Monday, December 5, 2011

Black Widow - Sleeping With Demons (2011)

I was raised with music, heavy progressive, pulsating, weed-smelling Brit-rock from the seventies. That and psychedelic pop, coming from my youthful obsession of Beatles, The Move and much later American legends The Beach Boys. But my heart has always been with the progressive movement, especially if the played on atmosphere and with songs longer than ten minutes. It's been an adventure rediscovering these classics but one group that stayed hidden from me until quite recently was Black Widow, the notorious "Satanic" rock group that shocked the audiences with staged rituals and occult lyrics. I fell in love with Sacrifice directly, a brilliantly written and performed satanic saga. Even if Black Widow III drastically departed from the satanic way, I appreciate it as much because of it's psychedelic pop - and King of Hearts has since then become one of my favourite compositions of Jim Gannon. I actually thought that was everything, that the demons of Black Widow never would unleash themselves on the earth again...

...until the cinematic nerd-genius Jason sent me an MMS with a photo of a NEW Black Widow-album, Sleeping With Demons. I hurried to the iTunes store and bought it within minutes. Now, I'll admit that this could have ended up in something very bad. Imagine yourself a couple of old farts getting together and pretend to be young again. But that's the good thing with Black Widow. That wasn't even that modern and "fresh" at the time, they stayed away from that bullshit and did their own stuff so far away from the normal crap being released on vinyl. So what we have here is an album that sounds - with a few minor problems - like it should sound: satanic 1970.

The album consists of 15 song, and I can honestly say that there was just of them I didn't like. Even the Devil Gets the Blues is one of them, which is a bad embarrassing because it has original Kay Garret doing the singing - which is awesome, but I'm just not that fond of this kind of blues. I'm sure others will like it more. The second is Party time for Demons, mostly because it's silly. I was thinking constantly of Spinal Tap (which, by itself, is a good thing). I'm sure the band glanced at Spinal Tap once or twice during the making of this album, which just makes it even better - but Party time for Demons is just a bit to lightweight for me. To much rock & roll the bad way.

BUT the rest of the album, wow! Black Widow has gone back to their roots for most of the songs, but isn't afraid to send out some winks to the modern audience. The first track, with Tony ‘The Cat’ Martin doing guest vocals is a perfect, powerful start filled leading to the catchy track Sleeping With Demons. My favourite track so far is Portal To Hell, but prepare for an album filled with theatrical singing, occult references for the whole family, dramtic interludes, nods to the original albums and last, but maybe most important, a lot of pure love and respect for their own past.

There's a sense of "what the fuck", which both includes a small dose of self-distance and a goal to make something that the fans want without pretending to be twenty five again. They succeeded, which very few bands to after such a long time. This is not Sacrifice, but it wasn't the plan either. This is Sleeping With Demons, take it or leave it! I just wish this means them going out on tour, because I - and many others - would love to see them in Stockholm!

Visit their homepage, feel the atmosphere and then go and buy the album at the nearest store or through iTunes!

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