Ever-evolving metal purveyors Abigail Williams will celebrate a decade of plying their dark arts with a 30+ city US headlining tour and a new portfolio of songs. Although many thought the band had officially called it quits, remaining original member, songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Ken Sorceron says his black metal renegades shall ascend once more.
For this early 2014 outing, Sorceron will be joined by veterans, guitarist, Jeff Wilson and touring bassist, John Porada, (both ex-Nachtmystium), and touring drummer, Jesse Beahler, (ex-Jungle Rot, Nightfire). In the studio, Wilson and long-time Abigail Williams guitarist Ian Jekelis will work with Sorceron on a full-length to be recorded in Chicago sometime in April. Drummer Alex Rudinger (The Faceless) and bassist Will Lindsay (ex-Nachtmystium, Wolves In The Throne Room) will complete the ensemble. Fans should expect a release on Candelight Records in late August or early September.
“Touring and recording are two different things in my mind,” Sorceron said. “Certain people you want around in the studio and certain people are more suitable in a live situation. Abigail Williams has never had a real solid lineup going from recording to live; we have always kept it moving.
On tour, Abigail Williams will perform their critically acclaimed 2012 album “Becoming” in its entirety. They will complete their headlining set list with selections from their genre-blending past and uncompromising new future.
With regard to the band’s genre, Sorceron doesn’t particularly care if people use the term “black metal” to describe the band and realizes many use it simply as a convenient way to classify the music.
“To some people, it’s up for debate as to whether what we play is black metal or not, but to me it doesn’t matter either way. I’m not thinking about genres and shit like that when writing music.” In fact, he laughs, he can’t even think of any adjectives to describe his music in print, “I’m not great with words, but I could make the noises with my mouth to help describe it.”
Abigail Williams is also hard to place in today’s landscape of what is described at US black metal. Since their inception in 2004, the group has continuously changed personnel, and with each new performer, came a new musical influence. The only thing that has remained constant is Sorceron who is constantly seeking new personal experiences to inspire songs and developing innovative combinations of sounds that frankly defy neat categorization. Like the girl the band was named for—the chief accuser in the Salem witch trials—Abigail Williams keeps changing her story and her sound.
“The thing about Abigail Williams is that we never fit into any landscape,” Sorceron says. “I’ve become pretty comfortable with that role. I used to read the criticism about the band on the Internet, but I stopped caring a while ago. People aren’t comfortable liking a band that has changed sound over the years.”
Sorceron also emphasizes that Abigail Williams is not a “brand” but rather a conduit for unceasing artistic expression.
“My observation has been that music fans tend to think of a band as a brand. It’s the same, as clothing in some ways. Like when someone decides they won’t be caught dead wearing XYZ brand because they sell at ‘insert lame store name here’ and ‘these types of people’ like it. I’m not oblivious to the fact that a lot of fans of our early stuff don’t like the newer stuff, and a lot of the people that like the new stuff hate the old stuff. It is a challenge for some of these people to ‘wear’ this brand in public because of it. I don’t think of my music as a brand but as an outlet for creativity and a vehicle to go and see the places I want to go see and sometimes connect with like-minded people.”
Sorceron found like-minded connections with the members of Lord Mantis and recently joined the band and performed on their latest recording, “Death Mask.” However, he says he keeps Abigail Williams in motion, because, “It is what I do.”
Confirmed dates so far include:
1/15 – Rochester, NY – The Bug Jar
1/16 – Albany, NY – Bogies
1/17 – New York, NY – Slake
1/18 – Reading, PA – Reverb
1/19 – Trenton, NJ – Championship
1/20 – Danbury, CT – Heirloom Arts Theatre
1/21 – Jeanette, PA – Gator’s
1/22 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Ballroom
1/23 – Warren, MI – The Ritz
1/24 – Kokomo, IN – Centerstage Bar & Grill
1/25 – Cherry Valley, IL – Take Twenty
1/26 – Chicago, IL – Reggies (with Charlie Fell* of Lord Mantis drums on this and each date thereafter)
1/29 – Cincinnati OH – TBA
1/30 – Johnson City TN – Mecca Lounge
1/31 – Fayetteville AR – TBA
2/1 – Fort Worth TX – Tomcat’s
2/2 – Corpus Christi TX – Zero’s
2/3 – McAllen TX – Fallback Records
2/4 – Big Spring TX – Sugars Bar
2/5 – Amarillo TX – Wreck Room
2/6 – Albuquerque NM – The Jam Spot
2/7 – Phoenix AZ – Tempe Tavern
2/8 – Los Angeles CA – Black Castle
2/9 – Bakersfield CA – Jerry’s Pizza
2/10 – Sacramento CA – The Midtown Barfly
2/11 – Oakland CA – Oakland Metro Operahouse
2/12 – Portland OR – Hawthorne Theatre
2/14 – Seattle WA – El Corazon
2/15 – Vancouver BC – The Astoria
2/16 – Spokane WA – The Hop
2/17 – Bozeman MT – The Complex
2/18 – Great Falls MT – Machinery Row
2/19 – Cheyenne WY – TBA
2/20 – Denver CO – Hi Dive
2/21 – Wichita KS – Lizard Lounge
2/22 – Tulsa OK – Downtown Lounge
2/23 – Oklahoma City OK – Chameleon Room
4/12 – Austin, TX – Texas Independence Fest
* Charlie Fell is the former drummer of Von and Nachtmystium but is vocalist/bassist for Lord Mantis.