Forrest Gump famously said that “life is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get.” There’s some truth to that. There’s also some truth to this:
Life is like a box of hand grenades with a few of the pins pulled, and you don’t know if you’ve lifted out a live one until it goes off and leaves a bloody stump in place of your arm.
Fortunately, Widow Sunday‘s 2010 album In These Rusted Veins is more like a box of chocolates. From song to song, you don’t know what you’re gonna get, but it’s all sweet. Every now and then, it also blows your arm off.
Sometimes we read album reviews that criticize bands for playing too many different styles of metal on the same album. Sometimes, the criticism is that the band isn’t good enough to pull off all the genre-jumping. Sometimes, it just seems the reviewer thinks a band ought to define its sound and stick to it — apparently for no good reason.
Widow Sunday apparently sees no good reason to be defined by one style or another. They’re also talented enough to pull of a mix of styles without falling flat on any one of them. In These Rusted Veins is almost like a mixtape or a playlist of different bands, except it’s the same band. And they go far beyond simply not falling flat — they crush everything.
In fact, the one constant on the album, despite an impressive range of musical flavors, is that all the songs make you wanna jump up and start bouncing — or slamming into things. (more after the jump, including a track to hear . . .)
You want something with start-stop hammering, a la Meshuggah, with a big hooky chorus, a nice bass sweep, off-kilter machine-gunning on the drums, and an industrial vibe — kind of like Fear Factory or Alien-era Strapping Young Lad, but without the clean singing? Try “Forever Sleep”.
You want fast, distorted rhythms, with copter-blade whumping, more stuttering chugs, and an industrial vibe (kind of like Ministry)? Listen to “Swell the Seas”. Or if you’d like a synthesizer-driven dance beat in that quasi-industrial mix, try “Blood Money”.
How ’bout a somber piano melody? “Tragoedia”.
Perhaps you’re in the mood for a song that verges on deathcore, with a big breakdown that features downtuned battering, gang shouts, and even a pig squeal or two? That would be “Hippie Drill”.
Maybe you’ve got a metalcore jones that needs to be satisfied, but you don’t want any clean singing fucking up your hardcore attitude or your mixture of instrumental melody and pummeling riffage? Play “Truth Be Told” or “Vive Ut Vuvas”.
Or maybe you want a hint of melodeath, with a pulsing, thrashy pace, a very cool guitar solo, and crazy drumming? Dive into “In the Silence”.
Is there anything ground-breakingly original on this album? That would probably be pushing it too far. How much does that matter to us? Not much. Why? Because the album is so much fun to hear, from start to finish.
The instrumental work on In These Rusted Veins is tight and capable, the songs are an infectious brew of shuddering verses and melodic choruses, and the production is top-notch, delivering a powerful punch — clear and defined when it needs to be, and a distorted cacophony when the song calls for it. And in the vocal department, Jacob Falconer proves himself to be a human chameleon with an impressive range — moving from hardcore howls to death-metal growls to almost-melodic yowls.
If you’ve been following what we’re trying to say, then you’ll understand why we can’t pick a song that’s an adequate representation of the album as a whole. But pick one we will. And here it is:
Data: Widow Sunday is from central Massachusetts. The album was produced and engineered by Shane Frisby (Bury Your Dead, Cannae, The Ghost Inside) and mixed and mastered by Peter Rutcho (Revocation, The Year of Our Lord, Ravage). You can buy In These Rusted Veins as a download from Amazon MP3 or iTunes, or as a CD from Rat Pak Records at this location.
You can hear more songs from the album at the band’s MySpace page. Or, if you’re lazy like us, you can just stay on this page and use the widget below (the first two songs are from the new album, the second two from an earlier release):