Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
1.5-1 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.
On Fire
Cruz Del Sur
9/15/2005 - Review by: Eric Compton
Widow - On Fire - 2005 - Cruz Del Sur Music

Track Listing
1. An American Werewolf In Raleigh
2. The Preacher's Daughter
3. Here To Stay
4. Re-animate Her
5. Sinderella
6. Not Alone
7. Dead End
8. Misstery
9. Family Affair
10. I'll Bury You Alive
"From Paris To London, Now It's In Raleigh"

Raleigh's new wave old schoolers are back, raging and speed racing through ten horror filled tales, all backed by the talent and fury of Widow, who are quite possibly one of the finest new US bands to emerge on the scene in years. This extraordinary group of denim and leather has sprung free of the normal power metal trappings, really taking the traditional tapestry of their sound and mixing in so many other elements. From strong female lead vocals, calculated black metal wails, and a finely tuned NWOBHM vehicle to build on, Widow are off and running with the Devil, burning hot with their new effort "On Fire".

"On Fire" marks the group's sophomore effort, a blazing fury that burns with a power metal sensation. Fans of older bands like Iron Maiden and Saxon as well as newer groups like Wolf and Goddess Of Desire will be ecstatic over this release. This is really a top notch, top tier effort that leaves nothing unturned, really exploring every cavity and crevice of the heavy metal realms. As the fast paced output leaves plenty of room for necks-a-snappin', the gothic and powerful register of combo vocalists Lili and Wooten adds a more dynamic approach to the tried and tied power metal formula. Lili uses her soft register to adore every metal fan, from the slower, more creepy-crawly pace of "Here To Stay" to the more gothic tinged "Not Alone". While she is both soothing and sincere on that end of the spectrum she can display a huge amount of firepower with her up-tempo voice, really hammering home that NWOBHM feel on "An American Werewolf In Raleigh" and "Dead End".

While Lili is doing her damnest to outweigh the heavyweight female vocalists in the metal world, Johnny Wooten takes his shots as the classy extreme showman. With his black metal screams in full force, Wooten backs up Lili with a beauty and the beast soundscape, a building block that really allows for so much vocal experimentation. Along with the extreme effects comes his clean singing voice, a punky feel that really goes back to those early metal days of Warfare and smoother Bathory.

With this sort of voice as the "additional input", Widow comes across as the thinking man's power metal band, or if you will, the traditional, thinking man's extreme act. It could really go either way, which is the great thing about this East Coast megaband. They have the ability to conjure any metal vibe, any metal atmosphere. The group's songwriting is really based on the classical horror realms, with songs like "An American Werewolf In Raleigh" bringing to mind those Lon Chaney "Wolfman" images, or cuts like "Re-Animate Her" recalling vintage Frankenstein. "I'll Bury You Alive" could have been constructed from the works of Poe while "Here To Stay" could be based on a Matheson novel.

From excellent story telling to mature song structuring, Widow are just simply "on fire". These types of albums you remember hearing, you remember the songs, you remember the words. This is catchy, metal fun that few bands can create. With this new release the band should be well on their way to superstardom, possibly fitting in nicely once this new wave of American hardcore goes away in two years.

---EC 08.26.05


Carved in Stone
Pure Steel
Eric Compton9/26/2016
On Fire
Cruz Del Sur
Eric Compton9/15/2005

John Wooten IVEric Compton1/6/2012

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