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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Widow

Nightlife

Review by G. W. Hill

This album really is genre bending. A lot of the disc is in keeping with the NWOBHM sound of early Iron Maiden and yet they include death growls and hair metal in the mix. This is a good album that’s quite entertaining.
Track by Track Review
First Born

This reminds me a lot of “Wrathchild” from Iron Maiden. It’s a great straight ahead metal number with just a little punk in the mix. There’s a little bit of near death growling on this later, though.

We Will Meet Again
There’s more of a raw extreme metal feeling to a lot of this, perhaps like Mercyful Fate. Still we get some of that early Maiden sound later, too.
Beware the Night
Another that is cut from cloth that’s quite similar to old Maiden, the vocals get pretty raw at times, but in a good way.
The Teacher's Pet
They don’t change anything around too much here, but this is a fairly raunchy little sex romp. This kind of music doesn’t seem too well suited to this kind of pedestrian lyrical approach, but the track works reasonably well nonetheless.
Cult of Life
They bring it in with a more ballad-like approach, but there’s a dark air to this. It’s mellow, but quite tasty. I can hear early Maiden on this, but also Metallica a bit. It’s got a powered up segment to it, but overall this is really a power ballad – at least for the first half. The second portion of the track is a black metal stomper with some 1980’s hair metal thrown in for good measure. We get a reprise of the opening segment to end it. 
I'll Make You a Star
More like Mercyful Fate, this is a raunchy rocker that’s quite raw. It’s not as sophomoric in terms of lyrics as “The Teacher’s Pet” but also focuses on sexuality. 
At the End
Bass leads us in and this is a musically more mainstream number. It’s got a little bit of a hair metal element to it, but is also meatier than that. There’s a cool bass driven bridge on this.
Beauty Queen
This is interesting in the contrast that it presents. In some ways it’s basically a straightahead 1980’s metal number, complete with a drop down to balladic mid track. But some of the vocals are more extreme in a black metal way making this is a bit unusual. That balladic section is quite intricate and pretty, too. 
Nightlife
The motif on the title track isn’t that different from the rest of the music here, but it still doesn’t feel samey. It’s a good tune.
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
The first of two covers on the set, they start this Van Halen tune off with the “Eruption” solo that traditionally leads it off and play the music pretty true to form. The death growls on the chorus bring an intriguing contrast to the number, though.
I Stole Your Love
“I Stole Your Love” is one of my favorite Kiss songs. I’ve always dug this one. This is a fairly raw take. Somehow the death vocals work better on this. I wouldn’t say that I like this as much as the original, but it’s definitely a cool take on the familiar number.
 
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