Upon first hearing the sound of the keys invite us into this album, most are already well familiar with the controversial ep Legend that proceeded this release. That release was embraced by the metalcore, deathcore, and hardcore scenes for it’s metalcore fusion with the black metal genre and for the same reason despised by the metal scene. On this release however, the band leaves the core at the door and comes up with something truly fresh, inspiring, and of course absolutely bathed in black metal. Make no mistake, this album is true to the black metal sound whether it be Emperor (whose drummer Trym provided the percussion for this album) of Norway, Abigor of Austria, or Bathory of Sweden.
The album opens with a well composed and perfectly timed intro on keys to lead us into this album as a lamb being led to the slaughter. The World Beyond opens with a punishing attack of technical drums and guitar work. The song structure is written well and it’s no mistake that when the band took their time writing this record that it paid off for them. The vocals are piercing and inviting to the sound that borders other current black metal bands like 1349. The keyboards are placed extremely well and not over baring. The solo that proceeds the keys standout point on the song is well executed and not too over the top.
Stand out moments are on the final track, where we can hear a melody that is clearly influenced from bands like Satyricon in a medieval metal style. The cleanly sung vocals towards the end strike an influence from the Godfather of black metal, Bathory. Into The Ashes is another standout track with great precision and haunting keyboard work. Smoke and Mirrors has a chapel sounding organ setting from the keys which can remind one of Enthrone Darkness Triumphant or Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk. One can easily forget they are listening to an American band very easily when listening to this album.
By the end of the this song it is apparent that the production is of top notch quality, and that this band has blown worlds past Legend. This album executes great musicianship from excellent guitar work and flawless song structure to immaculate drumming and appropriately placed piano pieces. Abigail Williams are sure to be a band that rises to the top with this release whether it’s doing tours with black metal bands like 1349 or death metal acts like Nile. This album demonstrates they are now a force not to be reckoned with and that those who doubted them are truly eating their words this very day.