November 14, 2019 Abigail Williams – Walk Beyond The Dark (Album Review)
What defines the sub-genre of Black Metal, and why does it spark such debate among its most intimate fans? Before diving into this complex subject matter with a rhetorical statement, it is perhaps best to introduce one of the most interesting American Black Metal bands to date, Seattle Washington’s own Abigail Williams. Originating in 2004 with Vocalist/Guitarist Ken “Sorceron” Bergeron as the mastermind, Abigail Williams has since had a multitude of additional members a part of their supporting cause. Usually sticking to three live members, Abigail Williams is about to introduce arguably their most complete album to date, Walk Beyond The Dark, which is set for release on Friday November 15th via Blood Music.
For this brilliant new album Ken Sorceron brings in the help of Bryan O’Sullivan on bass, Mike Heller on the drums, along with featured artists Chris “Kakophonix” Brown on the cello, as well as Andrew Markuszewski, and Justin McKinney on guitar for some select tracks. In fact, the addition of cello really provides a serenity and depth to in featured songs mixed with the old school Black Metal guitars. This, plus Sorceron’s brilliance in song composition to match his dynamic harsh vocals, he leaves absolutely no stone un-turned.
A total of seven songs averaging about seven minutes each, the arrangements through and through reek of depth, passion, dark beauty, and triumph over tribulations. While each song can be taken out of order and absorbed individually, the album in order from “I Will Depart” to “The Final Failure” is a universal religious out of body experience that forces you into another dimension. For harsh, heavy music, dare we say it is one of the most genuinely calming works of art that Black Metal has ever set foot upon. It is Xanax in the form of Black Metal, but rather than putting you to sleep it heightens your awareness, all while lifting your spirits and soothing your souls.
Furthermore, the titles of the track are perfect descriptions of what you hear multiplied by one-thousand. For example, “I Will Depart” is a stern beginning that soars off into the darkest depths of the universe. Then the song “Sun and Moon” starts off with a ritualistic build up into an intense dichotomy pushing the boundaries to a further dimension. Then, as one of the most vigorous tracks on the album, “Ever So Bold” sacrifices every willing soul standing in its way yet still manages to have the most beautiful underlying melodies. Following this comes the most blackened serenity with “Black Waves.”
The remainder of Walk Beyond The Dark features songs like “Into The Sleep” which is perhaps the second most structurally interesting composition presented on the album. Then there is “Born Of Nothing” sending you in a deep sea diving adventure through the psychological depths of your own mind. This all cultivates in the culmination of brilliance that results with “The Final Failure,” the eleven minutes finale.
Overall, Walk Beyond The Dark expands on the old school Black Metal style into something that pleasantly sabotages the normal. This is the future of substantial Black Metal and society should remain hopeful for its continued viral spread expansion. Abigail Williams holds one of the keys to the future of Black Metal and that is why Cryptic Rock gives Walk Beyond The Dark 5 out of 5 stars as a well planned and executed piece of art featuring high production value.