By Nikita Alekseyevich Khrenov
Throughout their 10+ year existence Abigail Williams has consistently managed to reinvent their brand of black metal. From heavy symphonic elements akin to Dimmu Borgir on In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns to an incredibly raw and visceral approach on their previous album The Accuser, Ken Sorceron has shown his flexibility in songwriting and production. With their 5th full-length album, Walk Beyond the Dark, Abigail Williams ventures where the title suggests, a place beyond darkness where one’s mettle and emotional fortitude are tested.
“I Will Depart” opens with marching arpeggiated chords that would fit right in with the classic sound of Mayhem; free of frills and fueled by suffering and aggression. Flowing seamlessly into “Sun and Moon,” the music takes a step back as clean singing takes prevalence over the guitars to enrapture the listener before kicking things into full force of tremolo picking and unrelenting blast beats.
The album showcases all of the elements of the previous 4 records through masterful composition. “Ever So Bold” keeps their trademark intensity but offers overtones of hope much like the songs on Becoming. “Born of Nothing” strips everything back with clean guitars strumming chords as a sorrowful string section washes over the listener, before bringing back the ferocity of heavy distorted guitars and screams.
Walk Beyond the Dark further solidifies Abigail Williams’ powerhouse status in black metal. A frightening journey through the deepest and darkest reaches of the aural landscape, it truly showcases their finest work yet.
Walk Beyond the Dark was released November 15th, 2019 via Blood Music. It is available on bandcamp. For more from Alternative Control, find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, and bandcamp.