White Widows - White Widows
Newly formed, but composed of veterans of their respective scenes, NYC-based White Widows is only the 2nd act to release material under the relatively new label Sacrament Music, which was started by the owners of the incredibly popular St. Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. Given the region, the typical St. Vitus live far and (this is cheating, I know) the band press kit, expecting a big slab of hardcore metal isn't hard to do. However, White Widows is abnormal in it's approach to the style. Or the variety of styles, I should say.
These 6 tracks are certainly rooted in hardcore foundations, especially from the throat of vocalist David Castillo. The real divergence from this core comes in the stylistic variances; bits of sludge, stoner, doom, and even a fair share of melodic death metal mix in an unusually potent manner. Instead of sounding forced, the chemistry is 100% intact, and the songs have a very unique and enjoyable flavor as a result. Opener "Ace Rothstien" (an apparent nod to a character from a favorite show of mine, Boardwalk Empire) kicks out a slamming mid-paced groove that is overlayed with higher tempo guitar runs and a fiery closing solo. Accessible in a way that one wouldn't expect, so well written is this and each of the 5 remaining tracks. Each element of the band makes it all work, from Castillo's steady and powerful screams to guitar work that subtly masks big, juicy hooks and leads under a barrage of fine timekeeping and prominent bass lines.
A real team effort, indictive of the talent of each band member makes White Widows and their debut EP an enjoyable sum of their parts. These tracks bring the sharp aggression of stock hardcore and fuse them with carefully weighed doses of accessibility and larger-than-a-local-scene melodies. There's no doubt in this reviewer's mind that White Widows is a worthwhile purchase for those unafraid of progressively-tilted hardcore, or simply anyone who appreciates a good dose of damn good metal.
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