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Black Widow - Black Widow IV CD (album) cover


Black Widow


Heavy Prog

3.25 | 41 ratings

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2 stars Tepid but not bad 'fourth album' from this cult heavy prog group, a stillborn record pieced together years after the tracks were recorded in 1972, taken from flautist Clive Jones' master tapes and a few from the only acetate made of 'Black Widow lV'. In a stroke of musical irony, this set would be a departure for the band, a move toward the gentler sounds of the California scene but retaining a progressive/pop sound and showing significant growth in a more mature direction away from their tongue-in-cheek coven atmosphere. Think early Tull jamming with the Byrds at a party through a sound system that had seen better days. The out of place but fun 'Sleighride' is Prokofiev's Troika at least twenty years before ELP released it and turns into a groovy organ rocker, a bit long at nine minutes and sporting one too many hippies singing in the sunshine but prog rock just the same. 'More Than a Day' is pleasant and has some nice flute and acoustic guitar, as does the draggy and queasy 'You're So Wrong'. Though 'The Waves' fails at Animals-style psych and 'Part of a New Day' is the kind of track best left off a record, placed in a tightly sealed jar and buried in a stranger's backyard. Really, it's the kind of song that moves you to actually put the donut down, get up and hit the skip switch. 'Floating' foreshadows the prog-pop of Argent and 'Pictures in My Head' borrows again from classical, and at some point the band seems to want to be Caravan, but they aren't. A lukewarm and unfinished headstone for these guys and only recommended to fans of the band.
Atavachron | 2/5 |


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