Review: WHITE WIDOWS PACT – ‘True Will’ (New Damage)


WhiteWidowsPact-TrueWill-albumcoverartWithin seconds of the very first song, Brooklyn’s White Widow Pact will have you in a frenzy. Listening to True Will is like playing dizzy bat after a case of PBR and too much chili… thick, heavy, and unnerving. One of the best albums of the year. David Castillo‘s voice is so very full raw emotion, both Travis Bacon and Nick Emde provide you with an ample amount of glorious riffs, fat chugs, and not over-the-top look-at-me solos, only quick rippers. Brian Ponto must oil his bass with syrup with how hefty his bass work is and with the lively drumming of Kenny Appell they keep the record thrusting.

“Listening to True Will is like playing dizzy bat after a case of PBR and too much chili… thick, heavy, and unnerving. One of the best albums of the year.”

Landlord” does not hesitate to get the party started. As mentioned above, just mere seconds into it is all it takes. “Thirteen Years of War” features some squealing guitar riffs and deep chugs full of momentum. “Hangman” provides a bouncy hardcore tempo with heavy sludge undertones and saturating bass lines.  On “This Thing of OursCancer Bats singer Liam Cormier assists with outcries that sound if he was the one struck by the dizzy bat itself, just made of concrete instead of plastic. And the quick solo around the 2:40 mark screams like a homer that’s sailing outta the park.

The band is quite generous, offering a slight break with their “Interlude,” but that doesn’t last long as the guitars start chiming in with the rest of the instruments kicking in slowly but stepping up the pace. It cuts as the track changes into “No Exit,” but I cannot help but wonder where the ending of the “Interlude” was heading, it leaves you desolate in a questionable place. With a mid-paced build, “No Exit” erupts into a song that is made to mosh, stage dive, and sing along to. Learn the lyrics and do so if you are fortunate to see them live (highly recommended). A guitar solo sneaks in there and leaves just as quickly, just long enough to let you know it’s there and makes an impact right before the tracks fades out. Fading back in you would think the song was not over at all, but tricks you as the opening to “Blood and Smoke,” that features gut-wrenching screams from Sara Taylor of Youth Code. So very gut-wrenching that this song will leave you covered in blood.  “Undertaker” kicks off with a fury of noise before calming down, just a hair, and does not stop. Clocking in just under two minutes, it’s the shortest song on the album, but strikes hard and fast especially with added vocals from Aaron Heinold of the late grindcore outfit HIVESMASHER.

It sounds like Appell‘s had a lot of fun with the drums on this one and it carries onto the listener.  “Cruel and Unusual” is simply chugtastic, and when it’s not, the bending riffs (especially at the end) will stretch your listening capabilities longer then a well-muscled blonde man wearing a black speedo. The breakdown during “The Watch” is pure molasses, heavy and dark.  The “secret” song after “The Watch” (titled “Madigan” by the way) is a bit of a change from the rest of the album, most prominently the clean vocals, but there are electronics provided by Lee Bartow of Theologian. Repetitious affects and sounds, mixing of clean and harsh vocals and simply punishing guitar work all adds a good dynamic to close out the album.

This isn’t some smooth music here, this is extra chunky but tasty like good homemade jam. I have been patiently waiting since 2013, after the release their self-titled (available via their Bandcamp as a name-your-price offering), for more from White Widows Pact and when the announcement was made that a new album was coming, I was completely ecstatic. True Will is everything I was hoping for, they completely delivered. When a new band comes about and their first offering is amazing, you always get a bit nervous that the followup will not be as grand. Not the case here. The record drops this October on New Damage Records.

Rating: 5 Stars (5 / 5)

By: Matt Darcy
Band: BandcampFacebook
Order: CDDigital | Vinyl

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