Abigail Williams Goes Out in a Blaze of Glory on Last Tour
Band Photo: Abigail Williams (?)
Normally, we find Abigail William’s name in smaller font than the other acts listed on their flyer promoting a North American jaunt. This tour, however, features the group going solo on a headlining North American tour. After nearly a decade of supporting the world’s best extreme metal acts, it’s only proper that Candlelight Record’s most prolific artist becomes the featured act at each stop, especially considering this is their last tour.
One of the reasons for their disbanding is an inability to keep band members. Abigail Williams once led a cast of five members, including ex-Cradle of Filth keyboardist Ashley "Ellyllon" Jurgemeyer. Founding member Ken Sorceron came to town this time as a stripped down three-piece. The group used a synthesizer to replicate cinematic moments. This small lineup was perfect for Beerland’s small stage. It’s dark and narrowed halls were also fit the small audience well.
The land of hops and wheat gave Abigail Williams a fitting bill for their farewell show. Two of the area’s most productive acts—Humut Tabal and Pluton Shore—ushered in the show with appropriate symphonic black metal tunes, complete with dead animal horns, gauntlets and corpse paint.
Abigail Williams never showed much concern for stage props. Not to say that the openers lacked musical prowess—they held their own in that category, but Williams focused more on the musical side of their performance. The group played in sync, hitting the fast forward button as each member pounded and picked a flurry of notes or calmly played their instruments during minimalistic slow downs. Sorceron commanded the crowd’s attention through aggressive shrieks and furious guitar play.
Five songs do not constitute a full set for most headliners, but that is the number played by Abigail Williams. After the show, I approached them as they broke down the stage. I commented on how their set seemed short. Sorceron said they played five songs, but each song was quite lengthy. He mentioned how two of the songs alone constituted for over twenty minutes. The length and changes in each song presented nebulous journey. Personal set highlights came from the band’s last album “Becoming.” Those include the pace push near the end of “Radiance” and the thrashy change up on “Infinite Fields of Mind.”
It saddens me knowing Abigail Williams is disbanding. The group created some of the best black metal, atmospheric or otherwise, but they were mishandled and mislabeled so listeners, especially journalists, came in with a pre-conceived notion of their sound before ever hearing them. I’m sure one reason for the small turnout was most of the metal heads in the area had already seen them on numerous tours. Sorceron is not done, by any means, though. Hopefully, he comes back to Austin with his new group.
Check back in to Metal Underground.com for a picture gallery of the show.
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