Abigail Williams - Legend
Candlelight
Melodic blackened Norse' and hardcore
5 songs (21'44")
Release year: 2007
abigail williams, Candlelight
Reviewed by Alex

If you were wondering why name your metal band Abigail Williams, I can offer a pure guess. From the early days of the American history, in Salem witch trials, Abigail Williams was one of the teenagers responsible for all of the hysteria and paranoia. And the last I checked witches, dark magic and metal meshed pretty well.

Then, if you were to ask me what style this American band from Phoenix, Arizona, plays I’d be hard pressed to give you a simple answer. It seems that this brainchild of Ken Sorceron is borrowing from many aspects of the extreme metal. By taking a little bit from everywhere Abigail Williams is trying to create a sound all their own. I venture to say that this feat would be near impossible given the ingredients, but the fact the band never overstays on any given part of the spectrum and has fleeting moments of many a style, the mere fact changes happen fast in Abigail Williams kaleidoscope – their Legend EP sounds fresh and energetic as a result.

Melody and groove are very important to Abigail Williams. Their riffs can often be compared to something out of the Gothenborg School with The Conqueror Wyrm opening coming straight from Dark Tranquillity with its keyboard melody. The thrashier, more At The Gates, side of Gothenborg also makes appearance on the opener From a Buried Heart. Abigail Williams keyboards provide a colder icier feeling, similar to symphonic black metal styling of much maligned Old Man’s Child and Dimmu Borgir, but the synths on Legend are not quite overpowering and their sliding along the blastbeat of the earlier demo track Procession of the Aeons even bring the true black metal raw feeling. The latter does not last long, but if you think Abigail Williams is cloning Dimmu Borgir given the symphonic arrangements in The Conqueror Wyrm, they could counter with an American hardcore breakdown slam on From a Buried Heart and clean crooning complementing lower gruff vocals. The dual vocals and frosty melodies are also carried by a Gothenburg groove on Like Carrion Birds. How does it all fit together? I didn’t think it would either, but such combo sound is less rehashed than the latest Old Man’s Child, for example.

If you think that Cradle of Filth has no room in metal, much less black metal, you would not like Watchtower, the track at least 100,000 people sampled through MySpace.com. If you can’t stand Dani Filth’s shrieking, you might find Ken’s vocals on this track almost as obnoxious as the original. Add some spoken moments, clicking drum track making the kick drum to sound higher than the snare, symphonic keyboards set to a double bass, and the Cradle impression is almost complete.

For a young Abigail Williams musicianship is very solid. In one of the line-up reincarnations the band had the services of Bjorn Dannov, from the fellow Arizonians Vehemence, now sadly disbanded.

I may not be ready to anoint Abigail Williams just yet, because it seems to me Legend is just testing the waters. The band is really at the crossroads. Should they be choosing Watchtower direction, perhaps many will enjoy a younger re-energized Cradle of Filth, but I personally fail to see the point. On the other side, blending blackened melodeath, Norse’ and hardcore is an ambitious undertaking worth watching. Let’s just see where the chips fall next.

Killing Songs :
Alex quoted 74 / 100
Other albums by Abigail Williams that we have reviewed:
Abigail Williams - The Accuser reviewed by Andy and quoted 86 / 100
Abigail Williams - Becoming reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
Abigail Williams - In the Absence of Light reviewed by Crash and quoted 93 / 100
Abigail Williams - In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns reviewed by Alex and quoted 76 / 100
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