WIDOW - ON FIRE - CRUZ DEL SUR
"You ever talk to a corpse? It's boring."
Widow is a band whose past output might not be familiar to the knights at Metallian Towers. Still, it is easily unmistakable that the band treads a fine line between old Iron Maiden, Warlock and the likes of Tokyo Blade and Hammer from the NWOBHM era. As such, imagine my surprise upon finding out that the quintet is American and, of all places, from Carolina! Who knew they have anything other than hogs and hillbillies in trucks down there?
The band is fronted by female singer Lili who might occasionally sound plain, but at least thankfully is not attempting to be one of the new breed of ersatz opera posers reviewers, like myself, have to put up with all the time nowadays. Guitarist Cristof also sings and on song after song the listener finds himself hearing assertive male vocals as well as Lili. The drummer is a bit lacking in presence and sound, but that is more than offset by the melodic and entertaining screeching guitars. This Widow knows how to deliver interesting riffs, metallic rhythms and fabulous lead work. On Fire douses periodically for slower moments and spoken interludes, but the band's horror-inspired and often outrageous lyrics make it all worthwhile. As a matter of fact, hearing the band's lyrics on songs like An American Werewolf In Raleigh (hmmmm...), The Preacher's Daughter and especially Family Affair can only bring a wicked smile to one's face. As if the cover artwork and photography were not worth the admission price Widow's lyrics and hard 'n heavy music manage to satisfy every metal fan's naughty sensibilities. - Ali "The Metallian"
WIDOW - NIGHTLIFE - CRUZ DEL SUR
The cover of this CD might turn off a few, which would be a shame as North Carolina’s (indeed odd and having just reviewed a band from Montana no less) Widow is a hell of a heavy metal band. Emphasizing that style to a T Widow plays traditional metal clearly influenced by the late '70s and early '80s with nods to US metal of the time. While a certain whiff of Iron Maiden is present, the sound is closer to a band like Y&T. Indeed, the ever-present and ever-delightful double guitar leads and dual guitar harmonies would make any Y&T fan sit up and take notice. The vocals of John E. Wooten IV - the band true to its name having lost its female vocalist - are mostly without frill, which might explain why the band has incorporated the odd screech as well. While this album is solid and pure, the inclusion of two cover versions is a clear misstep. One could have easily guessed the Van Halen influence given the presence of a song called The Teacher’s Pet, but the band has gone ahead and recorded Ain’t Talking Bout Love and Kiss’ I Stole Your Love. Too bad as cover versions are for bands which don’t intend to be taken seriously. The other element in need of improvement is the lyrical rhymes. While good old-fashioned metal lyrics need to rhyme, lines like “Let’s join hands/under command” do not exactly get the meter thing right. Widow’s Nightlife, nonetheless, is a good album whether released in 1977, 1987 or 2007. - Ali “The Metallian”