Review Summary: The creature of a thousand faces
These past few weeks have been fertile when it comes to discovering new bands, first Schammasch and now Abigail Williams, one can say that I've been having a good time. As long as I keep hearing new things, I'll stay alive. One of the things I quickly realized when exploring the band's discography is that they have never released the same album twice. Every step forward has always revealed a willingness to change, a yearning for new approaches. From the early blackened melodic metalcore to symphonic black metal, shoegaze or psychedelia, Abigail Williams is a creature of a thousand faces, either musically or in relation to line-up, which has had more facelifts than Michael Jackson.
Something immediately noticeable as we start listening to the opener is the clean, polished production that contrasts with the previous album. It's the first indicator of the band's broader, less hermetic approach. 'I Will Depart' perfectly mirrors this aesthetic orientation, through its tasty Teutonic-esque riffs and catchy chorus, which is among the album's highlights. However, this broader approach has the merit of diversity. Walk Beyond the Dark
flows organically without repeating itself throughout the journey, as the band uses different colors within and between songs, thus creating a narrative of contrasts. Vibrant songs such as 'Ever So Bold' or 'Into the Sleep' contrast with melancholy moments like the folksy beginnings of 'Black Waves' or 'Born of Nothing'. The album lives from these different tones, and it is from them that it builds its musical narrative. 'Sun and Moon' is a good example of a song that adequately explores different tempos and moods. Feelings such as melancholy and sadness sprout throughout the album, but always complemented by an epic and glorious energy, such as the final sequences of 'Black Waves' or 'The Final Failure', which ends up with an interesting crescendo. It's this balance and the ability to explore diverse textures, within a coherent global aesthetic, that ensure the artistic success of Walk Beyond the Dark
At the end of the decade, Abigail Williams chose a broader and more accessible road, a path whose main virtue is how it manages to balance its own diversity. Walk Beyond the Dark
is thus a triumphant artistic manifestation, a creature of a thousand faces that seduces us into an inner walk, from which we will never return.