Absu – Absu

Absu have been unleashing a concentrated dose of extreme metal since 1991, death metal in their early days, but found themselves more comfortable in black metal given time. Absu is the Texan black metallers first full length album in 8 years (since 2001’s Tara). The self titled record surely represents a clean slate, a new beginning for the band. Previous lyrical themes included Irish and Celtic Mythology, but now focus on topics like Sumerian occultism.

This new album features an entirely new line-up except for the founder member and leader, drummer/vocalist Proscriptor McGovern. But most importantly it’s a fresher sound for the Absu of 2009.

First track “Between The Absu Of Eridu & Erech” illustrates this as it sways to the side of “black ‘n’ roll” with its somewhat cavorting riffs and unyielding drumming. This, with Proscriptor’s harsh vocals and shifts into vicious and unforgiving blackened bursts create the very bludgeon many a BM fan yearns for.

“Night Fire Canonization” displays some fine and speedy fret work with unremitting and merciless drumming. One thing is certain; regardless of delves into other territories the heart of black still beats proudly.
The band isn’t afraid to dig into melody as the Absu assault continues on “Amy”. Some of the riffs are almost catchy and the solos are air guitar worthy. It may say in Chapter 84 Section 17 of the Black Metal Constitution that you can’t have that sort of thing in black metal, but god damn it, times have changed!

Absu retains solidity from the first track to the last. The likes of “Nunbarshegunu” stand on its own as one of the strongest moments on the record. This is furthered on “13 Globes” with heavy shredding and impressive blastbeats. Then, “In The Name Of Auebothiabathabaithobeuee” (go on, try and pronounce it, I triple dare you!!!) is replete with its heaving riffage and solo sections.

“Girra’s Temple” is a short blast of bile spewing black metal. Vocally Proscriptor is on fire! “Sceptre Command” trades some welcomed melody but mostly sticks out for its solo.

Absu is one of the strongest black metal releases of the year. The album lacks a huge amount of originality, but it more than makes up for it with solid structures, pummelling blastbeats, a consistently clear production and dizzying riffs and solos. The record never lets up; it’s relentless and beautifully so. You’ll be praising Auebothiabathabaithobeuee!


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