Abigail Williams are a black metal band who have always seen themselves as outsiders. On their comeback album Walk Beyond the Dark, they infuse a captivating atmosphere with a melodic edge. Listening to it feels both exciting and dangerous because the riffs and production are colossal.
‘I Will Depart’ starts things off nicely, with rip roaring production that’s crushing. The chanting vocals in the background add to the atmosphere. There is a large focus on melody on this album at the halfway point because the pulsating guitar riffs marry the blast beats perfectly. This creates a tight musical unit that isn’t afraid to try new things. The sad sounding violin in ‘Black Waves’ is something which catches the listener off guard, and they add a dark atmosphere to the track.
The hard hitting riffs in ‘Born of Nothing’ slowly give way to a slow descending guitar passage. I think this breaks the rules of black metal because the amount of overdubs take the track to new heights, while the cello could be a sign of cleansing.
We get the first sign of clean vocals in ‘The Final Failure’ and it is very refreshing. The pummelling double kicks and crashing cymbals stand out because they show strong musicianship. The cello towards the end completes the album, creating an unsettling bleak atmosphere.
Walk Beyond the Dark is a diverse offering which pushes the boundaries of black metal, giving the genre a refreshing lease of life.
Words by Ermis Madikopoulos