Widow - Nightlife
Cruz Del Sur Music
Traditional 80s Heavy Metal
11 songs (44'11")
Release year: 2007
Cruz Del Sur Music
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

My first impression after listening to Widow’s Nightlife was downright wrong, and I would be the first to admit it. I was too dismissive of this North Carolinian band thinking that this is nothing but an 80’s metal cover band, created simply to emulate the days gone by. Being stuck in the car on the long drive without any other music material but Widow I was forced to listen to it some more. The reconsidered opinion is that Widow has got to appeal to all of us old geezers out there, those in their late 30s – early 40s, as what is played on Nightlife is not how they are making metal these days. Original this may be not, but done quite professionally, with all ingredients added at the proper ratio.

Rooted deeply in both Euro and North American tradition of the early 80s, Nightlife has got to bring the fans of old WASP, King Kobra and Van Halen to orgasm. This is as true as the fact that I haven’t listened (or reviewed for that matter) to music like this in a while, and the truth is that this was the metal we grew up with in Eastern Europe. This is also just as true as how close the vocals in Nightlife, the title track, emulate Blackie Lawless’ phrasing and enunciation.

Presenting the straightforward classic heavy metal (First Born), upbeat thrashy numbers (We Will Meet Again, title track) or anthemic fist-pumping songs (Beauty Queen), Widow does not forget to embed strong characteristic riffs (The Teacher’s Pet), guitar hero solos or properly placed Eurostyle hooks, melodies and gang vocals all over the album. The album is also recorded with what I can only call “just right” mixture of cleanliness and rough edges, keeping the nightclub atmosphere intact. It is also quite obvious that the members of Widow did not pick up their instruments yesterday, as these dudes know how to wield them. Going retro does not mean being sloppy, choosing to play rough does not mean the techniques come simply from neighborhood bar jamming sessions. Apparently, Widow has evolved from now intact Sorrow Bequest, a defunct traditional death metal band, which could explain lead guitarist Chris Bennett contributing some dry screams to John E. Wooten IV (now that is pretentious) tough guy semi-clean vocals. If you are wondering how playing death metal transforms you into Widow in the end, feel free to e-mail the band yourself.

Very appropriately, the lyrics on Nightlife are the mixture of cheap B-side horror flicks, high school rebellion and how to bag the girl/teacher you have been fantasizing about (let the right wing Republicans have a fit about that). Even more appropriately, as if paying homage to the main inspirations, the album contains two covers of Van Halen Ain’t Talkin’ About Love and Kiss I Stole Your Love. Yup, they could not have announced their allegiances any better.

Killing Songs :
First Born, We Will Meet Again, Beauty Queen, Nightlife
Alex quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Widow that we have reviewed:
Widow - Lifes Blood reviewed by Alex and quoted 82 / 100
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