Abigail Williams - Becoming
The tempestuous history of Abigail Williams seems to be more about who's in and out this week than the music. But in between all the to-ing and fro-ing, the band have managed to put together album number three, and a rather grand effort Becoming is too. Moving ever further away from their hardcore roots - and even the punkier end of the black metal spectrum - Becoming is characterised by huge sweeping slabs of atmospherics that attempt to draw the listener on a vast celestial voyage.
And Abigail Williams are at their best when they truly let go and let the music breathe to its full extent; the seventeen minutes of the finale 'Beyond The Veil' flow and pulsate with a slow, mystical menace that finally sees the band break loose from the shadow of the black metal pioneers that have so informed their earlier work. Becoming will not be universally popular amongst fans and followers, but they should be applauded for going out on a limb. Here's hoping a few new listeners will find it a rewarding experience.