Walk Beyond the Dark

Nov. 21, 2019


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The Pitch: Washington black metal band Abigail Williams take another turn for the melodic on their latest album via Blood Music. FFO: Numenorean, Au-Dessus, Panopticon

What I Like: For my money, things start to get most interesting as we venture deeper into track 3, "Ever So Bold." It's here that the melodic tinges that largely characterize Walk Beyond The Dark take hold. Abigial Williams has always been somewhat of a black sheep in the black metal community, and on this album it feels more than ever like a middle finger to the rulebook. Soaring post-black tremolos conjure comparisons to the likes of Numenorean much more than Darkthrone or Gorgoroth. Quite a righteous guitar solo towards the middle too, I might add. This more atmospheric approach broadens even further on the remaining tracks with some positively mournful classical string arrangements to compliment the occasionally proggy arrangements. It's at times powerful emotive; fitting given the trials, tribulations, and losses that inspired the album according to Ken Sorceron.

Critiques: If I'm being perfectly honest, I'm a little bored. Despite being a sucker for strings, and the strong performances in that department, it just feels like ideas I've heard done better before. Furthermore, the longer songs are much too long and fall victim to repetition and redundancy. As for the more traditional elements, I became a fan of these guys when they dropped the excellent The Accuser in 2015. By comparison, the straight black metal here simply lacks the visceral punch of rippers like "Path Of Broken Glass" or "Last Communion." I get that the writing is coming from a very different place, but I miss the spiraling hatred.

The Verdict: If you're looking for the visceral punch of The Accuser, be prepared to adjust your expecations. Walk Beyond The Dark, is a much more melodic, introspective outing aligned with recent output from the post-black camp. When taken in that context, Abigail Williams have put out a perfectly serviceable album, albeit one that lacks a certain sense of individuality if you're familiar to the subgenres on display.

Flight's Fav's: I Will Depart, Ever so Bold, Into the Sleep

- Review by FlightOfIcarus

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