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BLACK WIDOW

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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Black Widow biography
Too often and unjustly compared to BLACK SABBATH because of their name and their Satanic lyrics on their first album, BLACK WIDOW had released an album under the name of Pesky Gee before changing their name. Unjustly compared because the music on that album is actually quite cheery and very much proto-prog. Unfortunately, the Satanist label will stick to them although their next two albums will not be in that direction, the music staying within the confines of hard rock and prog.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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Black WidowBlack Widow
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$8.00
$9.99 (used)
SacrificeSacrifice
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$9.04
$9.27 (used)
Return To The Sabbat/ivReturn To The Sabbat/iv
Import
Arena Music 2001
Audio CD$7.35
$4.42 (used)
IIIIII
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$7.79
$12.70 (used)
SacrificeSacrifice
Import
Repertoire 2001
Audio CD$7.39
$7.38 (used)
IVIV
Import
Mystic UK 1999
Audio CD$15.67
$7.90 (used)
Sleeping With DemonsSleeping With Demons
Import
Imports 2011
Audio CD$40.72
$11.99 (used)
Return to SabbatReturn to Sabbat
Import
Mystic UK 1999
Audio CD$12.28
$9.83 (used)
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BLACK WIDOW discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

BLACK WIDOW top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.64 | 137 ratings
Sacrifice
1970
3.01 | 58 ratings
Black Widow
1971
3.55 | 52 ratings
Black Widow III
1972
3.30 | 40 ratings
Black Widow IV
1997
3.77 | 32 ratings
Return To The Sabbat
1998
3.37 | 19 ratings
Sleeping With Demons
2011

BLACK WIDOW Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BLACK WIDOW Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.38 | 9 ratings
Demons of the Night Gather to See Black Widow Live
2008

BLACK WIDOW Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.80 | 9 ratings
Come To The Sabbat: The Anthology
2003

BLACK WIDOW Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

BLACK WIDOW Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Black Widow IV by BLACK WIDOW album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.30 | 40 ratings

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Black Widow IV
Black Widow Heavy Prog

Review by poito

4 stars 3.8 3.8 The cover of this posthumous album is a lonely scene of legendary Quijote and Sancho riding tired and with their heads down in the horizonless La Mancha, maybe reflecting the mood that band members had when they were left without the opportunity to release these themes when they were composed, back in early 70's. It seems they were fired and their career ended prematurely. The three former releases had each a different style and music scavengers must have got tired of waiting for the guys to bring money home. What a shame, what an error. The third release was amazing symphonic prog, and the themes contained in this album rescued for the human kind in 97 show they had finally found their site. There are superb tracks like Sleighride that has no envy to the greatest. The quality of the sound is below standards, I imagine this is what engineers could get out of the tapes, but still you may feel the taste of great original symphonic Prog. A smooth singing resembling early Caravan, great bass, and inspired organ characterize this hidden jewel that should have been the album for recognition of this wandering band that took too long to find its site. This one should be in anyone's Prog collection.
 Black Widow III  by BLACK WIDOW album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.55 | 52 ratings

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Black Widow III
Black Widow Heavy Prog

Review by poito

4 stars Every release of this band has a different taste, surely because of the many changes in members, but also because they probably were all the time looking for a style they would feel comfortable with. Actually, the band never hit the streets, but the reason is simple, they were not original, even in this album it is clear they inspired in Genesis. It is not a question of the major acts taking it all in the business; not in this case, they never had enough to offer that might stand out of the others, with the likely exception of their unpublished work entitled BWIV, only released many years later. This third album is probably the most interesting for symphonic Proggers and no doubt their best music achievement so far. The first release was a bit naïf, and the second was awfully produced. This one is so pleasant to the ear. Great symphonic Prog indeed and it was their first attempt at it. The long opening theme has some moments, but is globally dull. The rest is much more interesting with tracks like Lonely Man, The King Of Hearts, and Old Man. Had they stayed in this line, they would have made it. They were very good at it and it wasn't too late; other symphonic bands began even later, such as Frenchie Ange, but in the end you need to have a genius composer such as Decamps or simply you won't endure. The material in this album was inspired enough, and though it might appear a bit worn to the ears of the music scavengers in those days, it has certainly gained with the years, and make me think the band deserved more support and a continuation. Shame¡ By the way, the only resemblance with Black Sabbath is in the name.
 Sacrifice by BLACK WIDOW album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.64 | 137 ratings

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Sacrifice
Black Widow Heavy Prog

Review by poito

2 stars 2.5

Sometimes one has to be indulgent with music of this epoch, if only because it is when most modern music is rooted on, hundreds of bands exploring new sounds and stepping on new grass. There were highly skillful musicians with classical formation grabbing guitars and Hammond organs, but there were also lots of street boys striking keys and strings for the first time in their life, and many had enough imagination or musical instinct, even creativity, to throw themselves out to the road and try. Black Widow is one of the later, clever guys with some instinct and not much musicianship who knew how to catch up with their contemporary heroes. This first release is a good example, and if you don't listen to their subsequent work, the distance could make one think they were original, but they weren't. Their satanic stuff is rather naïve, just an excuse to stand out of pairs without much success. Lucky us the non-native English people who may disconnect very easy of the lyrics and listen to the music without distraction. You know where I am going: the album has mostly an historical value. I would only spare a couple of tracks just for the collection, the closing theme, Sacrifice that contains probably the best Hammond play in their career, and no fireworks anyway, and Conjuration, a track that waves a catchy bombastic tune that I still don't know if it is of their own.

 Black Widow by BLACK WIDOW album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.01 | 58 ratings

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Black Widow
Black Widow Heavy Prog

Review by poito

3 stars I came to this album searching for a version of the Mary Clark theme that appeared in a double LP sampler called Il Rock 71, with a picture of young Schwarzenegger emitting a red and yellow rainbow. My copy had worn out and as far as I know it hasn't been reissued in any way. Pity, because it is probably one of the best underground music samplers. Unfortunately, the track I was looking for was recorded differently and I didn't like the production in the original album, which is very defcient. Organ and guitar solos are often behind the acoustic guitar and drums. On top of this, there is an excessive use of stereo, so common in recordings of that period, when different instruments were recorded on either the left or the right tracks, which sounds a bit awkward. This makes the listening experience a bit painful, and you want it to finish and spare a bit of your brains after that much forced interaural integration. Leaving aside the awful production, there is a bunch of interesting Proto-prog Rock themes. This is 1970, and as such it should be judged. I do not find much resemblance to contemporary bands, except maybe the use of acoustic guitar by Soft Machine in some tracks. The album has a bunch of interesting ideas worth to check by diggers and Prog lovers. There are several tracks with long instrumental parts for the Hammond and the guitar, perfectly escorted by a great bass line and a very clever use of rhythmic guitar (as in The Journey). Check Tears and Wine, The Gypsy, and the curious choral singing in When My Mind Was Young, and enjoy the highlights Mary Clark and Legend of Creation.
 Sacrifice by BLACK WIDOW album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.64 | 137 ratings

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Sacrifice
Black Widow Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Black Widow's Sacrifice offers a potent and sinister concept but trips over in the delivery - in particular, the band are actually quite bad when it comes to maintaining the spooky atmosphere they are aiming for, with ill-judged attempts to sound sensual (Seduction, which just comes off as sleazy) and overlong, repetitive compositions sabotaging their efforts. Return to the Sabbat, which collects the demo version of the album, manages to deliver a superior experience simply by keeping it sinister and lo-fi. (Even the refrain of Come To the Sabbat, which I find excessively repetitive and irritating here, somehow manages to work better in the context of the demos.)
 Return To The Sabbat by BLACK WIDOW album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.77 | 32 ratings

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Return To The Sabbat
Black Widow Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I've always previously found Black Widow to be an album I just didn't "get", but these original demo tapes for Black Widow's debut album have won me over. With Kay Garret - lead vocalist from the band's previous incarnation as Pesky Gee - still around to provide female vocals, the theatrical intention of the conceptual song sequence is teased out more effectively (it really does help to have different people singing the different parts in this case), and whilst the sound quality isn't pristine, it's actually pretty solid for 1960s demo material. If nothing else, I can see why the likes of Blood Ceremony look to Black Widow for inspiration, and it's inspired me to take another look at their discography.
 Come To The Sabbat: The Anthology  by BLACK WIDOW album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2003
3.80 | 9 ratings

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Come To The Sabbat: The Anthology
Black Widow Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars Black Widow is always going to be associated with one song, which has given title to this double CD compilation which attempts to provide the definitive anthology of the band. Overall it has to be said that it works very well in that respect, apart from the fact that it doesn't list the original source of all of the songs, just the years, which is the one failing that I can find. The booklet folds out and there are plenty of photos and reprinted reviews and album covers etc as well as a history of the band. Musically it starts with two tracks from the band before they became Black Widow, when they were known as the slightly less threatening Perky Gee! (their exclamation mark, not mine). At this time they had a female lead vocalist in Kay Garrett, but she left during the recording sessions of the debut BW album, 'Sacrifice'.

Who knows what the band would have done if Pesky Gee! had been more successful as while the Uriah Heep-style hard rock and Clive Jones sax are easily recognisable her vocals give the band a different, more polished, edge. Track three is actually from 1999, taken from a Black Widow tribute album where the band is also credited with providing some new songs but were actually Kip Trevor backed by Pendragon (!). It is of course "Come To The Sabbat" and "Sacrifice" that are the songs that are probably best remembered now; although at the time a much bigger fuss was made over the fact that the band used to sacrifice a naked woman onstage after simulated sex with the lead singer! And critics say that Tatu are shocking!!

In fact there are two versions of "Come To The Sabbat" as well as the 'proper' version there is also the demo from 1969 which features Kay as well as two previously unreleased songs from her unreleased 1971 solo album. This album is easily the most complete attempt at providing a complete history of the band and although it is annoying that there aren't enough track details this is still an interesting release.

Originally appeared in Feedback #73, Jun 03

 Return To The Sabbat by BLACK WIDOW album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.77 | 32 ratings

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Return To The Sabbat
Black Widow Heavy Prog

Review by Sagichim
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

1 stars This came to me as a big surprise, i was looking forward to hearing this, because of all the big ratings and positive reviews, and of course i love heavy prog, this must be a winner!! I sat down and started listening, the sound was dated and muddy but ok, as 'In Ancient Days' progressed i was starting to worry, the song ended after 9 minutes and except for some sax fillers and sax solo that song was mainly a long verse and a long chorus done a few times, no great guitars, no great drumming and even that sax couldn't save the song from being a total disaster. That was the longest not progressive song i ever heard. After i finished listening to the album i thought "maybe i wasn't in the mood..." But after i listened to the music a couple of times more, i understood this is one of the worst albums i heard. The sound is hideous, just below average and that hurts the music a lot, although it was released in 1998, they still couldn't do much for it, i guess the recording was very bad.

The music is mainly heavy, definitely not progressive, doesn't hold any changes or good solos, there are just a collection of songs with some jazzy parts here and there, including some saxophone and some flutes too, guitar is unnoticeable, includes one solo the whole album, but mainly plays rhythm. Keys are not bad but nothing to mention, the rhythm section is straight forward, just keeping a beat going on. If i'll have to strain my self and think of a good part i would say there is a nice jazzy moment in 'sacrifice', but come on...'Come to the Sabbat' is maybe a little unconventional with it's tribal rhythm, ritualistic vocals, the flute and some kindergarden keys. Should have stayed in the sixties and never come out.

Rise high fall hard, as i was expecting this to be a masterpiece it turned out to be a real floop. sometimes i'm wondering if i have the same cd as other reviewers. Maybe best try to go for their debut which was recorded in 1970 and can contain better recording, this was recorded at 69. Nothing at all for progers who seeks interesting music.

 Sacrifice by BLACK WIDOW album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.64 | 137 ratings

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Sacrifice
Black Widow Heavy Prog

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars Quite an amazing time capsule, Sacrifice brings out the 60s grooves, the Jethro Tull flute solos, and Aleister Crowley inspired Satan-themed lyrics. There was definitely a growing interest in the occult back then, with the Age of Aquarius coming to a close and groups like Coven, Black Sabbath and this group hitting the scene along with bald dudes like Anton Lavey spouting stuff. But for the bands exploring these elements, they often took wildly different routes in order to capture that freaky occult aura.

Sacrifice plays almost like a celebration of the black arts, unlike Sabbath's early material in which the message was more akin to "mess with evil and you are DOOMED". Almost every tune in Sacrifice seems to be about a quest for power through satanic rituals. In fact, the word "power" is said so often throughout this opus that it could be a drinking game. There's also the yearning for some far-out sex with a demon babe. The music itself complements the lyrics by giving everything a joyous vibe, as if it's an invitation to join the party, have a couple of bong hits, watch a sacrifice and get naked. The music is barely even rock at times, more of a breezy jazz & tribal folk hybrid with some rock thrown in that sounds much more like H.P. Lovecraft than heavy rock blues. Basically, Satan's a swingin' guy who likes to have a good time, as opposed to plodding along to Ozzy's wails or sitting around with screaming grim kids in their parents' basement.

Some highlights include the really sweet saxophone playing within the opening track, the jazzy mid-section of Seduction, and the killer chorus of Attack Of The Demon. I love that cool "na na na na" stuff backing up Kip's desperate strains. Of course, one can't talk about this album without mentioning Come To The Sabbat and its hilarious yet creepy chant. Again, what makes something like this work is how the music shuns the heavy and terrifying sludge riffs for a much lighter and sometimes progressive tone. Without the horror music, the lyrics alone become more of a focus, making Sacrifice an odd, disturbing yet weirdly appealing adventure. In the end, it's all silly stuff with keys of Solomon, ancient tomes, sacrificial daggers and cute princesses from castles of fire. Of course, silly can be fun, and in this case, it is.

 Sacrifice by BLACK WIDOW album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.64 | 137 ratings

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Sacrifice
Black Widow Heavy Prog

Review by Bonnek
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Black Widow is a legendary band from the UK with notorious satanic content in lyrics, image, stage show and artwork, and even beating Black Sabbath to it according to certain sources. Well, I care as less for satanic content as I care for Christian content so let's stay with the music, which is far from anything satanic or heavy, by today's standards at least.

Sacrifice is a fine proto-prog album, sometimes hesitating between the psychedelic pop of the 60s and jazz-influenced 70s rock with progressive tendencies. The frequent use of flutes sometimes reminds of early Jethro Tull but before long, a brass section or sweeping pop melody will show this music is still anchored in 60s songwriting and arrangements.

The songs are fairly catchy but rarely outstanding. The exceptions are the bluesy opener and the rocking closing track. The opening In Ancient Days should certainly be checked by grunge and stroner fans for its heavy blues qualitites, while the sax and mellotron will warm a progger's heart. The closing Sacrifice is more upbeat with extended jams, furious flutes and tasty organ abuse. If the entire album was of comparable quality this would have been a great gem but all songs that lie inbetween are average at best.

A must-hear for heavy rock and organ rock fans, but slightly dated and not consistent enough to inspire me for a more flattering rating.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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