01. From a Buried Heart 02. Like Carrion Birds 03. The Conqueror Wyrm 04. Watchtower 05. Procession of the Aeons2007 Candlelight Records
Abigail Williams, self-proclaimed beneficiaries of Myspace marketing, have been constantly growing in popularity since the band's inception on the wings of their so-called revolutionary "black metalcore" sound. Thankfully, the hardcore influence is subtle, and this EP is free of any obnoxious mosh-inducing moments. Their combination of standard Swedish melodic death metal, the symphonic black metal of Dimmu Borgir, and a touch of hardcore influence looks to find a home in the music collection of listeners who may not have been exposed to traditional European black/death metal. And that's just the problem with this disc: it may sound new in comparison with the rest of the current metalcore scene, but most metal fans will be quick to realize that Legend is far from groundbreaking. To be fair, however, the musical execution on Legend is extremely competent. The EP begins with "From a Buried Heart," a track heavy in keyboard presence and melodic death metal riffing. As expected, high pitched screams are combined with the standard death growls in a predictable manner throughout the song. The track concludes with a serene piano outro courtesy of the band's talented female keyboardist. As much as I find the keyboard presence to be slightly overbearing from a personal preference standpoint, there is no denying that the keyboardist carries much of the band's sound on her shoulders, and has absolutely no difficulty in doing so. Fans of symphonic metal will most likely be impressed with this characteristic of Abigail Williams. Other tracks also display moments of quality musicianship, such as the sweeping guitar work in "Like Carrion Birds," but quite frankly, musical competency can only account for so much of the content of an album. I just can't imagine too many metal fans taking a break from their Dimmu Borgir and Arch Enemy albums to hear Abigail Williams' predictable, albeit proficient, attempt at blackened death metal. The production on Legend is crisp and clean, which comes as no surprise from Candlelight Records. The keyboards of Abigail Williams are the backbone of their sound, and their strong presence in the mix clearly reflects this. Bottom Line: Abigail Williams' Legend is a musically competent attempt at combining traditional Gothenburg melodic death metal with the symphonic side of black metal. Based on the growing popularity of this band, there is no doubt that kids on this side of the pond are eating it up, but I suspect that many metal fans will not find a whole lot to get overly excited about in Legend.