UK band WIDOWS was formed back in the spring of 2008, and have gradually developed their craft ever since through live shows, some EP releases as well as a debut studio album that appeared a few years back. Come 2017 and they are eager to show off how far they have come with their second album “Oh Deer God”, which set to be released in mid-April.
This is a band that have opted to combine influences from two rather different kinds of music, with impulses from doom metal and what might be described as punk or hardcore making up the other part. The former dominant and the latter perhaps not quite as much, albeit given a dominant role.
The lead vocals follows the hardcore or possibly punk bent just about exclusively throughout. Shouted, raspy and aggressive vocals is a constant element, and one of the challenges this band has is to include them in a manner that is fitting rather than out of place in their primarily bouncy, rich layers of doom laden and often massive riffs. This time around the band manage to make a good blend on most occasions, although I suspect that on a cut such as Baron Greenback Blues the stronger emphasis on the shouted aggressive style vocals present may well require a strong fascination for hardcore and punk in general for this specific specimen to work out well in that blend; which as the title indicates is more of a classic blues based stoner or doom excursion as far as the instruments and general sound goes.
Elsewhere the band showcase a fine tendency to create ebb and flow movements in their songs, be it to move from classic doom metal to modern stoner rock and slow, molasses style sludgy metal or to up the pace and hit a more punk and hardcore oriented, tightly flowing run inside a doom metal context. Personally I actually found the more purebred hardcore oriented cut Caffeine and Hatred to be the most intriguing of the songs, hardcore with a doom metal undertone an interesting and most certainly energetic combination.
Those fond of music described as doom metal, stoner rock or desert rock, to drop some of the more or less well known genre names out there in the ever increasing genre jungle, should find Widows second album to be a tasteful one. A rather successful instance of doom metal with a punk and hardcore attitude, and one worth spending half an hour to inspect if you have a general tendency to enjoy music of this specific kind.
My rating: 8/10
Oh Deer God; Caffeine and Hatred; Heresy and Venom; Blue Tuna; Ride to the Realm of Coitus; Baron Greenback Blues; Germanium Buzz