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Black Widow - Sacrifice CD (album) cover


Black Widow


Heavy Prog

3.71 | 176 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Formed from the ashes of Leicester-based psych, soul & r'n'b combo Pesky Gee, Black widow endured an incident-packed if somewhat truncated career that produced, amongst other things, four studio albums of varying quality, a large and loyal fanbase in Italy, a whole load of controversy(thanks, in part, to The Sun newspaper) and a starring role in-front of nearly 100,000 people at the inaugural Isle of Wight festival. Why Black Widow never 'made it' seems almost like a moot point; their cult status has been assured through the ages for many reasons and now, in the 21st century, almost 40 years after Pesky Gee first started out, this strange, occult-obsessed band are finally getting the restrospective kudos all good bands deserve.

Pesky Gee released their debut album, 'Exclamation Mark'(or '!', for the purists out there) in 1969 to little fanfare or commercial gain. The album did, however, showcase a fulsome and eclectic mixture of styles from a collection of obviously rather-talented individuals who were led by the enigmatic vocalist and lyricist Kip Trevor. 'Exclamation Mark' blended funky, organ-coated R'n'B with psychedelia and a smattering of jazzy hues very nicely, with the group showing off an array of muscular musical chops that eschewed the light-and-fluffy sounds of British psychedelia for a more Americanized sound that seemed to bridge the gap between Psych and Prog. The next logical move was embrace the new 'Progressive' musical scene that was storming Britain at the time and thus Black Widow were born in early 1971, when 'Sacrifice' was released following sessions with Pat Meehan Jr and future Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker. For 'Sacrifice' Kip Trevor was augmented by Jim Gannon(guitar), Zoot Taylor(organ, piano), Clive Jones(sax, flute, clarinet), Bob Bond(bass) and Clive Box(drums), which was basically the line-up of Pesky Gee with a few additions. The album featured much accomplished musicianship and a jazzy edge prevalent on their previous material, but was also much more ambitious both musically and lyrically, with main songwriters Kip Trevor and Jim Gannon basing their songs on occult teachings and black magic rituals, themes that would fall foul of the era's moral majority(remember, this is the early seventies). Both Trveor and Gannon would, on occasion, maybe take their obsession with these mysterious subjects a bit too far, leading to the band being subject of a nasty front-page 'moral panic' story from those purveyors of moral standards, 'The Sun' newspaper, thanks to a particular gig in which the band tied a naked 'virgin' to an altar and proceeded to act out a blood-bathed sacrifice(!). However, the music does always speak for itself and Black Widow's brand of fulsome progressive rock is strong enough for one to ignore the occasional literal abberation. Sacrifice is not a classic album, but it's a very good one, featuring at least four excellent examples(i.e. songs) of their style and, is possibly, their best album. STEFAN TURNER, LONDO, 2010

stefro | 3/5 |


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