Sound — 8
Black Widow had formed in 1969 in Leicester, Leicestershire in the United Kingdom but were around a few years earlier having released an album under their name Pesky Gee referred to as "Exclamation Mark" as it just has an exclamation mark at the end of the group name. A rather dated album itself this album would be far more superior in sound and they were really on the right track with that jazzy occult sound they were aiming at in a progressive attempt but sounding still too dated but still great attempts as a hard working group with decent solo jams and horns used throughout.
This album however would also have been made the same year right when they changed their name to Black Widow and were among the first to use this satanic and occult imagery in their music along with Coven who had released their infamous debut the very same year overseas in the US and also Black Sabbath who were in their beginning stages at this point the bands however only have this one similarity in superficial similarity while their principal sounds are all different as Black Widow is actually softer, much softer than Black Sabbath and even Coven (who was somewhat hard rock but still not that hard compared to Black Sabbath). The original lineup would consist of Kay Garrett (lead vocals), Kip Trevor (lead vocals, guitar and harmonica), Chris Dredge (guitar), Bob Bond (bass guitar), Clive Box (drums and piano), Jess "Zoot" Taylor (organ), Clive Jones (saxophone and flute) along with Jim Gannon (guitar, vocals and vibes) who would replace Chris Dredge. Kay Garret would leave the band when they all split up and they would continue under the name of Black Widow.
Lyrics — 8
This album would be a posthumous archival release intended for release in 1969 when it was first recorded but it never did happen. Recorded in late '69, the self produced recording differs from the subsequent release in that it features the vocal talent of Kay Garret who shared the vocal duties with frontman Kip Trevor, before leaving the band prior to the recording of "Sacrifice." What the future may have held for a girl with such a powerful voice can only be wondered at.
Other than the female voice and some differenses in the arrangement of the songs and some lyrics, this gem delivers the same concept as that of "Sacrifice." The mastertapes of this pre-production remained in the possession of band member Clive Jones and the recording of this CD has been lifted from that sole acetate, and whilst, despite intensive remastering, one or two slight imperfection may remain, it was felt that the release of "Return to the Sabbat" would be of interest both as an historical document and a collector's item for devoted fans but still offers something for hard rock psychedelic fans interested in occult themed music.
Overall Impression — 8
In my opinion this is the best Black Widow release. That's not saying much though. Their earlier LP's don't seem to have much going on. Nothing noteworthy even vocals or lyrics and sounding a bit bland with some strong points on "Sacrifice" they were just much tighter on this with a well done "Come to the Sabbat." For the most part they had mediocre musicianship they didn't suck and I think there is something more aesthetic going on, they still had talent and it's evident on "Sacrifice" but for the most part his release seems to have more going on. Some dark psychedelic moments and harder rock with better incorporation more well developed than say "Pesky Gee!" and not as self indulgent as "Sacrifice." Not bad all in all a nice balance and really a group forming in the right direction and at a creative musical peak in their career.