True Widow


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Even though they're among the pioneers of the is-it-shoegaze-or-is-it-metal movement of the 2000s and 2010s, True Widow have their own niche. They're not as showy as some of their peers, and their subtle mix of sludgy riffs and brooding melodies and harmonies lend their music a hypnotic depth. The band sounds as beautifully dirgey as ever on Avvolgere, which they recorded with Circumambulation producer Matt Pence. As on that album, True Widow adds more drive to their sound with lumbering, low-slung tracks like "Back Shredder" and "The Trapper & the Trapped," both of which prove the frequent comparisons to Earth are apt. There's always been a sense of inevitability to True Widow's music, but on Avvolgere their songs are slow-motion explosions, lulling and tense at the same time. The band make the most of this uneasy dream state on "O.O.T.P.V," where the eerily steady rhythm is both heavy and hallucinatory, capturing the feeling of being overtaken; elsewhere, the looping, interlocking guitars on "Entheogen" and "What Finds Me" are equally pretty and menacing. Throughout Avvolgere, the band manage to make claustrophobia and creeping paranoia almost appealing: "Can't you see the ashes fluttering?" is one of the hooks on the apocalyptically lovely "Theurgist," while the molasses pace of songs like "Sante" somehow makes the choruses even catchier. True Widow ensure that things don't become repetitive with respites such as "To All That He Elong," a largely acoustic showcase for Nicole Estill's vocals, and the floaty "F.W.T.S:L.T.M.," the closest thing the album has to a love song. Meanwhile, the bluesy guitar solo on "Grey Erasure" feels both unexpected and natural -- and another example of how True Widow maintains a sense of mystery even when they bring their music down to earth.

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