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It seems that basing reviews on preconceptions and self-indulgent ideals about how a band is "supposed" to sound is the new sport around these parts.
Snobbery about the band's origins aside, Abigail Williams have managed to create an excellent, if not entirely original, set of songs on their debut EP "Legend". Drawing influences from more than one genre, including Swedish death metal and the latter-day Norwegian black metal scene, the band move between these styles with ease and with an unexpected flair for such a young band.
The talent here is obvious. The arrangements show a nod to the classical styling of Emperor and Dimmu Borgir, complete with some tasteful orchestrations and keyboard work.
The drums are fairly mechanical sounding, which is possibly down to a poor choice of samples or possibly because they're actually programmed. They certainly sound it, I have to say. Regardless, they work well within the framework of the songs and incorporate some dementedly fast gravity blasts and impressively rapid double bass work.
The guitars execute the strong riffs with aplomb, and it's here where Abigail Williams really show their strength. It's the effortless fusion from discordant black metal to the more savage end of the melodic Swedish style that stands out a mile. The influences couldn't be clearer, but it's the sheer quality of the writing that makes it so enjoyable.
The vocals remind me of the dude from Tvangeste, which isn't necessarily a good thing. In fact Tvangeste is probably a decent reference point overall, only with Abigail Williams dropping in those more furious death metal-esque elements.
If you're short-sighted enough to ignore this release simply because the band are wearing the wrong t-shirts or have the wrong haircut then you're doing yourself a disservice. Abigail Williams have set their stall out with a quality EP of well crafted and superbly executed metal and their future is very bright indeed.