Before starting any presentation for the new ABSU album I would like to underline the […]
By Yiannis Doukas
March 6, 2009
Absu - Absu album cover

Before starting any presentation for the new ABSU album I would like to underline the pleasure for their coming back, because they finally made it to release something after many years of silence. A silence that conflated with the departure of basic members, the guitarists Shaftiel and Equitant, with Proscriptor remaining alone. Put also the grapevine telegraph that this talented drummer was the new member of SLAYER (he made an audition, that was the real thing), the ending of their cooperation with Osmose Productions and it was an easy thing for the group's friends wondering if the band exists or it split up forever. About two years ago, when I was checking the new album of DEMONICAL, I did learn that a new split release would come via Temple Of Darkness Records and it made me really happy. The best thing was the previous year's Speed N' Spikes Vol. II again split, now with RUMPELSTILTSKIN GRINDER, that showed that the band was really back to kick ass. And right now we have the much expected self-titled full length.
The fact that such a name was decided brings to us some thinking. Probably it is a powerful message that the group is here stronger than ever with overflowing will. Or it could be an expression that here we will find all their characteristics from their beginning till Tara. Such a thought holds really well. I could say that Absu starts musically from Tara towards The Third Storm Of Cythraul and In The Eyes Of Ioldanach; look at Night Fire Canonization, it carries some things from The Sun Of Tiphareth but also has elements from the Black Metal atmosphere of Barathrum V.I.T.R.I.O.L.. A plain inclination towards a more Black direction is easy to be noticed with a light removal from the thrashing past. But this removal is not big to bring any problems. This album shouts clearly the special character of the band but also it is not staying in calm waters. With this they evade traps of musical regurgitation - although some riffs are very close to some of Tara's era like in Between The Absu Of Eridu & Erech, but probably it was made that way not randomly - and from the other side they have all the basic things for a healthy band that follows its visions unattached. Overall, here we have something that is 100% ABSU but also holds the blade of 'renewal'.
The majority of the songs stand in very high quality levels. Night Fire Canonization is a hellish attack, full of violent riffing, high tension and expansion of violence, bellicose and fucking Metal. The introduction of Amy will melt your brains easily, bringing some things from the second AGATUS album. Magic(k) Square Cipher shows their origin (Texas), with incredible technical playing, crazy ideas that make my memory going to the parallel 80s scene with all these unique Heavy Metal bands that appeared then. The sixth song, with this full-length name, has nice bridges, cool keys, mysticism and magic. Great! The solos are more virtuoso played, for example In The Name Of Auebothiabathabaithobeuee and Those Of The Void Will Re - Enter have very powerful ones. Some of them are not well fitted inside the songs; I guess sometimes I feel that they are trying a lot to remain grappled upon them but that happens in one or two situations. It must be also mentioned that songs like Ye Uttuku Spells offer some alternative plains of exploration and raise the listener's interest.
For Proscriptor's drumming performance I don't have a lot to say. You know what we're talking about. The guy is a killing machine. Here we don't have the holocaust of Tara but surely the playing is more than impressing. I, personally, would need something extra but what are you gone to hear in Absu is hard to be described. The vocals are also good, in medium intension but I really missed the falsettos. Where are these divine falsettos? The guitars sound more clean than in previous works, the themes are very discernible, cool enough but I recalled the roundly aesthetic that Shaftiel and Equitant had. Almost the same goes to the production and the whole sound, personally I feel that if it had more dirt it could be better.
There is a category of ABSU funs, including me in this one, who think that The Third Storm Of Cythraul was the zenith of the Americans. If you expect something in the same thrashing-like-a-maniac veins then Absu may be a little of disappointment. But it has many great moments, a progressive touch, reminding a lot of ENSLAVED, and I mean all the discography of the Norway's Vikings. The lyrical themes are dealing again with the Sumerian and Mesopotamian pantheon plus some of the spells and practicing witchcraft of the Necronomicon or of what is supposed to be like that. In the end, all that Absu left to me is a big smile and some sweat in the floor; I will keep that and only that.

7 / 10


"Absu" Track-listing:

Between The Absu Of Eridu & Erech
Night Fire Canonization
13 Globes
...Of The Dead Who Never Rest In Their Tombs Are The Attendance Of Familiar Spirits
Magic(k) Square Cipher
In The Name Of Auebothiabathabaithobeuee
Girra's Temple
Those Of The Void Will Re - Enter
Sceptre Command
Ye Uttuku Spells
Twix Yesterday, The Day & The Morrow

Absu Lineup:

Proscriptor McGovern - Vocals, Drums, Mellotron
Aethyris MacKay - Guitars, Bass, Synthesizers
Zawicizuz - Guitars, Synthesizers
Vastator Terrarum - Guitars, Bass, Analog Synthesizers

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