Abigail Williams - Walk Beyond The Dark review



Reviewer:
8.7

81 users:
8.23
Band: Abigail Williams
Album: Walk Beyond The Dark
Release date: November 2019


01. I Will Depart
02. Sun And Moon
03. Ever So Bold
04. Black Waves
05. Into The Sleep
06. Born Of Nothing
07. The Final Failure


Abigail Williams? My goodness, you've grown.

When I first discovered Abigail Williams, they had Legend and In The Shadows Of A Thousand Suns under their belt, the former an EP that if pressed I would describe as 'blackcore', and the latter a symphonic black metal album in the vein of Cradle Of Filth. This decade, they've since dabbled with meloblack (In The Absence Of Light) and atmospheric black (Becoming), and whilst I hugely enjoy both of these records, the band has received fair criticism for lacking a clear identity (or, more harshly, for being bandwagon jumpers). 2015's The Accuser, a harsh, somewhat psychedelic album, was another stylistic jump, but felt more like a band searching for its own distinctive voice. Now, after a 4-year gap that involved frontman Ken Sorceron joining (and in the latter case, subsequently quitting) Lord Mantis and The Faceless, Walk Beyond The Dark has arrived, and it feels like the culmination of a decade-long search to find the 'real' Abigail Williams.

Walk Beyond The Dark takes aspects of the various different faces Abigail Williams have worn this decade, but delivers its own distinctive sound. "I Will Depart" is, if anything, closest to In The Absence Of Light, a measured, semi-melodic opener that is willing to unleash the blast beats, but which is less reliant on them than the at times overwhelming The Accuser. This song offers up some memorable riffs to get the neck moving, such as the rolling groove during which the song title is shrieked, and conjures a general ominous sense of impending peril, really announcing right off the bat how vital this latest incarnation of the band is. The closing moments of this song also reveal a new feature this time around; clean vocals, which unless my memory is failing me haven't previously popped up in any of the band's previous work. In this first instance, they are only wordless chants, but the next song, "Sun And Moon", features actual singing, and whilst Abigail Williams aren't going to redefine clean black metal vocals, they fit nicely into and enhance the songs in which they feature.

The frantic verses of "Sun And Moon" are amongst the moments on Walk Beyond The Dark that feel closest to The Accuser, but the tom-driven midsection of this song takes the song in a different direction, and the combination of cello with black metal tremolo is more reminiscent of the use of violin on Becoming. "Sun And Moon" is also one of the shorter songs on Walk Beyond The Dark, which features two tracks that break the 10-minute mark. These two songs, "Black Waves" and "The Final Failure", are arguably the standout cuts from the record. "Black Waves" opens with some sombre cello before segueing into a delicate clean guitar section, almost feeling like it could've been part of a metal version of a Lord Of The Rings soundtrack. This eventually gives way to heavier sounds, but the whole song is a carefully executed atmos-black epic featuring a captivatingly gloomy clean vocal midsection, a mesmerizing synthesis of black metal, sorrowful voices and tastefully integrated cello. "The Final Failure", on the other hand, is the closest the band gets to the string-dominated atmos-black of Becoming, and offers the most accomplished infusion of violins/cello and black metal delivered on Walk Beyond The Dark. Compared to the uplifting tone of the similarly string-dominated "Into The Sleep", this is morose and pessimistic, a proper successor to the awesome "Beyond The Veil" from Becoming, and yet it finds the time to fit in an unexpected but satisfying guitar solo, a rarity for the band.

Whether Walk Beyond The Dark is the best work of Abigail Williams is up for debate; however, this is the album of theirs that most feels like it represents the band's vision, combining the strings and atmosphere of Becoming, the aggression of The Accuser and the meloblack riffing of In The Absence Of Light to deliver something that sounds truly their own, rather than an homage to Wolves In The Throne Room or Cradle Of Filth. It may be that the next Abigail Williams album will be yet another big departure, but if there was ever a time to focus on refining a sound rather than completely replacing it, this seems as good a time as any.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 8


 



Written on 17.11.2019 by I'm just a guy with an opinion.


Comments

Comments: 12   Visited by: 174 users
17.11.2019 - 17:58
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
This is one of the best redemption arcs in music
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
Loading...
17.11.2019 - 18:02
musclassia
Written by RaduP on 17.11.2019 at 17:58

This is one of the best redemption arcs in music


If their career went in the opposite direction they would be considered the worst sellouts, it's an interesting path they've taken. To be fair, I've enjoyed every step along the way, although I lost interest in their stuff from last decade a while ago.
Loading...
17.11.2019 - 22:20
Coconut Racecar
Abigail Williams is one of those bands I discovered way back during the ancient times of MySpace. I believe I first heard them when they had only released their first EP and, fortunately I enjoyed a lot of core stuff around that time, so they held my interest.

As my taste matured, so did they, and they became one of the few bands that I've been consistently listening to since I discovered them.

I've enjoyed every release and this one's no different. I don't have anything to say about it other than what's already been said. Definitely a great release.
Loading...
17.11.2019 - 22:55
musclassia
Written by Coconut Racecar on 17.11.2019 at 22:20

Abigail Williams is one of those bands I discovered way back during the ancient times of MySpace. I believe I first heard them when they had only released their first EP and, fortunately I enjoyed a lot of core stuff around that time, so they held my interest.

As my taste matured, so did they, and they became one of the few bands that I've been consistently listening to since I discovered them.

I've enjoyed every release and this one's no different. I don't have anything to say about it other than what's already been said. Definitely a great release.


I discovered them Summer 2010 - a friend from high school dumped a load of music from his hard drive onto my computer before we left for Uni. This was whilst I was in the early stages of getting into metal - as far as extreme metal went, I knew Opeth, metalcore and Gothenburg bands, and that was about it. So running through the music alphabetically, the first song on there was The World Beyond by Abigail Williams - that instant flamboyant tremolo and shrieking was completely alien to me and hooked me immediately. I was actually rather keen on that album fairly early on, enough so that I bought In The Absence Of Light when I saw the CD in HMV a couple of months later.

It's been a long time since I've listened to In The Shadows..., but I've consistently returned to In The Absence.. and subsequently Becoming throughout the decade, and it's been really cool seeing the band that was really my first black metal band evolve in the way they have, particularly as those first few albums came out/came to my attention at just about the right moments in my descent into more extreme metal so that I was in a position to appreciate them; if later Abigail Williams (e.g. The Accuser) had been what I heard in 2010, I'm not sure it would have appealed to me in the same way, as it was less melodic and dramatic. In that case, I may never have cared enough to track their subsequent releases, particularly seeing as none of them have really received the kind of acclaim and attention that may have persuaded me to retry them, which would have meant I missed out on the likes of Final Destiny Of The Gods and Beyond The Veil, key black metal songs for me this decade.
Loading...
18.11.2019 - 14:55
Discordant666
Pretty much sums up this album and Abigail Williams in general, good job! This is probably the album I enjoyed most by them, and I don't mind the stylistic jumps either. Looking forward to what they come up with next.
----
http://enigmaticalofficial.bandcamp.com/
^Cosmic Black Metal Electronica^
Loading...
18.11.2019 - 20:12
Coconut Racecar
Written by musclassia on 17.11.2019 at 22:55

Written by Coconut Racecar on 17.11.2019 at 22:20

Abigail Williams is one of those bands I discovered way back during the ancient times of MySpace. I believe I first heard them when they had only released their first EP and, fortunately I enjoyed a lot of core stuff around that time, so they held my interest.

As my taste matured, so did they, and they became one of the few bands that I've been consistently listening to since I discovered them.

I've enjoyed every release and this one's no different. I don't have anything to say about it other than what's already been said. Definitely a great release.


I discovered them Summer 2010 - a friend from high school dumped a load of music from his hard drive onto my computer before we left for Uni. This was whilst I was in the early stages of getting into metal - as far as extreme metal went, I knew Opeth, metalcore and Gothenburg bands, and that was about it. So running through the music alphabetically, the first song on there was The World Beyond by Abigail Williams - that instant flamboyant tremolo and shrieking was completely alien to me and hooked me immediately. I was actually rather keen on that album fairly early on, enough so that I bought In The Absence Of Light when I saw the CD in HMV a couple of months later.

It's been a long time since I've listened to In The Shadows..., but I've consistently returned to In The Absence.. and subsequently Becoming throughout the decade, and it's been really cool seeing the band that was really my first black metal band evolve in the way they have, particularly as those first few albums came out/came to my attention at just about the right moments in my descent into more extreme metal so that I was in a position to appreciate them; if later Abigail Williams (e.g. The Accuser) had been what I heard in 2010, I'm not sure it would have appealed to me in the same way, as it was less melodic and dramatic. In that case, I may never have cared enough to track their subsequent releases, particularly seeing as none of them have really received the kind of acclaim and attention that may have persuaded me to retry them, which would have meant I missed out on the likes of Final Destiny Of The Gods and Beyond The Veil, key black metal songs for me this decade.


It's funny, most of the bands I discovered from back when I used MySpace are bands I've been listening to consistently ever since. I don't consider all of them my favorites, but many of them are ones that have a great deal of sentimental value to me because of how I've grown along side them.

Abysmal Torment being the most prevalent as I discovered them before they had even released an EP and, upon their release of Epoch Of Methodic Carnage, subsequently became my favorite band for a number of years.

I never considered Abigail Williams to be bandwagon jumpers myself, I'm just happy they continue regardless of how they change with each release. It's nice to have those bands you're always excited to hear from and always accompany you in your life, like a long distance friend.
Loading...
19.11.2019 - 00:02
Might see them with Ensiferum and Kalmah. Yay or nay?
Loading...
19.11.2019 - 00:29
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by The Witchfinder on 19.11.2019 at 00:02

Might see them with Ensiferum and Kalmah. Yay or nay?

yay
----
Take off those stupid glasses and kiss me
Loading...
20.11.2019 - 20:35
SatanicBlood
I'm going to listen to this, I remember seeing them live when they came out and passing them off as another atmo bm band. Then I heard becoming, and had no idea what to make of them anymore, I agree with the part regarding their lack of identity.
Every album was like a cheese from a different region to me.
But, I'm always up for another listen as they continue to keep their sound fresh, be it exploring every gamut bm has to offer it seems.
----
http://idolatryblackmetal.bandcamp.com

Canadian black metal
Loading...
21.11.2019 - 07:24
Opethian
"This album is downloadable for free - as we do not want pirates to profit from this music. Please donate as you see fit if you enjoy the music."

https://blood-music.bandcamp.com/album/walk-beyond-the-dark
Loading...
21.11.2019 - 08:06
Lord Slothrop
I didn't get into them until 'Becoming', which I really, really loved. It was the first atmospheric black metal album that hooked me and I've probably listened to the song Beyond the Veil over 40 times. With the release of 'The Accuser' they became one of my favorite bands, and this new release only solidifies that. I like their earlier stuff, but these last three albums are staples I continually return to.
Loading...
21.11.2019 - 10:12
musclassia
Written by Lord Slothrop on 21.11.2019 at 08:06

I didn't get into them until 'Becoming', which I really, really loved. It was the first atmospheric black metal album that hooked me and I've probably listened to the song Beyond the Veil over 40 times. With the release of 'The Accuser' they became one of my favorite bands, and this new release only solidifies that. I like their earlier stuff, but these last three albums are staples I continually return to.


I probably prefer In The Absence Of Light to The Accuser - a bit hookier I guess, and the arpeggios at the end of Final Destiny Of The Gods are euphoric, but yeah Beyond The Veil is their masterpiece
Loading...

Hits total: 2522 | This month: 255