Abigail Williams is a band that will, most likely, never stop catching shit from metal elitists. They've undergone a plethora of line-up changes and sound changes. Not to mention that they call North American home and have solid production on their albums, two cons for black metal bands (according to elitists). Abigail Williams's latest album, Becoming, was released on January 24th.
On their first album, In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns, Abigail Williams opted for a symphonic black metal sound, a la Dimmu Borgir. Their next album, In the Absence of Light, saw the band striving for a straight-up black metal sound. Becoming, however, is completely unlike anything Abigail Williams has ever released before. They've stripped away the keyboards and triggered drums and, as a result, have discovered a much more natural sound. Welcome to Abigail Williams's take on Cascadian black metal, folks.
One of the key elements of Becoming is the ambiance. The first track, Ascension Sickness, introduces us to said ambiance. Get to know it because you'll encounter it frequently throughout the album. The ambient passages are my favorite aspect of the album, but that does not go to say that anything else on Becoming is poorly done. Everything on Becoming is slower than anything Abigail Williams has released before, mostly due to the absence of the triggered drums. The vocals, while rare, are the standard high-pitched wails that are characteristic of black metal. There are some incredible grooves to be found on Becoming, particularly on Infinite Fields of Mind and Radiance.
Despite the fact that Becoming is only six songs in length, it still clocks in at almost an hour. Most of the tracks are at least eight minutes in length, with only two tracks falling below that mark. Despite their reputation as a shitty "scene" band, I think Abigail Williams deserves some credit for Becoming as well as a second chance from many of their detractors. While I don't typically listen to black metal, I enjoyed Becoming a great deal and I would encourage anyone who is looking for something new for their listening pleasure to give Abigail Williams and their new album a chance.