Circumambulation is the third album by Dallas rock trio True Widow. This record is very dark and haunting, and it’s one of the better LPs I’ve heard so far in 2013. What better way to start this ominous full-length than with a song entitled “Creeper.” This track displays True Widow’s best qualities. The production on this disc is superb, with every instrument, vocal and sound effect heard easily. Dark, heavy riffs are repeated throughout the cut, giving it a bit of a mesmerizing feel. The guitar parts don’t change, but that doesn’t make them boring or any less interesting as the song progresses. “S:H:S” features haunting vocals from guitarist Dan Phillips. Picked chords and the cymbal/snare drumbeat give this tune a groove, making it rather enjoyable. Bassist Nicole Estill sings the lead vocals on “Four Teeth.” Her voice sits slightly above the distorted guitars and drums, referring back to the fantastic production.

Estill also takes charge on “Trollstigen.” Starting with unusual sound effects and a heavy bass tone, this is the darkest and longest track on Circumambulation. “Lungr” continues this daunting and simplistic approach to songwriting. The structure of the number is great with a slow, hypnotic atmosphere. My favorite cut off this LP is the instrumental piece “I:M:O.” The different sections throughout the tune flow seamlessly into the next, displaying the band’s strength of composition.

Although there are no insane drumbeats, screeching guitar solos or loud choruses, this is still a brilliant album. A great musician doesn’t focus on what to add to the music, but what to take out. This trio knows what works for them, and that is an emphasis on songwriting and composition.

In A Word: Hypnotic

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