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Abigail Williams – Becoming

Abigail Williams
by Charl Du Plessis at 02 February 2012, 8:52 PM

The 3rd studio album from American Black Metallers ABIGAIL WILLIAMS proves to be an interesting one. I can admit that I do follow the band on a few social media platforms and this album was quite well marketed in many of their selected circles. It was also highly anticipated despite the usual rants of it being “not so true Black Metal”. Their previous release, “In the Absence of Light” was definitely a worthy offering with several moments being more than enjoyable for me. Still it was not all that great as an overall review seeing we all expected better. Nevertheless it did touch on good song writing and a possible future established entry into the realms of symphonic Black Metal.

The previous albums compared to the new are worlds apart with nothing symphonic about this release. It’s quite entertaining reading various online communities bitching about certain metal styles and how much they hate it when it comes to making a comparison to ABIGAIL WILLIAMS. Apparently they are now labelled as “Cascadian Metal” with this offering. There are several definitions for this so I will leave it up to the hardcore crits to decide for themselves. A bit over the top seeing you are labelling a sub genre within another sub culture and clearly pushing the categorization process just a little too far.

Realizing that “Becoming” is not recycling DIMMU BORGIR and old CRADLE OF FILTH leftovers is quite a positive observation as I don’t believe there is much scope in that direction for this band anyway. It’s been done before and done very well so anything short of that just begs for a beating from all angles. When listening to “Becoming” one notes that the album consists of only 6 tracks and is very time consuming. “Infinite Fields of Mind” checks in at 10 minutes and the opening track “Ascension Sickness” just over 11 minutes. You definitely need to be in the mood for a musical journey when spinning this record or you will be bored shitless.

I can appreciate what the band is doing in moving more towards epic song writing but it’s not always appropriate for a large segment of the audience (I am just imagining them live with a crowd more staring than getting into it) Personally I don’t like the second acoustic clean kind of guitar melodies over the rest of the music and in my opinion could have been left out all together. The old keyboard could have done it much better.”Becoming” is not necessarily bad and has some catchy ideas but the slower parts just seems to carry on forever. The guitar riffs are reasonably entertaining but repeated just a tad too much at times. The intro riff on “Ascension Sickness” still remains killer and gives you that cold unfuzzed blackened feeling. ”Radiance” truly captures the moment of the “new” ABIGAIL WILLIAMS. From a drumming and production point of view I can’t really say too much other than it being a fairly basic attempt done well according to industry standards. For most part the vocals is the strongest element in the band but gets lost along the drawn out songs and mid song slowed down parts.

“Becoming” does draw a feather from the book of epicness but leaves many empty spaces unanswered for now. Perhaps they are just compared to the wrong crowd in my opinion. The band will be touring with the likes of MAYHEM, HATE, KEEP OF KALESSIN, DEICIDE and DARK FUNERAL so they are not as shit as most of the Metal media make them out to be. I still have loads of time left for ABIGAIL WILLIAMS and won’t concur with most I have read and heard about them. I have certainly heard much worse than “Becoming” that sold top dollar. They do make their music their own and is slowly creating their own identity; though the full message might not come across that well on “Becoming” For good reason I understand the majority of the Metal critics are somewhat disappointed, but not appalled.

A welcomed new style for them that moves away from the so called mainstream Black Metal stereotype. Powerful melodic Black Metal influenced riffs with a traditional vocal injection over the rest of the music. Certainly an album appealing to all things underground in many ways but not quite hitting the spot with “Becoming” Let’s see what happens next for them.

3 Star Rating

1. Ascension Sickness
2. Radiance
3. Elestial
4. Infinite FIelds Of Mind
5. Three Days Of Darkness
6. Beyond The Veil
Ken Sorceron- Guitars, Vocals
Ian Jekelis- Guitars
Griffin Wotawa- Bass
Zach Gibson- Drums
Record Label: Candlelight Records


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