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Widow – Life’s Blood

Label: Pure Steel
Format: CD download
Released: 2011
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 8/ 10


The cover art of a half naked nun, waist deep and face smeared with blood, recalls a few King Diamond/ Mercyful Fate promo shots from the 80s. Musically, the North Carolina outfit’s fourth platter inhabits the same decade: New Wave Of British Heavy Metal meets hard rock. Having witnessed the band in concert at least three times in the last year or so, I’m familiar with more than a few of these "new" tunes (albeit in the live realm). Hopefully you’ll all get that chance, as this dozen is choked full of infectious, old school aggressive, guitar driven anthems: no breakdowns, blast beats, screamo nor deadly growls.

 

‘Lady Twilight’ kicks things off, the missing link between Tokyo Blade and early TNT: real metal with plenty of guitar and a simple, repetitive sing-along chorus. ‘In Dreams’ goes in the opposite direction, a mid-tempo ballad with subtle, barely audible intro. This and the full blown ‘Another Fallen Angel’ ballad recall the classic quieter (acoustic?) moments of pre-MTV Scorpions. The riffing ‘Take Hold Of The Night’ is punky, proto-thrash (ditto the comically entitled ‘I Scream For Ice Queen’, not about Within Tamptation), while a slower ‘Behind The Night’ has just a hint of Mason-Dixon line twang. Probably a big number back home, but the weakest inclusion here. The staccato start-stop toe-tapping/ headbanging of ‘Judgment Day’ works just fine. ‘The One I Know’ finale re-captures the innocence of a lost era, right at home alongside Grim Reaper. Just don’t hear guitar tones/soloing (‘Remembering’) like this anymore, especially in the States. All hail Widow!

 
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