True Widow – Circumambulation

8 Production
8 Harmony
9 Mood
10 Guitars
7 Bass
8 Drums
8 Vocals
8.3

Anxiety and old Victorian tombs – these are the best words to describe the mood on the latest True Widow’s record. Its style is almost identical as on their previous album – As High As The Highest Heavens And From The Center To The Circumferences Of The Earth. Songs are driven forward like an spooky night freight train with carriages loaded with meat hacked by Dan Phillips’s ultra-heavy guitar riffs. They are calling themselves a “stonegaze band” not without a reason – the weight of music can be easily compared to giant primordial stones. As a contrast to this, Philips and Estill’s (the bassist) vocals are blurry, full of melody, reverb, and filled with odd nomadic weariness. While Philips’s singing is more “shoegazed”, Estill creates a pop-like mood, especially in Fourth Teeth.

It might seem that True Widow write emotionless, numb music deprived of all feelings. There can be nothing as wrong as this! However, the kind of emotion that they present is not post-rockish or even shoegaze-styled. Instead of bringing catharsis and tears to Your eyes, True Widow create a landscape of agony and hopelessness that is a starting point to seeking a sense in the world.


RELEASE DATE: 23 July 2013 LABEL: Relapse Records


The cover art perfectly mirrors the atmosphere embedded in every song – uncertain life in a dark world, beautiful to watch (or listen to), but atrocious to live. This mood created by vocals and instruments is perfectly enhanced by manacling, almost clockwork-like drumming. All this make this album a perfect soundtrack for the nighttime, but not if you want dreamy-feely memories, but if You want to feel as if there is someone behind Your back dressed in black with a knife in hand.

True Widow accomplished something that majority of bands fail to achieve – they have made an album that can be described as almost the same as the previous one, but still its sound is fresh and gets better with every listening. It would be a shame though, if their next recording was also the same. The album is very coherent which increases the pleasures of listening. With Circumambulation, True Widow became a grown up band able to become the leaders and trendsetters of stonegaze.

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