal is no small feat, but it’s a task that Chelsea Wolfe has been embracing with glee since the release of 2010’s The Grime and the Glow. Whereas I’ll be the first to point out that the droning fuzz-heavy guitars and lumbering Bill-Ward-esque drums of Wolfe’s back catalogue follow very similar rules to those of her contemporaries in bands such as Electric Wizard and Indian Handcrafts, it’s the addition of Wolfe’s gorgeously rich and textural vocal performances which completely sets her work apart.

Hiss Spun is every bit as eerie and satisfyingly heavy as any of Chelsea Wolfe’s back catalogue. Opening track ‘Spun’ dives straight into the deep end with five and a half minutes of immersive distortion, on top of which floats Wolfe’s echoing vocals – somehow managing to sound full and swollen, whilst minimal and mournful. This is something Wolfe does on almost all of the 12 tracks that make up Hiss Spun. On occasion the guitars give way to more industrial textures such as on third track ‘Vex’ – which also sports one of the most inspiring vocal performances on the record. It’s hard to pick out specific moments in which Hiss Spun breaches the boundaries of true aural divinity, not because those moments don’t exist, but because Wolfe peppers them finely throughout the track listing.

Every song presents an opportunity to hear brilliance, whilst intelligent use of dynamics creates fierce ebbs and flows. This is apparent on songs such as ‘Twin Fawn’, on which Wolfe manages to make a sudden switch between a clean and shoegaze-esque melody and a classic example of a doom riff flow perfectly without drawing the listener’s attention from the whispering, pleading vocal lament. Concluding track ‘Scrape’ finally secedes to the building tension with a grittier and forceful vocal performance that finally overwhelms the instruments. As Wolfe wails, the guitars snarl and back off, ending the album abruptly with a foreboding hiss.

After years of delivering on her promise, it comes as no surprise that Hiss Spun is as good as it is. The instrumental tracks dance around Wolfe’s soaring vocals and ultimately collide with them perfectly to create a collection of songs that are a joy to listen to.