Abigail Williams
In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns


4.0
excellent

Review

by lucazade22 USER (4 Reviews)
November 20th, 2008 | 149 replies | 16,396 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A triumph in the face of adversity.

1 of 2 thought this review was well written

Abigail Williams exploded onto the scene with their EP, 'Legend'. A refreshing mix of metalcore, deathcore and black metal, projecting them into the limelight. Rarely does an EP make so many in the metal community stand up and take notice. Personally, I wasn't completely sold but this album is a whole different animal. Gone are the core influences of their EP, essentially leaving a symphonic black metal album to rival and sit along proudly with the best.

Some may say that this direction away from a core and towards a more traditional black metal sound has made them lose what was unique about them in the first place. But it just seems a logical progression and the songs benefit from this. Obvious parallels will be drawn between this and works by bands such as Emperor or Dimmu Borgir. This album is for a whole new generation of metal fans. It's even accessible enough to make it an excellent starting point for anyone not usually into black metal. To label this simply a copy of Dimmu Borgir or Emperor is like being stuck in the 90s, believing everything was better back in the day. Considering the turmoil that preceded the release of this album makes this cd even more remarkable.

Simply put, it's symphonic black metal at its best. Forget Cradle of Filth and their new album. It's immediately apparent from the first listen that despite its complex arrangements and flurry of riffs and keyboards, it's surprisingly easy to get into. The melodies are accentuated and some of the choruses are drilled into your head immediately. However, despite having large amounts of groove and melody, the songs don't have a regular structure to them. They veer off spontaneously, and you often think it's about to go off the rails but somehow it's tied back together. This is a showcase of the excellent songwriting skills on the album.

The drumming is insane, the guitar good and the vocals typical of the genre without being special, but it's the keyboards that steal the show. They make the album what it is. They create mesmerising interludes, which allow the songs to meander along, and complement the guitars perfectly giving each song a strong melodic backbone on which the songs are based. This is particularly true in the chorus of "The World Beyond", the section at 2:25 in "Empyrean", the piano intro to "Into the Ashes" and the chorus of "Floods".

Another feeling I get from listening to the album is that it is essentially an album and not one with a few good songs and the rest filler material. It really does have to be considered as a full entity rather than each song individually. There simply isn't a duff track on here. "i" is about as good a 40 second intro as you'll ever find. "The World Beyond" is simply fantastic. The piano keys playing over the top of the main riff are outstanding and the chorus is majestic. This is also the case in "Floods" whereby the constant tempo changes make it a real keeper. Even the usually pointless 2 minute interlude in the middle of the album is a worthy addition to the album. Even a song such as "Acolytes" which may not have the catchy chorus or over the top symphonic element is more than worthy. In fact, all songs are pretty much just as good each other.

So far, one may wonder how this is 'just' a 4 seeing as I've praised it as though it's going to change the face of metal forever. It can't be a 5 because that implies perfection and nothing's perfect. The vocals are sometimes a bit too croaky and could do with a bit more 'substance' to them. Secondly, although consistently great, there are few moments on the album that are really epic or incredibly brutal, as indeed a black metal should be. "Empyrean" is the closest to achieving the latter while "The World Beyond" the former. In other words, it has lots of groovy parts put together but there aren't enough passages whereby a melody defines and underlines a song. It's therefore sometimes difficult to remember a song, but as soon as it starts, you know exactly what's coming next. Another consideration to make is the possible lasting power of such an album. I usually find that the harder it is to get into an album, the more rewarding the listening experience. This album, at times, seems almost too direct and therefore I worry about how it's going to stand up in 6 months time, 6 years time.

Only time will tell but this is without a doubt a fantastic debut album. One which will surely (and deservedly) project them to the forefront of the genre. I'm sure the best is still to come from them, as the band are still finding their feet following their reformation. One thing is certain though; if this album is anything to go by, they're going to be huge.

Recommended Tracks:

1. The World Beyond
2. Floods
3. Into the Ashes
4. Empyrean


user ratings (299)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Rationalist (2.5)
Abigail Williams has the potential to be something great, but an evolution in songwriting and a more...

Eternalnow (5)
A stunning symphonic black metal album that easily rivals anything put out in the last few years....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Shitpants
November 20th 2008



30 Comments


Saw this band Sunday night with The Faceless, Born of Osiris, Shai Hulud (best preformance), Veil of Maya, Neuraxis, Burning the Masses, and I swear I'm forgetting a band but whatever.

They were pretty good but I was sad because Ashley their keyboard player wasn't there. And she's pretty hot

Thor
November 20th 2008



10186 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I've seen them twice, once with and once without their keyboard player. The former was much, MUCH better.

Album is ok, but it gets old quick. Plus it borrows a bit too much from other bands. That's why the Legend EP worked I guess. The band is great in short bursts, but tedious for a full album.

rasputin
November 20th 2008



14540 Comments


Hawks likes this.

/thread

Shitpants
November 20th 2008



30 Comments


True. She's pretty hot huh? haha

I got this album like idk maybe a month before it came out. And you're right, it gets old quick.

AngelPhoenix
November 20th 2008



2764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is reeeeeeeealy good

marksellsuswallets
November 20th 2008



4848 Comments


albums like kinda ok i guess...

bastard
November 20th 2008



3435 Comments


this album is pretty bad.

lucazade22
November 20th 2008



531 Comments


Really don't see too much wrong with this tbh...I think it kicks ass! It's like The Black Dahlia Murder with the symphonic element and less core.

As for the lasting power...as I said in the review...I can't say yet cos I haven't had the album for long enough.

BallsToTheWall
November 20th 2008



44194 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Keyboardist is dating the singer of Darkest Hour. That lucky, glasses sporting S.O.B him. Good review, one song I heard with female vocals was really good. And didn't Trym guest appear some time on here? I'm pretty sure he did.

Fuck TBDM.This Message Edited On 11.20.08

Digging: My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

Hawks
November 20th 2008



35638 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hawks likes this.

Yeah pretty much.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

lucazade22
November 20th 2008



531 Comments


yep...Trym did all the drums!! Forgot to mention doh

asdemonsburn
November 20th 2008



793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album, Floods is incredibleThis Message Edited On 11.20.08

PtitDominator
November 21st 2008



17 Comments


Not a bad album, some of the songs stand out, while some others are grow old quick.This Message Edited On 11.21.08

Willie
Moderator
November 21st 2008



15913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I listened to a few songs from this and their EP. This is some horrible music.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

ikarus
November 21st 2008



562 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this album is pretty fun

forget the new cradle of filth album...

KritikalMotion
November 21st 2008



2261 Comments


Ashley's working this awesome side project with Dan Briggs and Adam Fisher.

I'll get this album when im uncapped.

Hawks
November 21st 2008



35638 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is some horrible music.

What's so horrible about it?

lucazade22
November 22nd 2008



531 Comments


'this album is pretty fun'

Exactly...it's just a really cool record to listen to. Not like the new Gojira album which seems like a chore to listen to!!

Bleak
December 4th 2008



258 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I found this album disappointing. Legend was a pretty solid album, but I found this to be a step backward.

Hawks
December 6th 2008



35638 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is a lot better than Legend.



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