The Widow’s Bane: Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Only Death

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I must admit, when I first heard of Widow’s Bane, I had my fair share of reservations, as one might about a band that introduces themselves as members of the living dead. An incredible performance at FocoMX and the band’s latest album, however, has proven to me that there is nothing wrong with a little death in your life. Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Only Death is a grotesquely attractive release (their first since 2009), something that is so seemingly dark, yet is quite impossible not to dance to. The album appears to be an experiment of epic originality: What would happen if Tom Waits were to front Gogol Bordello during the zombie apocalypse? Mortimer Leech’s deep, throaty vocals and Madame Reaper’s ‘zills, bills, screams and sex appeal’ offer a unique answer. “Old Bayou” and “Zyrah” give only a small taste of the party that should be expected during the band’s June 8 album release at Hodi’s Half Note, supported by In the Whale and Electric Shoes.
—Charlie Anderson