[26 October 2011]
This release from an enigmatic UK duo REIGNS has the potential of becoming a cult favorite. The Widow Blades is a concept album based on the true story of a woman who disappeared during a blizzard in 1978. The best art usually skirts the mainstream, and this is a fine example. The Widow Blades casts the kind of trance that warrants many spins, without wearing its welcome. The aesthetic is similar to the isolation found in Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago, but mostly favors a dry, electronic template over minimal, acoustic instruments. The understated monotone of the vocals is subversively creepy and burrows into the psyche like a good novel, always serving the story. The Widow Blades is an almost perfect interlace of form and content. Fans of Nick Cave, David Eugene Edwards, and the xx will be delighted to discover REIGNS. It’s art-rock that the Cohen Brothers should consider using on the soundtrack of their next morose thriller. This is not the kind of album you want to listen to alone in the dark. And that is a compliment.