Black-metal band Abigail Williams has been through enough members to fill an orchestra, which seems appropriate, given the symphonic twist on much of its songs. At this point, sole original member Ken Sorceron doesn’t even feel comfortable saying how many members currently are in the group, but they make it work.
“I don’t even think of the band like that anymore,” he said. “Now, it’s essentially two of us. That’s what people should try to understand now. We don’t have a stable lineup. We nab friends to fill in and play for us, whatever we have to do to tour.”
Named after one of the main accusers in the Salem witch trials of 1692, the act possesses a rocky past of broken promises, lack of commitment and players who leapt for more lucrative opportunities across the pond.
“When shit went down, all of a sudden, they couldn’t tour or were touring with someone else,” Sorceron said. “Basically, the only way I’ve kept the band going is to adopt the attitude that I don’t even fucking care who’s playing with us. As long as the quality is still there, it’ll be fine.”
And for seven years, it has. Abigail Williams’ 2008 debut, “In the Shadow of a Thousand Suns,” made the group a hot commodity in metal, but the desire to grow resulted in a more sporadic trajectory.
“I’ve been making a new sound with each passing album,” Sorceron said. “We were supposedly on track to be famous. For me, though, I didn’t just want to make another recording that sounded just like the first. You lose fans, make new ones, and that’s the pattern I’m in and comfortable with.”
The act might have found a happy (by metal standards) middle ground with“Becoming,” due out Jan. 24.
“It’s probably our best songs and the most unique sound we’ve had,” Sorceron said. “People have said we are heavily European-influenced in the past. I don’t see that being the case with this one. It’s a good balance.”
Abigail Williams will tour with genre mates Dark Funeral in early 2012 to support “Becoming,” which, with only five tracks, but clocking in at nearly an hour, is a lock for its most monumental of three studio albums.
“The songs are pretty epic, I guess,” Sorceron said.