Abigail Williams (band)

Last updated
Abigail Williams
Abigail Williams.jpg
Background information
Origin Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Genres Black metal, symphonic black metal, metalcore (early)
Years active2004–present
Short hiatus in 2007
Labels Candlelight
MembersKen Bergeron

Abigail Williams is an American extreme metal band, originally from Phoenix, Arizona, but now based in Olympia, Washington. Since their formation in 2004, the group has suffered near-constant changes to their line-up. The band even disbanded in 2007 for a short time before reforming and writing their debut full-length album. Shortly after an eight-week tour in support of their debut full-length album In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns (2008), vocalist Ken Sorceron would become the only original member remaining.

Extreme metal is a loosely defined umbrella term for a number of related heavy metal music subgenres that have developed since the early 1980s. It has been defined as a "cluster of metal subgenres characterized by sonic, verbal and visual transgression".

Phoenix, Arizona State capital city in Arizona, United States

Phoenix is the capital and most populous city of Arizona, with 1,660,272 people. It is also the fifth most populous city in the United States, and the most populous American state capital, and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents.

Olympia, Washington State capital and city in Washington, United States

Olympia is the capital of the U.S. state of Washington and the county seat of Thurston County. European settlers claimed the area in 1846, with the Treaty of Medicine Creek initiated in 1854, and the Treaty of Olympia initiated in January 1856.

Contents

The group initially performed a symphonic black metal style, but with the release of the band's second full-length album In the Absence of Light (2010), Abigail Williams would switch to a traditional black metal sound that was also carried out into their third full-length album titled Becoming (2012).

Symphonic black metal is a subgenre of black metal that emerged in the mid to late 1990s, and incorporates symphonic and orchestral elements.

<i>In the Absence of Light</i> 2010 studio album by Abigail Williams

In the Absence of Light is the second album by black metal band Abigail Williams. The album was released in North America on September 28, 2010. The album moves away from the symphonic black metal sound and keyboard usage featured on In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns to a more standard black metal sound.

<i>Becoming</i> (Abigail Williams album) 2012 studio album by Abigail Williams

Becoming is the third album by American black metal band Abigail Williams. It was released on January 24, 2012 via Candlelight Records. The record was met with highly positive critics. It was thought to be the last album of the band, as they announced disbandment, however, later on, it was confirmed that Abigail Williams are getting together again for at least an album and a tour.

History

The band was formed in 2004 by guitarist Ken Bergeron, [1] who later became the vocalist. Prior to forming Abigail Williams and taking on the name Sorceron, Bergeron was the guitarist of Victims In Ecstacy, [2] followed by participation in various hardcore and metal acts in Arizona. [3]

Victims In Ecstacy

Victims In Ecstacy were an unsigned rock band from Phoenix, Arizona who were active between 1998 and 2001.

Abigail Williams' first songs were six demo tracks that were streamed online with a sound described by the band as having "the groove and melody of Gothenburg style death metal, the face smashing breakdowns of the hardcore scene, topped with the bombastic and epic approach favored by the frostbitten black metal hordes". [4] These demo songs were later packaged by a fan into a bootleg named Gallow Hill. Three of these demo tracks would be re-recorded for the Legend EP, including "Melquiades (The Great Work)", which was re-titled "The Conqueror Wyrm" and "Swollen Disgust", which was released as "Like Carrion Birds". [5]

<i>Legend</i> (Abigail Williams EP) 2006 EP by Abigail Williams

Legend is the debut EP by black metal band Abigail Williams. It was originally released as a live EP of concert songs on October 3, 2006 and was later released through Candlelight Records as studio-quality release on January 23, 2007. The EP is noted for its metalcore influences that are abandoned after this release.

After touring extensively, including a United Kingdom tour in 2006, the band had their debut release through Candlelight Records, which was the Legend EP in 2006, which mixed metalcore influences with symphonic black metal, and was described by Allmusic as "a perfect example of an American recording with a very Nordic-influenced sound". [6] [7] [8] According to vocalist/guitarist Ken Sorceron, the EP was only released so that the band would have something to promote, explaining "a lot of the songs are, like, older songs, and they felt a bit old. At the time we were trying to make an album and we just couldn't finish it on time for some tours". [8] After touring with Dark Funeral and Enslaved, the band split up in early 2007, although Sorceron later claimed that rather than a permanent split it was a pre-meditated hiatus. [8] Sorceron and Wilson continued playing together in another band, and eventually asked the original Abigail Williams bassist Thomas G. Plaguehammer to join them on drums. They decided to resume Abigail Williams as a band, with Plaguehammer returning to bass, Zach Gibson and Bjorn Dannov rejoining, and also Kristen Randall (Winds of Plague) joining the band. [6] After a tour in late 2007, their drummer and keyboard player left, with Ashley Ellylon rejoining on keyboards and Samus becoming the new permanent drummer. [6]

Candlelight Records is a British record label based in England and founded by former Extreme Noise Terror bassist Lee Barrett, though it has had a division in the United States since January 2001. Candlelight Records specialises in black metal, and later on melodic death metal and death metal, having bands such as Emperor, Obituary, 1349, Theatre of Tragedy, Xerath, Dismember, Keep of Kalessin, TheLord, Nachtmystium, KKDT42 and Zyklon on its roster. The label is notable for putting out early releases from influential bands such as TheLord, Opeth and Emperor. Candlelight Records is in co-operation with Appease Me Records and AFM Records. In January 19, 2016, Candlelight was acquired by Spinefarm Records.

Dark Funeral Swedish black metal band

Dark Funeral is a Swedish black metal band from Stockholm, founded by guitarists Blackmoon and Lord Ahriman in 1993. They emerged during the second wave of black metal.

Enslaved (band) Norwegian metal band

Enslaved is a Norwegian extreme metal band formed by Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson in Haugesund in June 1991. They are currently based in Bergen, Norway. Though the band's lineup has changed many times over the years, Bjørnson and Kjellson have been the sole constant members, and the lineup remained the same from 2004 to 2016. Following their 25th anniversary world tour, keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Herbrand Larsen departed from the band after 12 years and six albums. He has since been replaced by Håkon Vinje.

The band went into the studio with producer James Murphy (former guitarist of Obituary, Testament, and Cancer) to record their debut album, In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns , released in October 2008, on which the metalcore influences that the band had on their previous songs was completely abandoned. The sound of the debut album has even drawn comparisons to Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth. [6] [9] Much of its inspiration came from the melodic metal scene found in the Nordic countries. [10] Because bands from these countries were immersed in the mythology of their respective countries, Abigail Williams looked into American history. Arthur Miller's The Crucible brought Abigail Williams, one of the original and foremost accusers in the Salem witch trials of 1692, to their attention.

James Murphy (guitarist) American guitarrist

James Franklin Murphy is an American guitarist. He is best known for his work in metal bands, Obituary, Death and Testament. He founded Disincarnate, an early death metal band.

Obituary (band) American death metal band

Obituary is an American death metal band formed in Tampa, Florida, in 1984. Initially called Executioner, the band changed its name to Xecutioner in 1986 to avoid confusion with the thrash metal band Executioner from Boston, and then changed its name once again to Obituary in 1988. The band's current lineup consists of vocalist John Tardy, drummer Donald Tardy, rhythm guitarist Trevor Peres, bassist Terry Butler, and lead guitarist Kenny Andrews. Obituary has gone through several lineup changes, with the Tardy brothers and Peres being the only constant members. The band was a fundamental act in the development of death metal music, and is one of the most successful death metal bands of all time. To date, Obituary has released ten studio albums, and with the exception of their 1997–2003 split, they continue to perform live around the world. Their music is based around heavily groove based riffs and drumming along with John Tardy's barking vocals, which create their signature brand of death metal.

Testament (band) American metal band

Testament is an American thrash metal band from Berkeley, California. Formed in 1982 under the name Legacy, the band's current lineup comprises guitarists Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick, lead vocalist Chuck Billy, drummer Gene Hoglan, and bassist Steve Di Giorgio. Since its inception, Testament has had numerous lineup changes, leaving Peterson as the only constant member. Billy replaced original singer Steve "Zetro" Souza in 1986, prior to the recording of their first studio album, The Legacy, and has been a member of the band since. He and Peterson are the only members to appear on all of Testament's studio albums.

The accuser is always relevant in society. In America there were the witch trials, the Red Scare, and now terrorism. Everyone is always quick to point a finger; we do it out of fear, prejudice, and because of things we don’t understand. So, the accuser will always be present in society. Abigail Williams really stuck out to us, not only due to the above mentioned, but also because it possessed that iconic quality, while still sounding very American. We want people to know where we are from, and that even though it may not be cool/trendy, we are proud of our American culture.

Thomas G. Plaguehammer, About.com [6]

The influence of European metal, particularly Scandinavian, is again evident. [11] The album took more than six months to record, and black metal drummer Trym Torson of Emperor and Enslaved played drums on all tracks on the album except "Floods", "Acolytes", and "Empyrean". [6] [12] [13] Most of the songs were written by Sorceron while the band was on hiatus in 2007. [13] The band toured Europe and the UK in summer 2008. In 2009, keyboardist Ashley Ellylon became the new keyboardist for Cradle of Filth, replacing Rosie Smith. In October 2009, Sam "Samus" Paulicelli also left to focus on other projects.

Abigail Williams released the deluxe edition of In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns on January 12, 2010, which included a second disc featuring four new songs, one unreleased demo of "Floods," and the music video for "Into the Ashes". [14]

Abigail Williams released their second full-length album, called In the Absence of Light , via Candlelight Records on September 28, 2010. The album shows a considerable difference from the rest of the band's discography, noting its pure black metal sound instead of symphonic black metal. [15]

The band began work on a new album in the summer of 2011, titled Becoming , which was released on January 24, 2012 through Candlelight Records. It was the band's third full-length album through the label as well as their final album in all. Frontman, Sorceron handled all production aspects of the album. [16] Before its release, the song "Ascension Sickness" leaked early on November 10, 2011 onto YouTube. [17]

On July 2, 2012 Abigail Williams announced that this year's US tour would be the last ever and that they are disbanding. [18] Since this, however, they have stated that they plan on recording another studio album along with further tour dates.

On August 25, 2015 Abigail Williams announced their forthcoming album titled The Accuser via their Facebook page. The Accuser will feature eight tracks and is expected to be released on Oct 30, 2015. [19]

On March 19th, 2018, Sorceron announced his departure from the technical death metal band The Faceless on his Facebook page, and would be putting his focus on finishing the next Abigail Williams album. The same day, The Faceless drummer Bryce Butler also announced his departure, and his new role as live drummer for Abigail Williams. [20]

Band members

Timeline

Abigail Williams (band)

Discography

Videography

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References

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  2. "Driven to Ecstacy". Phoenix New Times.
  3. "Kyds vs Columbus". asice.net.
  4. "abigail Williams". 25 April 2006. Archived from the original on 25 April 2006. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  5. Sharpe-Young, Garry (2005). New Wave of American Heavy Metal. Zonda Books Limited. p. 13. ISBN   978-0-9582684-0-0 . Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Bowar, Chad (19 November 2008). "Abigail Williams Interview: A Conversation with Thomas G. Plaguehammer and Ken Sorceron". About.com: Heavy Metal. About.com. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  7. Henderson, Alex "Legend Review", Allmusic , Macrovision Corporation
  8. 1 2 3 Mikkelson, Jill (2008) "Choice Cuts: Abigail Williams", Terrorizer , Issue 177, December 2008, p. 177
  9. Bowar, Chad 92008 "Abigail Williams – In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns" (review), About.com
  10. "Abigail Williams Interview". Candlelight Records.
  11. Laura Wiebe Taylor (2008) "Metal & Hardcore Reviews: Abigail Williams In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns", Exclaim!, December 2008
  12. Ramirez, Carlos (2008) "Abigail Williams Interview: Bassist Thomas G. Plaguehammer talks about the band's music. Archived 2008-12-16 at the Wayback Machine ", IGN Music
  13. 1 2 Harris, Chris (2008) "Abigail Williams Talk Demi Lovato, Jay-Z And Fans Eating Roadkill; Plus Mastodon, Deftones, & More News That Rules, In Metal File", VH1
  14. "In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns (Limited Edition)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  15. D-FLOx. "'Upcoming Abigail Williams album reviewed'". The Gauntlet. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  16. "ABIGAIL WILLIAMS Complete New Album". The Gauntlet. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  17. "Abigail Williams – Ascension Sickness". Metal CallOut. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
  18. "Abigail Williams Breaking Up: Final US Tour Announced". Ryan's Rock Show. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  19. "Abigail Williams Detail New Album "The Accuser"".
  20. "Update: The Entire Band Just Quit The Faceless - MetalSucks". www.metalsucks.net. 19 March 2018.
  21. PASBANI, ROBERT. "Jered Threatin's Actual Identity Uncovered". Metal Injection . Retrieved 14 November 2018.