Black Widow

III

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

These guys have sometimes been described as a Black Sabbath-like band, and the name Black Widow itself invites a comparison. Yet if that had any validity at the start of their career, by this, their third album, they really sounded more like solid mid-level British prog rockers than satanic hard rockers. This is really closer to early King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer territory than Black Sabbath, given their lengthy, shifting compositions; stress on forceful organ and vocal harmonies; substantial jazz, classical, hard guitar rock, and folk influences; and the color supplied by Clive Jones' sax and flute. Not that Black Widow is that close to ELP and King Crimson, and the tunes on III aren't nearly as stick-in-the-brain as the songs penned by those two groups in their early days -- but they're respectable within that style. Perhaps some of their supposed satanic mindset is still evident in the opening three-part epic "The Battle," divided into The Onslaught, If a Man Should Die, and Survival sections. Otherwise that isn't evident, and occasionally the tunes are rather cheerful, as on "The Sun." The lack of annoying stentorian qualities in Kip Trevor's lead vocals removes this further from standard hard rock territory. There are even some traces of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young to be heard in "Old Man," although it was a bad idea to end that tune with quotes from "Hey Jude." This was reissued as a 180-gram gatefold LP by Get Back in 2000.