Abigail Williams is a Black Metal band from Los Angeles, USA, formed in 2005. Becoming – their latest (and last, as the band just stated) album released in 2012 – is depicted above. Its predecessor In the Absence of Light was also featured on Symmetal.
This time the band uses a quite interesting stylistic device: stained glass. Abigail Williams is not the first band to use that visualization for one of their artworks. Another well known example would be Entombed‘s 2002 release Morning Star.
The term stained glass can refer to coloured glass as a material or to works produced from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant buildings (source).
The purpose of a stained glass window is not to allow those within a building to see the world outside or even primarily to admit light but rather to control it. For this reason stained glass windows have been described as ‘illuminated wall decorations’ (source). The example on the right shows a stained glass window in the Strasbourg Cathedral depicting the Emperor Charlemagne (source).
As stained glass was predominantly used in churches most of them had biblical and christian illustrations like the story of Christ. In this context Abigail Williams’ cover artwork can be seen as a satirical statement both in medium (stained glass) as well as illustration. The artwork shows an insect – presumably a praying mantis – in a pose Jesus Christ is often portrayed in. Together with the red color coding the artworks seems to be the exact counterpart of a usual church window and everything it stands for.