Review Summary: If there is a pedestal-placing statement to be made about Avvolgere in relationship to the rest of True Widow’s catalog it would be that it simply rocks the hardest.
The term "less-is-more" has yet to encapsulate an effort quite as flawlessly as it has for self-dubbed "Stonergaze" trio True Widow.
The Dallas outfit’s formulaic approach has been known to propose a fitting marriage between Shoegazing and Stoner Rock sacrificing complexity for compelling mood and alluring atmosphere. Simple yet thunderous drum beats and doomy bass lines compose the foundational layer of True Widow’s genetic makeup followed by haunting riffage and a beautiful vocal dual vocal performance from both guitarist Dan Phillips and bassist Nicole Estill. Avvolgere, the group’s fourth and latest LP, sticks tight to the well-oiled cohesiveness of previous catalog entries with a refreshed, altered mood.
From the moment "Back Shredder" kicks in it becomes abundantly clear the droney tendencies of Circumambulation have taken the backseat to embrace a more upbeat undertaking. Despite the noticeable change in tempo, True Widow sticks out like a sore thumb in a sea of Sabbath-Worshipping acts blending Stoner Rock with subtle traces of Sludge and Doom Metal. Tracks such as "Theurgist" and "Sante" blend the three piece’s signature blueprint sound with their newfound catchiness serving as the ideal launch pad for new listeners.
Vocal delivery receives an additional subtle shift with the sound’s revitalization. Estill and the chemistry she provides towards the stapled dual dynamic remains as angelic and cohesive as ever while Phillips offers a more soulful, passionate performance than past releases. Circumambulation saw Phillips initiating haunting, ethereal croons beneath the mix matching the droniness and haunting vibes of the material acting as more of a component to the record’s atmospheric ambiance. Avvolgere reimagines Phillip’s Slowride days allowing further range and abrasiveness to rock along with the release’s more upbeat tendencies.
If there is a pedestal-placing statement to be made about Avvolgere in relationship to the rest of True Widow’s catalog it would be that it simply rocks the hardest. The darkness, the beauty, the gloom, the sludge; it’s all still there. The writing now puts the same effort on the power of the songs themselves instead of the sole mood they provide. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” still applies but a slight tune up made way for a record most likely to gain the attention of new listeners and wind up landing a spot on your year end list.