By: Daniela Patrizi
True Widow | website | facebook | twitter | bandcamp |
Released on September 23, 2016 via Relapse Records
It’s hard to believe that almost three years have passed since I first heard Circumambulation. I didn’t know True Widow before then and that torrent of heavy shoegaze flooded my home since the first day I played it and never left.
Now the “stonegaze trio” from Dallas, Texas, are back with their fourth LP that follows that path of sludge and shoegaze that distinguishes the band’s style, which manages to be heavy in a very unique way. They don’t hit you on the first listen: their music requires time to be fully absorbed and after a while, without even realizing it, you’ll be completed trapped in their loop. Nothing to be worried about, you’ll love it.
The new album Avvolgere (Italian for to wrap), is a collection of 10 pieces based on a steady, almost militaristic drum beat and a doomy bass over which they create minimalistic sounds that then dissolve to leave room to new ones. The songs flow very smoothly and sometimes it’s hard to tell when one ends and the other begins but each one leaves a different taste. The whole album is like a big river that changes nuances while flowing and when the focus turns to the interplay between the two vocals is when it shines more and fascinates the most.
Avvolgere burns from the very beginning. The urgency of the opening ‘Back Shredder’ is evident. The contrast between the vocals and the monotonous drum beat leaves you room enough to let your mind get lost in a hazy day-dream and this way True Widow, patiently, conquer you. ‘F W T S L T M’, one of the album’s milestones, keeps you in a vicious cycle before dissolving into ‘The Trapper and The Trapped’ that lures you with the warm vocals, especially the female ones, and drags you down with it. I loved the way vocals evolved in this song, making the whole experience more intense.
Again True Widow manage to be soft and hard at the same time and drag you into a sinister atmosphere that is definitely heavier and darker than their previous work. They share something new in this album that has a vibe of restless darkness served in the softest way.
Another highlight of the album is ‘Entheogen’ that takes you back to the shoegaze style of their early work. ‘Entheogen’ sounds like a radio transmission received from another time and place with the vocals echoing repeatedly in your head. Melody and drone are both present and keep on alternating until they dissolve into the warm yet murderous vocals that open ‘To All That He Along’. Clocking in at one minute the piece offers a kind of interference that breaks the repetitive melody. It soon comes back and you are in the loop again.
The sinister atmosphere of the whole album leads you to a moment of emptiness and total despair with the last minute of the album. It works like a black brush stroke over a canvas that already has all the nuances of grey colors and leaves you thinking weather you liked the journey or not. But it’s already too late because you’re already in the new True Widow’s loop that’s appropriately called Avvolgere.