God bless – or Satan, we don’t discriminate here – Ken “Sorceron” Bergeron because despite all the lineup, location and style changes, Abigail Williams is still a functioning outfit. Walk Beyond the Dark (Blood Music) is the follow-up to 2015’s The Accuser which caught many by surprise considering that 2012’s Becoming was supposed to be the last hurrah after another band implosion. Abigail Williams has had more members drift in and out than the Church of Scientology and yet it still stands.
And that’s without counting Bergeron’s brief stint as vocalist for another lineup chewer, Michael Keene‘s The Faceless.
With vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards and drum duties all currently assigned to hinself, he wouldn’t be faulted if he decided to fold the project and move on to something else. But generous listens and careful consideration paid to Walk Beyond the Dark it’s clear Bergeron doesn’t need anybody else in the room to crank out some classy-ass Black Metal.
Well, I certainly hope he has a talented live band as these tunes deserve to be taken out on the road.
‘I Will Depart’ and ‘Sun and Moon’ quickly set the template and urge listeners to maybe ditch the denim vest in exchange for a more elegant suit jacket. They both slam, blast and tear with the best of black metal intentions, but the crisp production, dynamics, and mood changes clearly dictate Abigail Williams have come a long way since the faux symphonies of In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns. If you really want to know the thesis behind Walk Beyond the Dark, then ‘Black Waves’ is where you want to dive in. A gothic dread is set early and for the remainder of ten-plus minutes, blasts and tremolo picking rise like the tide only to slow things back to a tension filled mid-tempo before the storm picks up again.
Here’s to hoping that Bergeron’s got a few more albums like this left in him.