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I don't think there was a single person that wasn't completely devastated upon first listen to Hatred for Mankind, a shocking and ballsy record that has few comparisons in their ambiguous genre. Some people cried that Dragged Into Sunlight would be the trailblazers of a new direction of extreme metal, and their live performances only reinforced this claim. DIS was in a position to deliver albums of such striking negativity and savagery that the entire scene would be forced to take notice. It was not meant to be, however, as WidowMaker fails thoroughly to live up to its predecessor. Now who am I to begrudge a band for changing their sound? The negativity in this review is not in relation to the musical differences between the two albums, but rather on the profound lack of enjoyment found in this release.
Despite the track list, there's only actually two parts to WidowMaker. There's "the clean part" and "the heavy part", and the problems start with the former. "Part I" is literally a 15 minute intro, with the only variance being the addition of a violin roughly half way through its duration, but isn't interesting enough to wait through the ~8 minutes of a repeating figure in the bass. This is one of the easiest songs to skip in the world, or even just an abridged version, there's no shift in the atmosphere after the start, listening to the first minute would more than adequate to prepare for the heavy part of the album.
Which brings us to "the heavy part". Which at first impact does a decent job of forgiving the ridiculous intro. The serial-killer sample is present with a bombastic doomy riff. It's definitely a riff you find yourself nodding your head to, and then we settle into a World Eater paced chug, which keeps the nodding going. All in all "Part II" is the best part of the album and something worth listening to, it's evokes a bit of the malevolence that endeared so many to the debut. It's important to note that that is one of the two time that this sound is heard, there's no chaotic release to be found here. This is where the boredom sets in though. A monotonous guitar chug cycles endlessly, and the guitar tone isn't powerful enough to really a real impact. That's my biggest issue with the album, the pace never changes. I'm sure it could be argued that there's an artistic reason for it, but once you become aware of it it's maddening. And whenever the tempo is briefly deviated from, you've already forgotten all the riffs from the rest of the album. The overlong closing of the album has a bit more enthusiasm than the intro, but the reverbed arpeggios are easy to be distracted from, a riff they could have just put in "Part II" closes out the album on something of a positive note.
WidowMaker is not a bad album, but at ten minutes shorter than Hatred For Mankind still manages to feel long, and while you'll enjoy the ride you won't remember a bit of it.