Parade of Flesh presents . . .
True Widow, Black Congress
Mountain of Smoke
3510 Commerce St
This event is 21 and over
Over the past two decades, we've been bombarded with grunge, with shoegaze, with sludge, with doom metal, with post-rock, with slow-core, with all these examples of loud rock music that reach towards one extreme or another, the sole intent of which seems to be to bludgeon the listener into accepting what they conceive to be a "total sound," one which makes their effort more valid than the others around it, and by association, worthy of your reverence.
Denton, TX trio True Widow plays against type. Listen closely to their new double album As High As the Highest Heavens and From the Center to the Circumference of the Earth
and you'll notice something rare: a band that plays to the notions of the genres mentioned above, one which embodies the best characteristics of each but never repeats something that's been done. The understanding of space, balance, and method exhibited by True Widow is different enough to avoid the trappings of genres done to death; special enough to revere, and to pull away from memories of sounds that once wore you down.
Here is a band that has figured out how to play music that is traditionally recognized as "heavy" and "slow," on traditional rock instruments, in a way that few have been able to accomplish: a melancholy, meditative approach to songwriting and soundscape that draws you in. They figured this out in the space of one album, a self-released, self-titled debut from 2008. On As High As the Highest Heavens, they refine the work even further.
Big guitar, bigger drums and the biggest bass (played by D.H., Slim, and Nikki, respectively) effortlessly recreate the unending skies of prairie America, where storms blow across with fury, horizons are unencumbered by the choke of skyscrapers and electric light, and the atmosphere pushes you down. A rumbling backdrop of distortion churns away, both behind and within True Widow's plaintive song structures, but never overpowers it. Across a 50-minute runtime, the nine songs here range from excavated alt-rock anthems ("Night Witches," "Skull Eyes") to methodical epics like "Boaz" and "Blooden Horse," to triumphant bulldozers of sound like "NH," which splits the difference between dirge and hymn, the instruments staring into the ground while D.H. and Nikki's voices ascend to the clouds.
Plenty of you may balk at both the length and largesse expressed in the title of True Widow's new album, but once its powers seep into your skull, you'll likely find it impossible to doubt the magnitude of what's at stake here – a band that is singlehandedly breaking rank from accepted genres, and carving its own path into history.