Artist: Abigail Williams
Album: Walk Beyond The Dark
Genre: Black Metal
Review by Steve Jenkins
Abigail Williams have had a career that some would say has been very all over the place, never really sticking to one continuum when it comes to their style. But one thing is for sure, is that the band always make waves and bring a lot of attention toward themselves whenever they release something new. Despite the many faces of Abigail Williams, their latest offering, Walk Beyond The Dark, is quite clearly a very straight forward black metal approach, and a very good one at that.
There's still a melodic element that the band bring to the table, but it's far less Dimmu Borgir and much more Wolves In The Throne Room. Meaning that Abigail Williams have for more of a dark, evil and even atmospheric approach at times. The opener, "I Will Depart" is a shining example of this, as it displays sheer rawness and melancholy accompanied by incredible production. This album is one of the more diverse releases from the band and yet it seems to flow so organically, you could have told me that this was a new bands debut release and I would believe you. It possesses that certain freshness and inspiration that you tend to hear when a newer band release an album full of new and exciting ideas, riffs and moments. "Ever So Bold" takes things into more of a dynamic and vibrant tone, but still maintaining that darker, gloomy sound that encaptures black metal as a whole.
The album lives from these different tones, and it is from them that it builds its musical narrative. "Sun and Moon" is a good example of a song that adequately explores different tempos and moods. Feelings such as melancholy and sadness sprout throughout the album, but always complemented by an epic and glorious energy, almost reminiscent of a Deafheaven album. It's the sort of black metal you could put on when it's warm and sunny outside compared to chucking on Darkthrone's Panzerfaust when it's cold and miserable. "Black Waves" or "The Final Failure" are perfect example of this. It's that balance and the ability to explore diverse textures, whilst maintaining focus and direction, that ensure the artistic success of Walk Beyond the Dark.
Abigail Williams have returned, and they have definitely gone with a much more attainable and accessible path that should see them achieve some deserved success here. I think that Walk Beyond The Dark is definitely a crowning achievement in the bands career that has seen ups and downs, but overall a pretty consistent one. You should take this bands seriously, because this is a seriously good album and if you're a fan of black metal then you will probably enjoy this as much as I did. I guess the only negative thing I have to say is that with so many outstanding black metal releases this year, it might get lost in the shuffle, but I hope that I'm wrong because it should be recognised for the truly great album that it is.
8 out of 10.
Walk Beyond The Dark is out now on Blood Music and all major streaming platforms.
Support the band by purchasing their music/merch here - abigailwilliams.bigcartel.com