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Black Widow - Black Widow CD (album) cover

BLACK WIDOW

Black Widow

 

Heavy Prog

2.97 | 43 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Sacrificing what made them famous

Having secured the publicity necessary to attract sales of their debut "Sacrifice", Black Widow returned to the studio a year later to record a follow up. By this time, significant line up changes had occurred, brought about by the ubiquitous artistic differences. Some of the members felt that the occult references had served their purpose, and were now a liability, the consensus being to move away from such controversial areas and record an album of straightforward songs.

Confusingly, the resulting album was simply titled "Black Widow", although it is in fact the band's second release. This lack of imagination is reflected in some of the songs it contains, which are much more ordinary that the debut. The opening "Tears and wine" is a promising 9 minutes long, but this slow blues dirge which introduces the album is but a shadow of the innovation we found on "Sacrifice". There is simply no novelty here, this is blues rock of the type many other bands were plying around the same time. The production is particularly poor, the energetic lead guitar solo sounding like it has been recorded from the next room. To be clear, it is not a bad track, it just feels somewhat ordinary especially in view of the expectations which preceded it.

"The gypsy" bizarrely takes us into Jethro Tull territory (not just because of the flute!) the song being a semi-acoustic folk rock piece with Mick Box like wah-wah guitar. Later, "Mary Clark" drifts slightly towards the disturbing areas of the debut album, but within the safety of a lightweight melody. The remainder of the tracks are in a similar vein to those mentioned, being decent but unremarkable blues rock and folk rock numbers.

Whether or not the band were right to move on from the imagery which brought them so much notoriety and success is a matter for debate. One can understand them want their music to be taken seriously, but by simply surrendering a strong identity without having anything to replace it Black Widow slid back into the ubiquity of being a good but not exceptional band. It seems the band's main writer and lead guitarist Jim Gannon felt this way, as he left when it became clear after the album would not enjoy commercial success.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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