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Abigail Williams: In the Absence of Light

Abigail Williams the symphonic black metal band, (released their first demo in 2005, having since released two e.p's and two albums), who for my money draw comparison to Emperor, Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth, play host here to another rather stunning release. The band have gone through several personnel changes during their existence, but today the band comprises of Ken Sorceron (guitar, vocals), Ian Jekelis (guitar) and Ken Bedene (drums).

This their second full length album to date, In the Absence of Light sees the band doing what they do best, crushing blast beats, monstrous guitar riffs, producing one hell of a pompous black metal album. Interestingly in my experience, bands of this quality are usually European, but alas this is not to be, as these maestros of mayhem originate from Phoenix Arizona. This is a roller coaster ride of pure evil, which could have quite easily been a cacophony of noise.

The drum work is stunning, dextrous and versatile. I felt tired just listening to the break neck and technical precision that Bedene displays. Sorceron's rhythm work is complemented by Jekelis' lead breaks, being a match made in hell, pardon the pun. The album malevolently stalks its listener with its audacious assault, guttural screeching vocals, creating the perfect backdrop that would have been the perfect soundtrack to the aforementioned Salem trials. Whether the band are playing at breakneck speed or reducing to a slower sonic atmospheric soundstage, the band never fails to impress, including some rather excellent melodic guitar breaks. Long gone are the heady days of raw sounding death metal albums, the genre for me can be taken serious with albums this well produced.

"Hope the Great Betrayal", Final Destiny of the Gods", "In Death Comes the Great Silence", "Malediction" are the standout tracks; In the Absence of Light is a most fitting successor to their debut release.

Track Listing
1. Hope the Great Betrayal 6:44
2. Final Destiny of the Gods 8:15
3. The Mysteries That Bind the Flesh 6:51
4. Infernal Divide 4:59
5. In Death Comes the Great Silence 6:17
6. What Hells Await Me 4:47
7. An Echo In Our Legends 4:59
8. Malediction 7:01

Added: October 20th 2010
Reviewer: John OBoyle
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 1583
Language: english

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Abigail Williams: In the Absence of Light
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-10-20 12:53:18
My Score:

They may be down to just 3 members now, but US black metal act Abigail Williams still pack a mean punch. In the Absence of Light once again sees the band invoking images of classic Norwegian groups such as Emperor, Gorgoroth, Mayhem, Dimmu Borgir, Enslaved, and Immortal with their brand of hellish, raging, and often times symphonic black metal.

There are just eight tracks here, most in the 5-8 minute range, and it allows for plenty of epic sounds. Tunes such as "Hope the Great Betrayal", "The Mysteries That Bind the Flesh", and "In Death Comes the Great Silence" contain some truly mammoth tremelo picked guitar riffs and sledgehammer blast beats, and when you add in just a smattering of symphonic keyboards and evil vocal screams, you have a winning formula.

The production on In the Absence of Light is excellent, and even though there's a certain amount of rawness here, the larger than life/in your face production gives the feeling of a big budget work. Are Abigail Williams the most original act on the planet? Certainly not, but those who might feel that the mighty Dimmu Borgir have lost a step with their more theatrical & symphonic new release Abrahadabra will find plenty of pummeling black metal on this one.

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