Jun 222020


During these last few months of covid lockdowns and social distancing, playthrough videos have proliferated like wildflowers in the spring, as ways for musicians to burn off some pent-up energy and to remind us that their bands still exist, even though they haven’t been able to gig and tour. The videos have not all been of equal quality, nor have they been uniformly interesting. And to be honest, we’ve resisted overtures to premiere playthrough videos, preferring to continue concentrating on new music rather than performances of songs that have been out in the world for a while.

But this video premiere is one we couldn’t resist.

In the first place, the subject is “Black Waves“, a tremendously good song from an album all of us here liked A LOT — Abigail Williams‘ 2019 album Walk Beyond the Dark (and you can and should read Andy Synn‘s review of it if you haven’t yet delved into the record).

And in the second place, the play-through is performed by cellist Kakophonix, whose contributions to the album were a significant factor in building the moments of haunting grandeur and epic atmosphere within the record, and it’s fascinating to watch and hear his performance. Continue reading »

Jan 152020


As mentioned earlier today in the last installment of this growing list, I’m making an effort to catch up after a couple of missed days, and so we have two Parts today instead of one. For this one I’ve chosen tracks from two stand-out 2019 releases. To catch up yourselves on the choices that preceded these, follow this link.


I recognize that this first choice might be controversial, not because it’s a song from the latest Abigail Williams album, which rightly received plenty of acclaim in our own year-end lists as well as others, but because many of the people who embraced the album may have other favorite tracks that I didn’t choose.That’s the “problem” with an album like Walk Beyond the Dark. It’s so accomplished and so memorable that it makes the job of picking just one track, even for a list defined principally by “infectiousness”, a tough one. Continue reading »

Nov 082019


(Here’s Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by Abigail Williams, which will be released by Blood Music on November 15th.)

Patience, as we’re so often told, is a virtue. As, perhaps, is perseverance.

If so, then Abigail Williams mainman Ken Sorceron must be practically a saint at this point, having spent over a decade weathering the slings and arrows of hostile critics and the ignorant public in equal measure.

Thankfully, all this time playing the black sheep of American Black Metal has had a paradoxically freeing effect on the band’s music, allowing it to adapt and evolve at its own pace without being shackled by commercial considerations or concerns for the critical consensus.

And nowhere is this more true than on Walk Beyond the Dark. Continue reading »

Oct 192019


It’s been another messed-up week for yours truly. My usual routines have been flipped upside-down by events in my personal life, and I’m not sure when they’ll be right-side-up again. As with the week before last, new-music round-ups were a casualty. I did manage to find enough free time this morning to compile this one.


Five years after Death Mask, Lord Mantis has revived and recorded a new album named Universal Death Church. The line-up this time consisted of a reunion of vocalist/bassist Charlie Fell and guitarist/vocalist Andrew Markuszewski, joined again by guitarist Ken Sorceron of Abigail Williams, and by new drummer Bryce Butler in place of the late Bill Bumgardner. Continue reading »

Sep 222019


You’re probably asking yourself, since I can’t hear you, “Why will there be a second Part to this when there’s already seven bands in Part 1?!?” A good question, and a better one than you know, since there are also seven bands in Part 2.

I do have a reason for channeling such a flood of music from the black realms in this SOB installment, but I’ll save the explanation for Part 2. Sadly, I also realize the risk that this is just too much for most normal people to focus on. But I’m fortified by the suspicion that you’re not normal. I’m also deferring Part 2 to Monday morning, for extra fortification.

P.S. There’s some great cover artwork coming your way in this collection, in addition to the fine music.

P.P.S. Yes, I do know about the surprise release of Blut Aus Nord‘s new album. I had been waiting to post my review until everyone else got the promo. Now everyone can hear it, but I’ll share my own thoughts anyway — probably tomorrow. Continue reading »

Dec 292016



(Ken Sorceron had a very busy year, touring both Europe and the U.S. with Abigail Williams, singing with The Faceless, announcing a new band named The Accuser that has signed with Blood Music, and more. But in response to our invitation, he still managed to assemble a list of favorite 2016 releases that we’re now sharing with you — on his birthday!)

I didn’t get to listen to a ton of new releases this year because I was so busy doing my own music, but here are the top ten releases I can remember really liking in 2016.

In no particular order: Continue reading »

Nov 282016



Almost exactly one year has passed since the release of The Accuser, and now at last we have a new song from Abigail Williams to share with you. This is a demo track that will eventually appear in final form on a future release. Its origins can be traced back to a time soon after the release of the band’s third album, Becoming, in 2012 (with the original version co-written by former AW member Ian Jekelis and AW’s Ken Sorceron), though it has been revisited and revised more recently by Sorceron.

The name of the song is “The Final Failure“. At more than 11 minutes in length, it’s a multifaceted and emotionally intense track that alternately smolders and burns, like a campfire that’s dying in a frigid and hostile wilderness despite efforts to revive it. Or it could be felt as an expression of beleaguered striving in the face of one bad twist of fate after another, ultimately ending in failure and a staggering collapse into desolating grief. Continue reading »

Jan 082016

Ken Sorceron


(Andy Synn posed some questions to Ken Sorceron, vocalist/guitarist for Abigail Williams, whose 2015 album The Accuser was one of our favorite 2015 albums — and here are the answers.)


Hello Ken, how are you, and how are things in the AW camp?

I’m fine, thanks for asking. The band is good, just gearing up to go out and support Fleshgod Apocalypse in Feb.


How did the recent tour go? (Feel free to embellish with stories of drunken hijinks, drug-induced lunacy, or fine-dining experiences.)

Lots and lots of drug-induced lunacy, that’s for sure. Though it’s pretty hard for a band at our level (low) to operate like that over time, so that era has had to come to an end. Obviously drugs and alcohol will still be around, we aren’t squares or anything, just to a lesser degree from now on. The last two years were pretty insane on that front and we are somewhat lucky to be either alive or not in jail or something at this point.

As far as fine dining goes I’m a big fan of eating in the South and in the Midwest. Eating at all my favorite places around the country or world is pretty much one of the main reasons I still tour. Continue reading »

Jan 052016

Abigail Williams-The Accuser


Welcome to the 9th Part of our evolving list of 2015’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. To listen to the other songs that have preceded the two I’m adding today, go here.


As we forge brazenly ahead into the first month of the new year, we still have two year-end 2015 series in progress. Earlier today I posted one of our year-end lists, actually a combination of lists, prepared by the members of Amiensus.

I’ve been posting those lists in the order received, and it happens that today, in that order, was the day for the ones from Amiensus. And in that list, the band’s vocalist James Benson named “Will Wish and Desire” as his top metal song of the year. Continue reading »

Dec 212015

Abigail Williams-photo by Levan TK
photo by Levan TK

(Abigail Williams released one of our favorite albums of 2015 — to read our review of it and check out the music if you haven’t already, go HERE — and today we bring you a year-end list by AW’s Ken Sorceron.)

In no particular order:

Akhlys-The Dreaming I

Akhlys – The Dreaming I

Continue reading »