Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Album Review: Abigail Williams - “Legend”

The Black Dahlia Murder is a band who’s formula is becoming easy to rip off. All melodies and harmonies all the time, the drums moving between lots of blast beats between simpler bass-snare-bass-snare combinations, and the vocals usually being high mixed in with very low, sometimes harmonized harsh vocals. The Zimmermann Note did it, so did Summer’s End, and Abigail Williams has done it too. Or at least in their first 4 songs on their “Legend” EP.

Sure Abigail Williams throw a lot of keyboards in there as well as a few piano runs, some of which sounding pretty close to Children Of Bodom. They’ve got some chugga style breakdowns hidden by using a steady pulse of double bass. The song “Conqueror Worms” even has female clean sung vocals.

The most promising song on the EP is “Watchtower” because the band really stretches themselves into symphonic black metal and the vocalist stretches his vocals up higher to sound a heck of a lot more like Dani Filth. The guitar solo in the middle of the song has a strange harmony to it, very nasty and not very melodic. Unfortunately the whole sounds like a bunch of metalcore kids doing Cradle Of Filth.

The last song on the EP titled “Procession Of The Aeons” sounds a bit more promising with the majority of the song going for a much more raw black metal feel with the tremolo picked riffs with a few melodies and harmonies strung between. The feeling this time with the guitar melodies is much closer to Dark Tranquillity in their more modern Keyboard era.

One big hurdle “Legend” has is a lack of cohesiveness, as the differences between the songs are almost far enough apart to sound like they don’t belong together. The biggest problem though is lack of originality. While the concept of bringing several of their direct influences like Cradle Of Filth, Children Of Bodom, Dark Tranquillity and The Black Dahlia Murder with a touch of breakdowns sounds sort of nice, it’s to the point where they’re practically ripping those bands off. The last big thing to overcome is the already overcrowded area metal that’s melodic. I wade through melodies and harmonies all the time with these sorts of bands, and 3 out of the 4 bands mentioned as having portions that they sound directly akin to are based somehow in melody.

As I’ve mentioned before, the world of more glossy symphonic black metal taking cues from Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir seems to be one with lots of local bands, but no one band seems to have found any artistic exploration or success playing it.

When will I hear a metalcore band influenced by raw black metal? That sounds way more fun.


Abigail Williams
Abigail Williams At MySpace
Abigail Williams At Purevolume
Abigail Williams At Candlelight Records


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