Black Widow is an English doom metal band formed in Stapleford, Nottingham, England, in 1990. To date, Black Widow have released ten albums, two compilations, three EPs and one live DVD. The band released its latest album, Dread Summer Mourning on November 18, 2009. An influential and founding member of the band, Edward Kellin, who played bass from 1990-1995, returning in 2003, died on January 8 2010 age 37.
Early years (1990 - 1992)
Black Widow was initially formed in Stapleford in September 1989 by vocalist William Glencross and guitarist Joel Davidson. They recruited Edward Kellin (bass), Hayley Devonshire (violin), and Christopher Bradham (drums) in the spring of 1990 after playing for a few months before. The band released their first work, the 1991 EP Widow In Black. They followed with a minor four show tour, and were soon picked up by a minor record label, to record their debut album 1992's Evening Beloved, released on July 31, 1992.
Under The Veil (1992-1994)
During the summer of 1993, the band entered the studio to record their second album, after briefly promoting Evening Beloved. They released a generally unknown extended play in 1993, Egyptian Rose. The next album, Under the Veil marked the introduction of Keylah Rose on keyboards, integrating them fully into Black Widow's sound. Under the Veil was released on October 10, 1994, after the band worked with producer Leonard Carson.
Lament Theatres and Edward Kellin's hiatus (1994-1995)
After the band began to become known with Under the Veil, they returned to the studio with Leonard Carson in early 1995 to record their followup, Lament Theatres. The album was released on March 28, 1995, to much acclaim and success, mainly in Europe. Shortly after the album Edward Kellin departed the band, replaced by John Cardell. Kellin would return in 2003, after a hiatus from the band.
Victory Laid Blood (1995-1997)
Touring heavily throughout the latter half of 1995 and early 1996, Black Widow returned to the studio with Leonard Carson in mid 1996 to record the next album. Victory Laid Blood was released on July 18, 1997, to once again large success in Europe and the UK. It is also the first album to feature John Cardell on bass, after Edward Kellin's departure in 1995. Victory Laid Blood was followed by the band's third EP, Baltene Ceremonial.
Dawn In Majesty (1997-1999)
After 1997's Victory Laid Blood, Black Widow entered the studio once more. Their followup to 1997's [[Victory Laid Blood]] was 1999's [[Dawn In Majesty]], released on September 9, 1999. The band embarked on a major tour alongside Yggdrasill Burning and Winter's Soil in late 1999, resulting in the live album of the same year, Living Anguish, recorded in Prague. The band entered a brief hiatus after the tour, throughout early 2000.
Tainted Memories and Hayley Devonshire's departure (1999-2002)
During their hiatus in 2000 onwards, Hayley Devonshire became pregnant in early October 2000, with her partner and guitarist for Yggdrasill Burning, Karl Leppälä. Devonshire departed the band during her pregnancy, but would return in 2005. In early 2001 she was replaced by Angela Cadriano, a close friend of Devonshire's. After a long break, the band entered the studio in late 2001 with their new violinist and recorded Tainted Memories, their first without Leonard Carson, instead working with Yggdrasill Burning producer Hans Skökog.
The album was a commercial and critical success, released on July 15, 2002. The band began to tour across Europe on the Sounds of Doom tour, alongside Yggdrasill Burning, Winter's Soil, and Euphoria Down throughout the latter half of 2002.
Crypt of My Past and Kellin's return (2002-2004)
After touring through late 2002 and into majority of 2003, John Cardell stepped down for Edward Kellin to return as bassist. Cardell would remain a session member of the band, but Kellin resumed full bass role in June 2003. The band entered the studio in August 2003, once again with Hans Skökog, who had produced Tainted Memories. The followup was 2004's [[Crypt of My Past]], released on February 18, 2004. The band toured heavily to support the album, and gained much acclaim and success.
Macabre Crucifixion and Hayley Devonshire's return (2004-2006)
In the spring of 2005, Angela Cadriano departed the band for other ventures, and Hayley Devonshire expressed interest in returning to Black Widow. Devonshire and Karl Leppälä, along with their five year old daughter Anna, flew to London in October 2005. While Devonshire recorded with the band in London, Leppälä and Anna took residence in the city for the duration. The new album, Macabre Crucifixion was released on April 15, 2006. Shortly after Christopher Bradham was forced to leave the band due to a severe leg injury, replaced for the short time by Yggdrasill Burning drummer Anders Jacobsen.
The Violent Apostasy (2006-2008)
After Anders Jacobsen finished recording and touring with Yggdrasill Burning to promote their ninth album Nú Mun Hon Søkkvask throughout the latter half of 2006, he fully joined Black Widow, maintaining his position in Yggdrasill Burning also. Most of 2007 was hectic for Jacobsen, who travelled from Stockholm to London weekly in between recordings for Yggdrasill Burning's Dusk Ragnarok and Black Widow's The Violent Apostasy. The album was released after months of recording, on May 27, 2008, while Dusk Ragnarok followed on September 17. After their album release, Michael Tägtgren of Yggdrasill Burning personally invited Black Widow to join them on tour, resulting in an acclaimed European tour in late 2008.
Dread Summer Mourning (2008-2009)
According to William Glencross, 2009 was one of the most hectic years for the band. Anders Jacobsen departed in January 2009 after Chris Bradham's recovery and return, and instantly the band was back into the studio to record another album, less than twelve months after The Violent Apostasy. The album was released on November 18, 2009, and the band toured in support from November 2009-January 2010.
Edward Kellin's death and aftermath (2010-present)
On January 8, 2010 Edward Kellin was found dead at his home in Stapleford, age 37. His wife Aleisha released a statement on the 9th:
"My husband and beloved member of Black Widow, Edward Michael Kellin has passed away on January 8th 2010, at 37 years old. His memory will live on through his family, and his daughters Sarah and Emily."
Founding members of Black Widow, William Glencross and Joel Davidson came forward also after Kellin's death, and released a statement: "Eddie was too young to be taken from us, and the void he has left questions the future of the band he so vitally contributed to. We miss you, Ed, and your influence in the band will never be forgetten".
Kellin's cause of death was unconfirmed, but he did suffer from tuberculosis in the latter months of 2009. It is unclear if Black Widow bassist from 1995-2003 John Cardell will replace Kellin, or if the band will even continue going. His death was a shock to all, and many others released statements, including Michael Tägtgren of Yggdrasill Burning, friends of Black Widow: "I remember back in 2007 when we toured with Black Widow in Europe and I met Edward Kellin for the first time, as last time we toured with the band in 2001 he was on hiatus and I had only met William and Joel. He had this classic blunt sense of humour, you know? Like he'd tell you what he thought of you. He was one of a kind, and I will miss, as we all will at Yggdrasill. You're at peace now, Edward".
Kaleb Jovanovich of the Australian doom metal band Winter's Soil also released a statement: "When the band came of Australia in 2008, barely two years ago, we met William and the rest of the band. One thing that I will always remember Ed by is his dark sense of humour, his blunt humour. He was so forward and you knew if he didn't like you. Fortunately he liked us, and we will all miss him".
Fans reacted hugely also to Kellin's death, with views of the band's site skyrocketing. The albums had a sudden rise in sale due to fans buying them. 45% of sales went to Ed Kellin's family, as announced by William Glencross via the bands website.
Joel Davidson is in the doom metal supergroup One of Beauty's Daughters, which he has confirmed will take up most of his time in the coming year as Black Widow's fate is indefinite. Meanwhile William Glencross says the death of Kellin has fuelled his songwriting, and he confirmed that Black Widow may continue if he and the other band members reach a decision, with the permission of Kellin's family.
Kellin's official website, www.edkell.com, his wife Aleisha posted that she would appreciate Black Widow continuing on without Edward Kellin, and felt he wouldn't like it if the band died with him. William Glencross replied on his website thanking the Kellin family, and saying that the search for a bassist would be hard, but that Ed will never be forgotten. Former bassist from 1995-2003, John Cardell, is rumoured to be re-joining the band. On March 3, 2010 William Glencross announced on his website that 45% of Black Widow's sales would go towards Ed Kellin's family.
In April 2010 the band announced their first tour since promoting Dread Summer Mourning, touring through the UK alongside Mourning Beloveth, Nuadhán, and Winter's Soil. It will be the first time their new bassist Andrew Statford, who has experience playing in various local doom bands and appeared on Nuadhán's 1998 album State of Decay, plays with the band. Kellin's wife Aleisha personally requested Statford, as he was friend of Ed Kellin. The band also announced that they would release a 20th year anniversary release called The Shadow Years: Twenty Years of Black Widow, and an EP, their first since 1997's Baltene Ceremonial, later in 2010. News of future albums has not been mentioned by the band.
After the death of Ed Kellin following 2009's Dread Summer Mourning, Black Widow did not release any statements denying or confirming that they'd continue on releasing material. After the announcement of the new bassist in April 2010, Andrew Statford, the band announced 2010 would see a 20th year anniversary release called [[The Shadow Years: Twenty Years of Black Widow]], and an EP, their first since 1997's Baltene Ceremonial. The band confirmed on April 24 that May would see the release of the Winter Bitterness EP, the first to feature Andrew Statford on bass.
In March 2011 William Glencross released a statement that the band intended to record a new album for 2011, their first with new bassist Andrew Statford. It will be dedicated to Ed Kellin.
As with most doom metal, Black Widow's lyrics deal with generally dark themes; death, love, mourning and loss. William Glencross' mother Siobhan's death when he was a child has fuelled some of his songwriting as he has said, particularly on the Tainted Memories and [[Crypt of My Past]] albums, in particular "Mother Where Have You Gone" on the latter mentioned.
- William Glencross - vocals (1989–present)
- Joel Davidson - lead guitar(1989–present)
- Hayley Devonshire - violin (1990-2001, 2005–present)
- Andrew Statford - bass (2010–present)
- Keylah Rose - keyboards (1994–present)
- Christopher Bradham - drums (1990-2006, 2009–present)
- Edward Kellin - bass (1990-1995, 2003-2010) (deceased)
- John Cardell - bass (1995-2003)
- Angela Cadriano - violin (2001-2005)
- Anders Jacobsen - drums (2006-2009)
- (1992) Evening Beloved
- (1994) Under the Veil
- (1995) Lament Theatres
- (1997) Victory Laid Blood
- (1999) Dawn In Majesty
- (2002) Tainted Memories
- (2004) Crypt of My Past
- (2006) Macabre Crucifixion
- (2008) The Violent Apostasy
- (2009) Dread Summer Mourning