"Nightlife" (Cruz del Sur; 2007)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

North Carolina based Widow would initially seem to be a band that would be right up my alley. Although formed in 2000, their sound is firmly founded in the 1980s. Their CD cover looks like an 80s album cover and the band themselves even look like they walked right out of 1987. In fact, I listened to this album some seven times hoping to find something I could say really set them apart. 

Widow play a style that's maybe 80% classic style metal and 20% early speed metal. I would say the music is comparable to bands like Omen and Savage Grace with some traces of early Iron Maiden and Crimson Glory. The playing and the vocals are largely competent and they waste little time getting into the heart of the music. It's very much pure metal and most of the songs are fairly short and to the point. 

However, there were two items that troubled me about this album. One is the lack of heaviness. It's solid metal, but the production and maybe lack of definite hooks make it sound a little thin. The bigger problem was that I kept asking myself what is there that about Widow that sets them apart from their influences? The answer is very little or perhaps just not enough. So even though they go through the paces well, there just isn't enough going on here to set this band apart. There just isn't enough here to make me reach for it instead of reaching for an album by one of the 80s bands that Widow are trying to emulate. 

"Nightlife" is above average but I think Widow needs to try harder and dig deeper on the next album to try and define their sound rather than just mixing the sounds of others. 

For more information, check out http://www.widowusa.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 27 May 2024 14:00:25 -0400.