9 Jan


What we can recommend wholly is that you listen to the excellent creepshow of an album that is “Prophecy of the Black Widow” by UMBERTO.

Harder to recommend is the set and setting appropriate for the unveiling of this “Prophecy.”


The opening minutes of opening track “The Temple Room” prepare – or warn – the listener for the fact that this is a dark ride, in case you missed the album title, the wonderful, evocative color-separation errors of the giallo-referencing album cover, or the the titles of the numbers that follow once you leave the temple (“Widow of the Web,” “Black Candles,” “Night Stalking”).

And then something strange happens – although one has to imagine that with Umberto, there is nearly always something strange happening. Your dark journey feels suddenly not so threatening at all. Rather, it feels right, comfortable, not familiar, perhaps, but somehow welcoming. Huge ropes of synths are connected by bass and beats certain to make firm and permanent connections in your mind. “Hey, this ain’t so scary,” you say wordlessly, to no one, to everyone. “Hell … I could probably even dance to this!” Your declaration leads to a 3:00 a.m. display of the tics of thrusts that you call “dancing,” which others would call troubling, possibly involuntary body movements that make Saint Vitus look like Jackie Wilson.

The prophecy unfolds. The embrace of “The Black Widow” is complete, welcoming the vision of another unsuspecting victim.

Listen: Your mileage may vary, your set and setting as well. But here in “Revolt of the Apes” headquarters of Richmond, Virginia, I picked this album up at a great record store on a Friday night, moments after having a chance encounter with perhaps my favorite living musician from another planet, only minutes before a midnight snowfall was soundtracked by the live attack of possibly the heaviest band on this planet, and coinciding with the 11th anniversary of the day I made a vow to my beautiful bride that I promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, both in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others*. “The Prophecy of the Black Widow” has been the moonlight soundtrack for the two nights that followed, perfect accompaniment for constructing your own infinity machine.

As the final track says: “Everything Is Going to Be Okay.”


Download “Temple Room” by Umberto, from the album “Prophecy of the Black Widow”

* except, of course, Joan Jett (Ms. Jett’s love currently unrequited).

P.S. – If you are in the Richmond, VA, area, or happen to be rolling fast down I-95 (supersonic, overdrive) this coming Thursday evening, please come out to see this show featuring Gull. You will not regret it, or your money back. Tell your friends.


“The Devil is not the Prince of Matter; the Devil is the arrogance of the spirit, faith without smile, truth that is never seized by doubt. The Devil is grim because he knows where he is going, and, in moving, he always returns whence he came.”
Umberto Eco, “The Name of the Rose”


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