When you think about it metal isn't exactly Portugal's biggest export now is it? In fact, that whole region has pretty much always been a heavy metal black spot, apart from Moonspell, but Black Widows are on a mission to change that. Rute Fevereiro, the fiery haired singer and guitarist with this all-female, melancholic metal quartet, is eager to explain a possible reason why.
"To begin with, unfortunately, the metal scene in Portugal is full of rivalries between bands, moreover, we tend to appreciate the bands from other countries and underestimate our own bands. Due to this, it is very hard to be taken seriously in this country, whether you're a male or female band. However, I am very proud of our bands, such as Moonspell, Tarantula, Oratory, Ramp and others that have been fighting against all difficulties just to stand for their music."
Black Widows signed with the Portuguese label Recital Records in 2000 and, since then, things appear to have been on the up. They released their first EP in 2001 and spent a lot of last year recording what would eventually become their debut full-length, "Sweet… the hell". "Well, I still don't feel that this hard work has been enough", Rute explains, "or that we are receiving any profits from that. We still have a long road ahead of us, and honestly, it feels like we are finally beginning to warm up… you know, we have had very little luck in the band, except for now that we finally have a solid line-up. All the other girls who left the band realized themselves that they couldn't take the band as seriously as we wanted. So now, we are finally working with the perfect Widows."
This "very little luck" is a reference to the bands rather tumultuous history. Since forming in 1995, there have been ten different people in the band, with only Rute and Chris (drums) have been there since the start. A major tragedy struck in 1999 with the sudden death of their keyboard player, Carla Marques. "We thought about breaking up", reveals Rute, "but Chris decided to stay in the band and that made the difference. We always remember Carla loved to be in the band and how hard she tried to get us a record deal. The hardest stab was Carla's death."
"Sweet... the hell", has a very guitar heavy sound and this can often be hard to duplicate live. Rute admits that, "indeed, there is a strong chance that we are about to invite a new Widow to play a second guitar, but it has been difficult because here (in Portugal), we don't have too many girls playing well and willing to be in a serious band." Fans of Ancient Rites and Danse Macabre should take note that Gunther Theys appeared on the Widows debut, adding vocals to 'Life's wish' and 'Awaken'. "He is great," Rute exclaims when asked about his contribution. "Gunther is a very professional musician and always gives a special touch in his works. There was such a harmony in our voices together that I am going to be singing as a guest on his new Danse Macabre album." And so the Portuguese invasion begins, slowly of course.