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Album Review: Widower – Cataclysmic Sorcery

Hailing from the burning climate of Austin, Texas comes the blackened thrash act Widower, with emphasis on the blackened side. Having released three EPs since formation in 2011, they’ve returned to cough up their debut full-length effort Cataclysmic Sorcery. Really, the main thrash leaning aspect is the capitalization on the riff-work which incorporates the same sturdy rhythm patterns that many a Bay Area act aimed for.

The rest of this is purely a dark and terrorizing bulk of blasphemy. The drum patterns are showered with blast beats, which should be expected. The true standout with this is the skillful ability to weave them in and out of the steadier beats behind the thrashier riffs without them sounding out of place. Moreover, those vocals are absolutely nasty, without sneaking a single hint of cleanliness in. “Hell Sent” is easily one of the best songs here with the way it progresses. It starts out sounding exactly like a Slayer song and progressively coats it with blackness more and more, all backed by booming bass work.

Not everything works quite that well, though. While the disc is a little bit stagnant with few spots that jump out, that isn’t much of an issue since an effort like Cataclysmic Sorcery can only go so many directions; plus, it isn’t super long either. Death metal growls in “Mandatory Immolation” or “Into The Crypt” sometimes feel forced, but aren’t hard to sail right on past. The only glaring flaw is in “Fornicate Upon Mass Graves” with its throaty croaks in the vein of Immortal that don’t flow at all. Everything else is sharp enough to bare clean cuts of heavy intensity.

For such a blistering release, I must give Widower credit for taking concise songwriting approaches. It may not be anything mind-blowing or overly innovative, but the execution is spot on save for the few spots that I mentioned. For those seeking out a fast and ferocious ride through a dark cave of blasphemy, this is has got your name written right on it.

Cataclysmic Sorcery will be out through Black Market Metal on May 24th, 2019. It can be found through the label or on Bandcamp in CD and vinyl, as well as digitally.

Editor Grade

B+

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