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Widows > Death Valley Duchess > Reviews > Lane
Widows - Death Valley Duchess

Desert rock from Nottingham. Hmm... - 58%

Lane, January 16th, 2014

Put on your shorts and sunglasses, and do not forget to grab a lot of water and rub some litres of sunscreen on your body! Why? Because it's desert rock time and we're going to Death Valley, thanks to Nottingham, England's Widows. Well, I think it's better to grab an umbrella and dress warmly enough...

Widows' high-octane desert rock smells of Kyuss, Alabama Thunderpussy and why not a bit of Clutch and Corrosion Of Conformity, too. Widows belong to Desert Scene, which is a promotion group dedicated to "all that is down-tuned and fuzzed out." Their rock is rather heavy for its kind, as it contains heavy metal bits, like riffs and guitar harmonies, plus some more extreme vocals.

So, the guitar riffs... They are either heavy and hammering, or more loose stuff played in higher guitar scales. The guitar tone is warm and thick, and the material played in the latter style is a tad twangy in Josh Homme way. There's also lot of squeaks to be heard. I'd say it's pretty much fifty-fifty with the heavier and the looser playing. The rhythm section surely provide a sturdy backbone for the guitar work. Both the bass and the drums are definitely organic-sounding and loud. The rhythms differ from robust rock outs to more swinging ones. The vocals vary from kind of a stoner-Elvis style to raspy shouting and bellowing. There is no more Glenn Danzig idolizing in the voice, but Entombed's L-G Petrov (the band's more rocking era), Xysma's Janitor and ex-Corrosion Of Conformity's Pepper Keenan seem to be big influences.

The songs themselves aren't totally straight, but may contain quite a bit of parts and breaks. The biggest hindrances of the compositions are, ultimately, their undistinguishability from each other and that that they are not very catchy. They aren't similar from part to part, but the band does not really offer that much of varying tricks (if not counting the title song, which is about a distorted guitar, bass and spoken words).

While the band can surely rock and they do sound cool, as well as the production of this album does, this is mainly just too forgettable stuff. Their 2010 EP 'Raise the Monolith' had 3 of the songs that appear here, and a doomier one. It was also quite a lot dirtier, at least vocals-wise. The EP worked better than this full-length. I hope the band can go for some variety next time around!

(Originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com)