Abigail Williams | ‘In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns’
Abigail Williams’ last EP was a pretty good entry into that era of post-black metal ushered in by ‘IX Equilibrium’. It had just enough controlled chaos and fingerboard dexterity to pay homage to Emperor without causing too many blushes, even if the band’s agenda was still a bit hard to fathom. As you can see from the artwork, they’ve now decided to thrust themselves deep into traditional BM imagery – which is just as well, given that this cd may as well be the new album from Limbonic Art.
They’ve gone for the symphonic thing good and proper, even roping in the ubiquitous Simen Hastnaes for guest vocals on one track. Whether or not they’re doing that to add some authenticity to this most tinkling and difficult of black metals is open to debate. It’s probably the wise choice, given that a: they’re American and b: ten years too late. So it’s a good job that it’s a competent outing overall.
It still lacks the chill factor of the real thing. That got lost somewhere behind the squeaky clean, quantized drums and the layers of Roland orchestra patches. Still though, it remains hard to write off entirely. They come close to the Emperial sound on a great many occasions, referencing Arcturus as well with some of the spacier keyboards. Add in massive helpings of the aforementioned Limonic Art, and they have done well to produce a modern version of the same style.
How relevant this is to you will depend on how much you liked the original; I’m inclined to say it was of its time and place, and is probably best remembered there. This is good, well executed sympho-BM that most certainly does not disgrace itself. Held against the originals however, its obvious that the genius was all theirs.
3.2 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 19/11/08