As an album title, Circumambulation doesn't really roll off the tongue. (Though it's still nowhere near the mouthful of Dallas stoner rock trio True Widow's 2011 LP, titled - deep breath - As High As The Highest Heavens And From The Center To The Circumference Of The Earth.)
The paring down is reflected on the new record. Here True Widow dispel some of the pot-smoky fog, putting across a crisper, tighter, discernibly quicker sound. The band still hews closely to their sonorous stoner-drone blueprint - all coiling, chunky riffs and point-counterpoint between Dan Phillips's sad-sack moaning and bassist Nicole Estill's sunnier vocal melodies - but a few numbers (like S:H:S) are speedy enough to invite sluggish head-nodding.
Like Om, Earth and other hard-droning riff-worshippers, True Widow approach their trudging monotony with a near-religious reverence. In fact, that's what the record's all about. Circumambulation literally refers to the practice of moving around a religious or sacred idol. And that's what True Widow do. They coil around their thick grooves with ritual ceremony.
Top track: HW:R