Monday, 15 February 2016

Abigail Williams "The Accuser" (2015)

American Black Metal band Abigail Williams has stormed through a catalog of band members in over a decade of history. Led by lasting front man Ken Bergeron, their forth full length record shows signs of stability for a band that's changed its identity a couple of times within the context of its genre. Formed as a Deathcore Black Metal crossover, Ken's true intentions have been made clear over the years having used the once popular Deathcore scene to kick start his bands career to a hungry audience. On their debut record the sound of the trending scene was lost to a lush Symphonic Black Metal sound, which has gradually shed its symphonies in favor of a rawer, darker sound.

"The Accuser" is an unfocused and messy onslaught of vicious black aggression. Furious blast beats and shredded tremolo picked guitars barrage the listener through a menacing, claustrophobic wall of noise. Dark, dingy and mammoth in scale the perpetual plunging is met with shrill hate filled screams and cries that bleed into the haze of sound. It can be uninviting for an already difficult sound and as one grows into the record its best moments are where it takes a moment to breath, slow down and try some different ideas from the atypical bludgeoning. The songs structures do enough to keep the record flowing but it does through flawed aggression that holds it back from the sparks that crop up between its hate fueled onslaught.

Its a rough, sloppy production, bleeding instruments and buried sounds don't aid the low fidelity aesthetic but through its glaring flaws, ie the imbalanced tom drum sound, it does find some charm, especially in the screams that are illuminated by their descent into the warmth of guitar distortions. As the album stretches on the diabolical-ism lets up for more interesting, atmospheric moments and the final track has to be the records best with a unique fusion of styles that offers some brilliance you wont find elsewhere. "Nuumite" lets reverb soaked acoustics moan out over oozing ethereal synths, like a cross between Ethereal Gothic Rock and Black Metal's "evil" quality. Its a stunning song, like a darker Lycia, lost in a swooning dark movement. Enjoyable but flawed record. I hope the final track defines a new sound for the next record, whenever it may be, but that is quite unlikely.

Favorite Song: Nuumite
Rating: 5/10