F U L L . R E V I E W S
Widow - On Fire - 2005 - Cruz Del Sur Music
Raleigh's new wave old schoolers are back, raging and speed racing through ten horror filled tales, all backed by the talent and fury of Widow, who are quite possibly one of the finest new US bands to emerge on the scene in years. This extraordinary group of denim and leather has sprung free of the normal power metal trappings, really taking the traditional tapestry of their sound and mixing in so many other elements. From strong female lead vocals, calculated black metal wails, and a finely tuned NWOBHM vehicle to build on, Widow are off and running with the Devil, burning hot with their new effort "On Fire".
"On Fire" marks the group's sophomore effort, a blazing fury that burns with a power metal sensation. Fans of older bands like Iron Maiden and Saxon as well as newer groups like Wolf and Goddess Of Desire will be ecstatic over this release. This is really a top notch, top tier effort that leaves nothing unturned, really exploring every cavity and crevice of the heavy metal realms. As the fast paced output leaves plenty of room for necks-a-snappin', the gothic and powerful register of combo vocalists Lili and Wooten adds a more dynamic approach to the tried and tied power metal formula. Lili uses her soft register to adore every metal fan, from the slower, more creepy-crawly pace of "Here To Stay" to the more gothic tinged "Not Alone". While she is both soothing and sincere on that end of the spectrum she can display a huge amount of firepower with her up-tempo voice, really hammering home that NWOBHM feel on "An American Werewolf In Raleigh" and "Dead End".
While Lili is doing her damnest to outweigh the heavyweight female vocalists in the metal world, Johnny Wooten takes his shots as the classy extreme showman. With his black metal screams in full force, Wooten backs up Lili with a beauty and the beast soundscape, a building block that really allows for so much vocal experimentation. Along with the extreme effects comes his clean singing voice, a punky feel that really goes back to those early metal days of Warfare and smoother Bathory.
With this sort of voice as the "additional input", Widow comes across as the thinking man's power metal band, or if you will, the traditional, thinking man's extreme act. It could really go either way, which is the great thing about this East Coast megaband. They have the ability to conjure any metal vibe, any metal atmosphere. The group's songwriting is really based on the classical horror realms, with songs like "An American Werewolf In Raleigh" bringing to mind those Lon Chaney "Wolfman" images, or cuts like "Re-Animate Her" recalling vintage Frankenstein. "I'll Bury You Alive" could have been constructed from the works of Poe while "Here To Stay" could be based on a Matheson novel.
From excellent story telling to mature song structuring, Widow are just simply "on fire". These types of albums you remember hearing, you remember the songs, you remember the words. This is catchy, metal fun that few bands can create. With this new release the band should be well on their way to superstardom, possibly fitting in nicely once this new wave of American hardcore goes away in two years.
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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