4.5 out of 5 Stars!
Not to be confused with Black Sabbath, Black Widow released its first album only a few weeks after Sabbath’s debut, and although both groups were formed in the U.K., both had similar names, and both relied heavily on occult-themed lyrics, the musical styles were as different as night and day.
Unlike Sabbath, Black Widow played mostly Progressive Rock with a touch of Psych, effortlessly floated between heavy and mellow passages, and rarely sounded “evil,” despite the lyrical content, which the band basically abandoned by the time of the second album to gain a wider fan base. In fact, the music on Sacrifice is sort of a cross between early Deep Purple (the Rod Evans era), Uriah Heep, and Birth Control (mostly due to the Hammond organ and guitar tones) mixed with Jethro Tull, Van Der Graaf Generator, and King Crimson (thanks to the liberal inclusion of flute, sax, and clarinet).
And to be honest, listening to this album nowadays, the lyrics on tunes such as “Come to the Sabbat,” “Attack of the Demon,” “Conjuration,” “In Ancient Days,” and the lengthy title tune, sound rather cheesy and tame, certainly nothing to bring about the roiling hot bed of controversy in today’s audience as they elicited in morality watchdog groups back in the 1970s.
“Come, come, come to the sabbat, come to the sabbat, Satan’s there…”
Seriously? As I said, cheesy and tame compared to today’s “evil” lyrics.
Regardless, lyrics aside, the tracks on Sacrifice are well-performed and enjoyable, with intriguing atmospheres and memorable melodies galore, and Black Widow certainly deserved wider acclaim instead of remaining so obscure.