Released: 2009, Candlelight Records
Well, I can’t pretend to be a huge Absu fan since they were always one of those bands that I resolved to check out when I do finally enter a long-lasting black metal phase (which I haven’t done yet). That being said, their recently released S/T after an eight year layoff is one of the few black metal releases I actually enjoy and will probably return to time and again in years to come.
Absu have been characterised as blackened thrash, and I can’t find anything to argue with in that definition. Their riffs aren’t typically black metal in that they are actually catchy and possess an actual hook. Even though Proscriptor’s hand was busted in that accident, it appears that his knack for thinking up good, memorable, yet atmospheric and unmistakeably evil riffs hasn’t deserted him. Enlisting the help of guitarists Aethyris and Zawicizuz doesn’t hurt either, while his own angry rasp and fearsome drumming give ABSU its uniquely black metal flavour.
Surely the most memorable track on ABSU is the ambitious 7 minute long ‘…Of The Dead Who Never Rest In Their Tombs Are The Attendance Of Familiar Spirits...’ which kicks off with a simple yet effective riff and some great kick/snare work. At around the 2:20 mark it takes a brief, distinctly Therion-ish ‘To Mega Therion’ turn with a total change in pace, a slow guitar solo and some great keyboard/synth backing. Then it’s back to the spitting flame and brimstone, before another change of pace and feel, this time with a trippy keyboard solo! Ending with something that sounds ripped from a horror movie soundtrack is perhaps only very fitting…
Any fan of H.P. Lovecraft should take a look at the lyrics, and I’m pretty sure that ‘…Of the Dead…’ is a telling of the story of the dreamer Randolph Carter and his quest for Kadath, although I’m not too sure where Proscriptor got ‘In the Name of Auebothiabathabaithobeuee” from.
If you’re a fan of early Sodom, Impaled Nazarene, Desaster or similar black/thrash moguls, ABSU is simply a must have.