Abigail Williams - _In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns_
(Candlelight, 2008)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (8.5 out of 10)
Even prior to this, their debut album, Abigail Williams were catching flack over the material on their debut EP, _Legend_, a slick, some would say overproduced, strain of black metal that almost manages to make recent Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth look raw and unsophisticated by comparison. _In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns_ maintains and even raises the bar -- courtesy James Murphy's spacious and intelligent production -- on the glossiness but, with the exception of maybe "Floods", does away with the 'core' elements on the EP, focusing in on an epic and keyboard-soaked take on traditional black metal with occasional genre-free grace notes adorning.

"A Thousand Suns", at track four, presents the first appearance of any clean vocals at all, and those are quickly subsumed by Ken Sorceron's throaty, expressive black vox. That same track also sports a keyboard solo redolent of much cheeseball folk metal, but it would be disingenuous to claim that Abigail Williams are not at heart a straight up metal band. Some feel that all black must be tinny and cacophonous to qualify as 'authentic', and granted, it often sounds the most powerful when rendered thus, but if one is willing to allow a little polished technicality on board then there are few more accomplished albums in the genre than _ItSo1000S_; and if one is -not- willing to make such allowances, so be it, it's still a damn fine prog metal album, albeit an extremely -aggressive- one. There are a few out of place touches, mainly in the at times overreaching keyboard runs, but for a brand new ensemble Abigail Williams have quickly established themselves as one of the premier black metal bands on US shores.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/abigailwilliams

(article published 23/1/2009)

2/12/2012 J Carbon 8 Abigail Williams - Becoming
3/28/2011 J Carbon Rotting Christ / Melechesh / Abigail Williams / Lecherous Nocturne / The Ziggurat The Gates of Sumeria
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