Black Widow
Black Widow


4.5
superb

Review

by Aaron Arneson CONTRIBUTOR (108 Reviews)
April 24th, 2013 | 66 replies | 2,070 views


Release Date: 1971 | Tracklist

Review Summary: As infectious as the most potent spider bite, Black Widow’s sophomore album doesn’t disappoint.

There are over 40,000 known species of spiders in the world, but few of them can even come close to matching the fierceness of the black widow. Its venom is packed with potent neurotoxins that could easily kill a human if left untreated. Maybe it seems like I’m rambling, but I think it’s important to mention a progressive band who happen to share the same name with the infamous arachnid. Being exposed to them may not result in a trip to the emergency room, but their bite is every bit as infectious.

All analogies aside, Black Widow formed in England during the late ’60s as a 6-piece progressive rock act. Following the release of their phenomenal Sacrifice in 1970, the band put out their tragically overlooked self titled album. Although it can’t quite stack up to the brilliance of the band’s debut and the satanic imagery is basically absent this time around, the listening experience isn’t any less exciting. This is thanks in part to the fantastic vocals of Kip Trevor who helped spice up the band’s debut. However, it also seems to be the creative use of organs, flutes, and saxophones that really bring their sophomore album to life.

Those looking for another track in the form of ‘Come to the Sabbat’ won’t find it. Instead, they will be blown away by the funky nature of ‘Poser’ which contains flute work very reminiscent of Jethro Tull over some organs and groovy guitars. Not only is the instrumentation top notch, but Kip Trevor also lets out his most demanding vocal performance on the record as he loudly sings against posers. ‘Mary Clark’ is another definite standout, and it’s just as enjoyable as it is unique. A simple but effective guitar pattern is played repeatedly as the band build tension into an unpredictable ending to the song . The final minute of the track is spastic to say the least, with Kip’s vocals becoming increasingly manic and the instrumentation kicking into full force.

Much like Sacrifice, Black Widow’s self titled LP is highly consistent, making it difficult to just point out a few key tracks. It’s one of those albums that just sounds best when heard in its entirety. However, the opening track ‘Tears and Wine’ is surely worth mentioning, as it contains some breathtaking saxophone work courtesy of Clive Jones. Although Jones sounds great throughout the album as he spices songs up with flutes and the sax, he really steals the show on the album’s opener, getting things off to a strong start.

Black Widow is an album that manages to be unpredictable, yet it never disappoints. At first, the slight change in sound from their previous album takes some time to digest, but once it does the infection begins to spread faster than a spider’s venom paralyzes its victims. Whether it be the gang vocals on ‘When My Mind was Young’ or the funky vibe of ‘Poser’, the album is full of surprises. Some may think they were playing it safe after the occult-themed Sacrifice, but this assumption is rather misleading. While the band were hoping to reach a wider audience with this release, songs like the unconventional ‘Mary Clark’ or the risky ‘Poser’ suggest they were doing anything but playing it safe. It’s another outstanding release by Black Widow that takes on a new direction musically, but without abandoning the band’s highly original sound.



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user ratings (8)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2013



19464 Comments


full album stream:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7IBkB_2YJs

as always feedback/constructive criticism is always appreciated. I highly recommend this album to anybody who likes jethro tull or just hard rock/progressive music in general. Sacrifice is essential as well and just a tad better than this.

Digging: The Who - Tommy

SlMBOLlC
April 24th 2013



4832 Comments


Proggin hard. I have "sacrifice"

Would pos but you've moved higher up in the world ;)

DrHouseSchuldiner
April 24th 2013



5643 Comments


Nice rev ... i love prog/hard rock so will check this one pretty soon

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2013



19464 Comments


thanks guys.

@DrHouse, be sure to check sacrifice as well actually prolly start with sacrifice cause it's so damn good then listen to this one ;)



manosg
April 24th 2013



5731 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review Atari, you really love these guys. I like this album as much as their debut. It's more
rocking, more kraut and less satanic as you mentioned.

DrHouseSchuldiner
April 24th 2013



5643 Comments


Sweet,thanks dude for the recommendation

ViralOblivion
April 24th 2013



7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review man There's a spider if it bites you it causes you to have really painful erections and then you die

True story

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2013



19464 Comments


@manosg, thanks man yeah i love them this is actually a potential 5 too but i haven't heard it as much as sacrifice so still can't decide.

@viral, thanks bud. also..what?! lol

ViralOblivion
April 24th 2013



7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah its crazy lol they're actually studying it for erectile dysfunction I'm pretty sure it's actually the most deadly spider in the world technically cause its fast as fuck also and can jump a good 4-5 inches

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2013



19464 Comments


what's it called? and where'd you hear about this lol that's weird

ViralOblivion
April 24th 2013



7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

When I watched wild things its a show

ViralOblivion
April 24th 2013



7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

And I forgot the name

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2013



19464 Comments


no worries. is that show on netflix cause that would be interesting to see hah

ViralOblivion
April 24th 2013



7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

No it's not but what's cool about it it's Dominic Monaghan (Meri from Lord of the Rings/Charlie from Lost) and his own Steve Irwin-esque show but mainly with bugs, snakes, spiders, lizards but he's actually really smart he knows his shit haha and he does some ballsy shit with the creatures

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2013



19464 Comments


Damn sounds cool I'll have to check it out

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2013



20007 Comments


Excellent review bro.

I listened to this on Spotify a while ago but I'm not as familiar with it as I am with their debut so I'll give it another listen at some point.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2013



19464 Comments


thanks JT glad you liked it.

you should definitely rate it if you listen again because this album deserves more than 5 ratings!

Mad.
April 24th 2013



3587 Comments


Dom Monaghan is a brilliant guy.

Will definitely check the shit out of this

Digging: Dwellers - Pagan Fruit

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2013



19464 Comments


It really is. I'm almost to the point where it's hard to choose between this and sacrifice.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
April 24th 2013



19464 Comments


yeah but just barely. i could see myself 5'ing this



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