Album Review – True Widow -Avvolgere (2016)

Availability: Relapse, Spotify, EMP Music, and Bandcamp

Back Shredder starts the album with distorted guitar riffs, implementing towards drone and dark ambient, similar to the dying chimes of a cathedral in a horror novel, then ventures into the grunge, psychedelic rock and stoner lethargic chugs. The song is led by main vocalist Dan Philips, whose countrified vocals and submerged in the depths of the instruments,like being within an oppressive cave. Theurgist ascends into a more upbeat, if not still darkened envelope of melodic shoegaze-stoner rock fusion. It contains country, blues, hard and post-rock, and unlike the first track, emphasizes on Philip’s voice and it comes to partner that of the guitars and drums.

F.W.T.S.L.T.M is a blues and stoner rock merge, with mellowed vocals, of who are backed on by Nicole Estill, and a lounge and surfer rock like atmosphere for its relaxing instrumentation. The soothing direction of this track in a way distracts from the saddened tone of the song, speaking of a lost romance.  O.O.T.P.V, which I have picked to follow on from F W T S L T , simply for the abbreviated title, and which may be an accompanying track, has a more uplifting note to the drudging guitars. It takes inspiration from blues, stoner, post-rock and dark pop, notably music acts such as IAMX.

The Trapper and the Trapped, a stoner sludge amalgamation, has a duet between Nicole Estill and Dan Philips, the former of the members carrying the responsibly of turning what was once encouraging the narrator to live their life, into their new reality, which has lost all meaning and is decayed. Entheogen is a forlorn track, contributing blues, sludge metal, dark psychedelic and country rock, bordering on southern Gothic. Philips is using the format of spoken word to illustrate the lyrics. This song in particular seems akin to a follow on, for the pattern of the vocal delivery is very similar, and seems to carry on from the last few minutes of The Trapper and the Trapped.

To all that He Elong, a beautiful acoustic interlacing track led by Estill appealingly draws neofolk and dream pop into one. Sante, a stoner rock and drone metal, the fourth song to feature Nicole as the fore fronting singer, in a simplistic track about willing submission into a form of relationship.

Grey Erasure, the second duet of the album, is a stoner-drone-sludge rock concoction, with moments of soft, fleeting spurts of guitar solos, of which are the most emphasized on this track along with the bass, once more submerging the voices, so they become a constructive part of the instruments. What Finds Me, the longest track on the album, one that co-insides with the slow direction of Sante and Back Shredder; fluctuating between the grudge-doom, stoner sludge and country rock, Estill’s voice crystal clear, unlike in the previous tracks, where she is deliberately smothered to give an ambient texture. Then upon the six minute mark, it falls into disturbing dark ambient and white noise-esque tones, replicated by the guitars, ending the album as it began, with nightmarish, uneasy tension.

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