As somebody who hasn't listened to Abigail Williams since their 2010 debut, In The Shadow Of A Thousand Suns, I was very surprised by the shift in sound. The 8 "hymns" that comprise the band's newest LP, The Accuser, are far more brutal and punishing then what I was accustomed to. The production is much more raw and faithful to traditional black metal, and the overall sound is more menacing. The aforementioned 2010 album featured a symphonic element, with tons of keyboards. This has been almost dropped completely in favor of high tempo blast beats and walls of dissonant guitars, while frontman Ken Sorceron wails and shrieks through the chaos.

The track "Lost Communion" starts off with a riff that doesn't sound too far from Deafheaven, but that can be a subjective claim given its a straightforward riff with a ride heavy blast beat. "Of The Outer Darkness" assaults the listener with a wall of feedback, before kicking back into an uptempo rager that pounds along for 7 minutes. There are moments where the band's previous "core" elements rear their ugly head with a chuggy chord here and there, but not long after do things return to full on blast beats. The natural production is fantastic, and it's nice to hear these blast beats in authentic form, rather than a velocity compressed drum trigger where every hit is as clear as the next. Album closer, "Nuummite", ends with a slower tempo and even some clean vocals buried in the mix. This track almost stands out alone in its ambience and experimentation, but nicely contrasts the chaos before it.

The Accuser is set for release on October 30th via Candlelight Records, and you can stream a track below: