Abigail Williams Legend

While metalcore has become the bane of every "trve” metal head’s existence, there are exceptions to every rule, the rule in this case being a blanket "metalcore sucks.” If anything, Abigail Williams are pioneering a new wave, merging black with core, though still exploring melodic death territory without a ridiculous amount of generic breakdowns. Guitar harmonies in the vein of Darkest Hour are mixed with more generalised Gotthenburg styles and are piled on top of plenty of nefarious tremolo attacks. Keyboards play a prominent role, going anywhere from drawn-out, blackened chords to brief Bal-Sagoth fantasy moments to powerful, high-speed shredding. They often layer caustic throat-tearing chortles on top of guttural roars in an effective bid to add texture and complexity to their sound. They also incorporate a few singing parts, which serve as stellar hooks and plenty of fuel for a hater’s fire. All this imagination is polished to perfection, the production quality highlighting the largess of guitar melodies, as well as the minute details that colour the album. Though many will be scared off by the core factor and the well-written songs, this is a stellar introduction readying the masses for their full-length debut, which is scheduled for release this spring. (Candlelight)