Album Review: Abigail Williams - 'Becoming'

5 February 2012 | 12:10 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Moody black metal from Phoenix.

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If predecessor 'In the Absence of Light' was a bold statement about Abigail Williams's intentions to adopt a more traditional black metal feel then third studio album 'Becoming' is as much a reinforcement as it is a reflection of a band constantly evolving.

Six songs making up an album totalling 55 plus minutes. The equation is mapped-out. The listener is in for moody, atmospheric and prolonged doses of european inspired black metal. Full-length number three from these Phoenix based metallers is clearly designed to get to the roots of the collective members listening catalogue.

'Becoming' focuses on contrast and brooding depth as opposed to blistering intensity. In many respects, the changing tempos and emotional delivery shares more in common with up and coming contemporaries Deafheaven than anything else. Beginning with an eleven minute marathon track 'Ascension Sickness', the album quickly transitions into 'Radiance', which is a slower and more dense song that doesn't rely on double kick work and scratching distorted guitar lines. Essentially, this album is darker than it is heavy. It's still black metal in every sense of the word, just a different shade of it.

Credit to Abigail Williams for giving more layers to their sound and it's worth noting that the band consciously mix things up. There's no repetition between releases but there still seems to be something lacking in each. In this case, 'Becoming' is fluent and executed well but just doesn't packs as much punch as some other genre related bands.

Middle tracks, 'Elestal' and 'Infinite Fields of Mind' both begin the same way. Slow, instrumental introductions before faster and deeper periods that allow the respective tracks to play out.

As there is no apparent consistency between full-length's, it's hard to get an adequate gauge on Abigail Williams. As a general consensus, it seems each album has its charms and equally its own flaws. 'Becoming' fits that criteria once again.

'Becoming' is not designed or crafted to polarise but there is still a strong feeling that some will embrace this album more than others. Studio album three is another release that stands alone in the Abigail Williams discography. It has certain strong moments but nothing more profound.

1. Ascension Sickness

2. Radiance

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3. Elestal

4. Infinite Fields Of Mind

5. Three Days Of Darkness

6. Beyond The Veil