Abigail Williams Bio
Sorceron - Vocals, Guitar
Ian - guitar
Ken - drums
Exploding into life, straight from the sun-ravaged streets of Arizona, Abigail Williams are nothing short of American black metal's brave new saviours. With a gloriously grandiose and bombastic symphonic black metal sound that puts the lo-fi fumblings and meagre ambition of their few notable peers to shame, these young servants of the dark side stand proudly apart from the rest of America's identikit metalcore and deathcore scenes. And now, at last, the wait is finally over and the band's debut album, In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns, is straining at the leash. Recorded in Arizona, New York City, New Jersey, Florida and Norway, it's a multi-faceted masterpiece of demonic bluster, dazzling technicality and harrowing atmospheres that seems destined to turn Abigail Williams into one of America's biggest and, perhaps more importantly, most original new metal bands.
"A lot of kids have never heard anything like us," says vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and founder member Sorceron. "They hear us and think 'What the fuck is this?', but six months later they're contacting us on MySpace and they've got all the black metal shit! We're the first black metal band a lot of kids have heard, and that's pretty cool. It's not like we're wearing crazy costumes up there. We look the same as the kids. It's all about the music, you know?"
Originally formed in 2005 by Sorceron, Abigail Williams' journey to this inspirational point in time has been a turbulent one. After spending a couple of years savouring their own evolution, the band signed with legendary metal label Candlelight Records in 2006 and set about producing their debut release, the universally acclaimed Legend EP. A feral mixture of extreme metal strains, the songs on the EP were by no means emblematic of black metal in its purest form, but it was clear that here, at last, was a young American metal band that had the balls and the panache to do something different and to look beyond the malnourished ambitions of their fellow countrymen to embrace the artistic daring of their European forebears too. But then, just as the glowing reviews were rolling in, Abigail Williams called it quits, with Sorceron and keyboard ingénue Ellyllon citing personal issues as the cause of the band's collapse. Fortunately, all was not lost. Within less than a year, Sorceron announced his intention to reconvene the band and with those personal differences resolved once and for all, both he and Ellyllon returned to the fold with renewed enthusiasm and determination. Now joined by guitarists Mike and Bjornthor, bassist Plaguehammer and drummer Samus, today's Abigail Williams is a genuine but unashamedly intrepid black metal band in thought, word and deed.
"I like the underground black metal stuff as well, but we're trying to do something different.," says Sorceron. "We have a good scene over here as far as the depressive stuff with the low production values goes, but we want to do the really big sounding shit!"
Fans of Dimmur Borgir, Dissection and Dark Funeral will be blown away by windswept and incendiary anti-hymns like 'The World Beyond', 'Departure' and 'Smoke And Mirrors', but just in case anyone need to be convinced that this band's uniquely intense take on symphonic black metal is 100 per cent authentic, Abigail Williams have been given the official thumbs-up by no less a legend than Emperor/Zyklon drummer Trym Torson, whose mind-blowing percussive talents can be heard on all but three of the album's tracks. Recruited before the current line-up was assembled, Trym clearly recognised that Abigail Williams are the real deal and this unexpected meeting of minds has produced some of the most fiery and thrilling music in the history of extreme metal.
"Getting Trym in to play on the album was pretty awesome," says Sorceron. "When I first sent him the first few songs, his first comment was 'This is very Norwegian!' so we knew we were doing it right!"
As if the assistance of one legend wasn't enough, the recording of In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns was overseen by James Murphy. A former member of Obituary, Death and Testament and a noted producer of cutting edge extremity, Murphy has helped to take Abigail Williams to a new level of power and conviction.
"James is a friend of mine," says Sorceron. "He's been wanting to work with us forever, even before we signed with Candlelight. Finally he said 'I want you to come and live with me for three months and we'll make a record!' We're all really fuckin' proud of the results."
Not just an American black metal milestone, but one of the most invigorating albums of the century so far, In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns is vicious, scything dark metal at its malevolent best; a swarming maelstrom of flesh-flaying riffs, inhuman screams and skull-flattening kick drums, topped with sumptuous orchestration and enough atmosphere and drama to set your brain spinning from the sheer, hideous thrill of it all. Abigail Williams are the real deal. And they're here to stay.