|Ken Sorceron (Photo by Mary Spiro)|
It's been said a dozen times that each new Abigail Williams recording sounds like a new band. And I have read that the band hails from New York, California and now most recently, Phoenix. Look at photos of the band over the last several years and you won't recognize the members from year to year. Maybe it is appropriate then, that a band named for the chief accuser in the Salem Witch Trials be a little cagey and hard to classify; her story is always changing to suit her mood.
One thing, I do know: whatever guitarist and vocalist Ken Sorceron and company are doing these days is something I like. And yes, I liked what they were doing before, too. My guess is that Sorceron writes songs that interest him without trying to sound like anything or be anything, he writes to please his own ear. Sometimes people like it, sometimes they don't. Either way it is always different.
And why not? Any really artist should, first and foremost, create to please himself or herself. Why create art you are unhappy with or are ashamed to have ascribed to your name? It is with this attitude that one should listen to the new effort from the group, Becoming, slated for official release January 24 on Candlelight Records.
The CD contains just six tracks, but they are lengthy and complex compositions--the longest, Beyond the Veil, is more than 17 minutes. The recording should be listened to from start to finish in it's entirety. I dislike typical CD reviews because I wouldn't want anyone to tell me what I should think of someone's music before listening to it, any more than I would want someone to taste my own food before I ate it. But I will offer this: Becoming contains some of the most evocative and powerful compositions that I have ever heard in what one might roughly describe as the black metal genre. The overall effect is that the listener should "become" swept away into a kind of meditative state and held in this grip throughout every song. This is not background music, but something that will possess and captivate you, leaving you feeling its impact for some time after the last chords resonate from your speakers.
Or you may hate it completely. But that decision is yours. Give it one listen at least and decide for yourself.
A tour with Dark Funeral from east to west across the US was supposed to begin on January 29. When Dark Funeral abruptly cancelled their tour on January 16, Abigail Williams was left in the lurch. Here is what Sorceron said about that situation and what he and the band plan to do next.
When you found out that Dark Funeral was canceling their tour, what was the first thing you did?
Well I found out when I first woke up so I think I took my morning piss and then I decided to try and salvage a tour for ourselves and started contacting people and putting together some routing.
You already have dates booked for the last two weeks of January. What is your plan for salvaging the tour dates between then and when you join Deicide back in Springfield, VA at Jaxx in March?
We had actually one week booked already so my plan is to have at least 14 more shows for a total of 3 weeks of shows booked. So far it’s looking good.
Since you are basically in charge of when and where you can play, how will this change the overall vibe of the tour? I mean basically you are in charge and you are the headliner, but it is a lot more work for you.
Well seeing as how it’s last minute it still won’t be perfect, but we will at least get to play a longer set and since our songs are so long people often complain when we only have time to play 2-3 songs.
Switching topics to the new recording: I was personally really moved by the entire recording and actually wished it were LONGER! Your writing really seems to evolve. Who do you listen to to keep yourself inspired? How about books? What are you reading these days?
I listen to anything from Neurosis, Death In June, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Skinny Puppy, Killing Joke, Dead Can Dance, A Tribe Called Quest, Philip Glass, Drudkh, Russian Circles and Emperor and I generally read on subjects such as string theory, spirituality, occult, ancient civilizations and a bunch of weird stuff no one will have any idea what I'm talking about. Yeah but I pretty much only read the shit that everyone else who doesn’t know math reads: Brian Greene and Michio Kaku and all that.
How do you want people to feel after they have seen one of your shows or listened to “Becoming”? What do you want people to think of when they hear the band’s name mentioned?
Well I want them to feel good of course. I suppose feeling anything is better than nothing though!
What’s your hope for 2012?
More world travelling and meeting people all over the place. Same thing I did in 2011 I guess.
Get the latest updates on Abigail Williams DIY Tour 2012 on their Facebook page.
Listen to a Soundcloud stream of the Abigail Williams' new recording here: Abigail Williams - Becoming