Interview: Abigail Williams works to create larger than life metal

Abigail Williams (photo by Jeremy Saffer)

Abigail Williams (photo by Jeremy Saffer)

In the early 1990s, Norway spawned two very different styles of black metal — the stripped down,  lo-fi primal screams of bands like Darkthrone and Mayhem, and symphonic black metal bands like Emperor and Dimmu Borgir, who blended blistering metal and breakneck speed with the influences of classical music.

Ken Sorceron, lead vocalist for Abigail Williams, said the band members were both inspired by the symphonic bands and consider themselves part of the black metal movement.

Like the Norwegian bands, Sorceron said Abigail Williams’ goal is to take listeners away from everyday life.

“We’re trying to create a majestic sound, something like a brutal soundtrack to a fantasy movie,” Sorceron said. “We go for brutality, but at the same time (we’re) trying to create atmosphere.”

With the band’s first full-length album, “In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns,” recently released by Candlelight Records, the members of Abigail Williams are in the midst of a mammoth summer tour that will put them on stage almost every night through late August.

Tomorrow, Friday June 19, the band will perform with Success Will Write Apocalypse Across The Sky, Abysmal Dawn, Kilarus and Giddy Up Gangsta at The Brothers, 624 Emery Dr.

Sorceron said the band has more in common with the Norwegian black metal bands than some of its American counterparts. The band has also opened for some of the big names in black metal, including Dark Funeral, and has shared the stage with progressive Norwegian metal bands like Enslaved.

“We’re all more influenced by the Norwegian black metal scene, the second wave (bands),” Sorceron said. “We took it and ran with it and developed it into our own sound.”

Musically, the band creates an intricate sound, but prides itself on being able to recreate it on stage.

“Everything is there,” Sorceron said of the band’s live shows. “You’ll hear every single nuance of the keyboards and the drumming. Everything is very precise when we play live.”

The band prefers playing live than working in the studio, he said.

“It’s more of an intense thing live, because of the energy on the stage,” Sorceron said. “I think it’s harder to get it down in the studio because I never feel it’s quite right.”

The band’s intense summer touring schedule — which contains almost no days off — seems daunting. But Sorceron said the band prefers playing as much as possible.

“There’s no time to relax” on the current tour, he said. “But … when we have days off on tours, it’s hard to try to get back into the groove the next day.”

From playing with widely acclaimed bands like Dark Funeral, Sorceron said the band honed its craft.

“We watched Dark Funeral play every single night when we were a really new band, and that made an impact on me,” Sorceron said. “It made me realized we needed to get faster.”

For full tracks from “In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns,” visit Abigail Williams’ MySpace page.

Also, here’s a video from “Into The Ashes.”

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