WHITE WIDOWS PACT storms out of the gates as though they're a crew of maniacal headless horsemen galloping after you with savage intent the second that "Landlord" begins. Their delivery is nothing less than vicious, but "True Will", their debut full-length and follow-up to a self-entitled EP, is far from being a barrage of senseless noise. The songs are well-structured, climactic, catchy and addictive.
The sounds indigenous to their stomping grounds, past and present, inform the band's direction. The in-your-face energy of New York hardcore, as well as the rich heaviness of modern metallic hardcore, mesh with dirty, thick southern sludge (guitarist Nick Emde, formerly of THE DESTRO, is from Texas). Yet another key component the band acknowledges is the cacophony of nineties-era Earache-styled death metal that merges seamlessly with everything else.
There should be little surprise that the band is this good considering that their singer is David Castillo, also of PRIMITIVE WEAPONS, who is constantly surrounded by great music since he co-owns the infamous Saint Vitus bar, one of the nation's prime venues for hardcore and metal that recently showcased a NIRVANA reunion. It's only logical that he would have high expectations of those he would create music with. And "True Will" proves that the Brooklyn-based band is one of the most important new bands in heavy music.
Castillo's screams are heartfelt, belted out as if he is living his last day on Earth, and they lead the charge of crunchy riffs that will surely lead many to clench their lips together while nodding their heads. The main riffs in "Hangman" and "Cruel and Unusual" may bounce around the walls of listeners' brains for days. And the METALLICA-esque interlude provides sufficient breathing room amidst the fracas and hints at more dynamic avenues the band may choose to explore in the future, and adeptly so, as does the album's hidden track which is highlighted by impassioned melodic vocals as well as an ambient and experimental quality reminiscent of mid and latter-day NAPALM DEATH.