With rock well into its silver years, it’s become very difficult to carve out a niche for one’s self. “It’s been done!” has become a rallying cry for a generation. It’s this malaise that Dallas rock act True Widow seeks to fight with their newest release, As High As The Highest Heavens And From The Center To The Circumference Of The Earth. While the execution of the material isn’t perfect, the band is definitely on their way.
The record starts promisingly with the melancholy grind of “Jackyl,” its ethereal guitars and apathetic vocals layered over distorted bass and solid drums. “NH” brings a stoner mentality to the party before we return to the melancholy grind on “Skull Eyes” and “Wither.” There’s a bit of variety on “Night Witches,” with its Sabbath-inspired grooves and distant, haunting vocals, before we come back to the good ol’ melancholy grind on closing track “Doomser.”
There’s nothing wrong with any of the songs on this record. They are all well crafted and well produced; they just shouldn’t be collected on the same album. So many of them share the same tempo, rhythmic structure, and melodic sensibility, that it can be very difficult to tell when one song starts and another begins, which was probably not the intention of the band. The atmosphere of the album doesn’t need to change, but a bit more variety would certainly help maintain the listener’s focus.
This is definitely a record for sitting in a dark room with a group of friends and a lava lamp. True Widow definitely have a unique sound, and fans of stoner rock, and minimalist music in general, should keep an eye on the band. It just doesn’t seem like the vision has been entirely codified yet.