Missing in action from the studio, yet still active is North Carolina's Widow, returning with their latest and fifth album Carved In Stone, once more on Germany's Pure Steel label. The band and album arrive with a new drummer Robbie Mercer backing up vocalist and bass player John E. Wooten IV and lead guitarist Chris Bennett.
But not much else has changed for Widow. The band still plays classic heavy metal, something akin to the American side of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, brought forward some 35 years or so. They just do it as a power trio, instead of twin guitar harmony. Everything else that defines traditional metal remains: bold and assertive riffage, a rumbling rhythm section, clean vocals and good vocal harmonies, and burning guitar solos. All these are wrapped up in some rock groove and, at times, speed. At times Widow reminds me of Sweden's Grand Magus, only with more rock groove. As for the songs, with one exception, they're all pretty much riff monsters with pacing swaying between brisk to galloping. Not to dismiss the rhythm section, but everything about the Widow sound is very guitar forward with an abundance of riffage and solos. The odd man out is Time On Your Side, a simple metal ballad, mostly vocals over acoustic guitar, eventually leading to a sweet guitar solo.
Bottom line: if you like the American side of "keep it true" classic melodic heavy metal, then Widow's Carved In Stone is spot on target and should be on your "must buy" list. Recommended.
If you like the American side of "keep it true" classic melodic heavy metal, then Widow's Carved In Stone is spot on target and should be on your "must buy" list. Recommended.
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