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Abigail Williams: The Accuser [Digipak]

Track List

>Path of Broken Glass
>Cold Lines, The
>Of the Outer Darkness
>Will, Wish & Desire
>Forever Kingdom of Dirt
>Lost Communion

Album Notes

Few bands have had undergone as many sonic twists and turns -- and lineup changes -- as Abigail Williams. Guided by lone mainstay Ken Sorceron, they've shapeshifted with each subsequent recording. 2012's Becoming was one of the more compelling extreme music releases of that year; a sprawling exercise in brutally atmospheric post-psychedelic blackened metal. The Accuser features almost an entirely new studio lineup. Sorceron, once a member of Lord Mantis, recruited its former drummer Charlie Fell (also of Cobalt) and bassist Will Lindsay (Indian), along with guitarist Jeff Wilson (Wolvhammer) for this recording. There are no keyboards. Tracks like the opener "Path of Broken Glass" and "Lost Communion" are among the most brutal, unhinged tracks in the band's history. The screaming high-register vocals, shard-like tremolo picking, and blastbeat drums contribute to each cut's ever-increasing ferocity. "Of the Outer Darkness" begins with distorted feedback before seemingly taking the same approach; then an elongated guitar-and-bass breakdown about halfway through, transforms it into a slower, much heavier, jam. "Wish, Will, And Desire," with cascading guitars, pulsing bassline, and swirling melody, is almost a hard rocker, but the triple-timed, double-bass drumming, and Sorceron's vocals, howling through the backdrop like wind, shove it over into extreme music territory. On "The Cold Lines," Fell doesn't enter for 45 seconds, but when he does, he swings like former AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd through the blackened attack. In the intro to closer "Nuummite," the band experiments with Italian Spaghetti Western atmospherics à la composers Stelvio Cipriani and Nico Fidenco (as Earth did some years ago). But this is merely a means to an end because it gives way to a dark, elegiac dirge. Fell offers nearly Motorik snare and bass drums that Sorceron (also the engineer) colors with tight, bright reverb. A droning basso profundo backing chorus, slide and tremolo guitar lines, a power chords, and a bassline playing only chord changes frame a haunting melody to those barebones constructs of the Sisters of Mercy and Fields of the Nephilim, but it's all metal. Over the album's eight tracks, Abigail Williams balances exponentially more brutality than in the past, but it's entwined with haunted, dreadful, sinister beauty. The Accuser extends even what Becoming accomplished with denser harmonic ideas that serve to sharpen the band's already complex sonic and dynamic signatures. Together they work to create an album far more twisted, nightmarish, and ultimately musical. ~ Thom Jurek


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