Friends of technical death metal will rejoice over the technically precise and relentlessly brutal wave of destruction resounding on the soon to be released debut EP from Widow’s Peak. The Canadians from Calgary, Alberta are still pretty much an underground tip but “Graceless” is a promising move to get this band more well-deserved attention.
The first tune Debt Collector gets down to business straight away: drum madness, melodious guitar melodies with a uniquely clear but not over-produced sound, background shredding and, most strikingly, varied and at times polyphonic vocals ranging from dark growls over high-pitched screams to pig squeals. Later on in the song we also get to enjoy a pleasingly warm and groovy drum sound that ties in perfectly with the breakdowns, and crisp guitar melodies.
CBT shines with a less bombastic sound; staccato-like riffs and a strong focus on complex bass lines and aggressively straight-forward drums create raw tension that carries throughout the entire song. But of course we also get a fair share of epic guitar melodies and rhythmic variation. Too bad that the scream at the very end seems a little un-creative in comparison to the rest of this audible feast.
The next song Overseer is simply nasty – but in the best way possible. Guitar and drums totally show off what they’ve got, with the rhythm grooving so contagiously that all you want is a mosh pit to open up right in front of you so you can dive straight in. Both screeching and growling vocals, compelling rhythmic variations and transitions as well as smashing cymbals are the cherries on top.
Headless really convinces with sometimes a bit slower and all the more intense rhythms that evoke a bit of tribal spirit and enticingly tie in with the screaming and squealing vocals. This song is simply fun and boasts with creative and masterly guitar motifs. Towards the end, the guitar takes the spotlight with a surprising and virtuosic solo: It explodes, without a doubt, exactly at the right place on this EP and simply makes you keen for what’s to follow even though a little bit of a breather certainly wouldn’t have hurt before moving on to Mother Misery.
This song is featured as a single on the band’s YouTube and definitely stands out a bit from the rest of the EP when it comes to sound. The guitar riff in the middle part nearly has a happy-sounding quality to it – in the context of the entire record maybe not entirely convincing. This verdict is, however, a musical first-world problem as the overall composition is absolutely inflammatory. Angrily hammering drums featuring interesting rhythmic breaks that are taken up by the vocals as well as a strong supporting bass and nicely raw guitars make Mother Misery a brutally wholesome treat.
The last song Graceless is musically speaking the exact opposite of graceless – irate shredding, furious hammering, loathsome screams and thrilling guitar motifs with a beautifully bright sound quality work together perfectly. The title track of the Widow’s Peak EP sparks with evil euphoria and enthrals as the dramatic highlight of the entire record. The drums galloping towards the end are really showcasing the dramatic and radiantly resounding guitar solo that, also at exactly the right time, slowly flows into a bittersweet reverberation, the trickling sound of hands letting go of the strings – and then silence. Brilliant.
Overall, it is apparent that there is very little which is not to love about this smashing EP debut – so I will leave it at this before this review becomes too much of a cheesy love letter. Fans of tech death bands like Necrophagist, Wormed or Dying Fetus should definitely give “Graceless” a spin and experience this groovy storm of masterly executed fury for themselves.