Guess I’m a little late with this, since the March Audio Autopsy
has this one covered, but Absu is kind of a big deal and we should be a
bit more thorough with their return. As has been mentioned, Absu is one
of the very few interesting black metal acts from the U.S., and to be
honest I’m always a little hesitant in categorizing them as solely in
that genre. There are a lot of elements that go into Absu’s music, and
in this self-titled album, this rings truer than ever.
“Tara”, the previous album, was a relentless ass-pounding machine,
deeply entrenched in the blackened thrash mode of songwriting. “Absu” is
quite different than that, although there are a lot off thrashy riffs
here, there is a lot more variety to the songs, a greater sense of
melody as well. There are many bits and pieces to be cherished with
headphones, for instance, and while not as high on the epic scale as
“The Sun of Tiphareth”, there is enough here to keep you entertained for
more than one sitting.
Proscriptor’s drumming naturally has to come as the highlight, he
sounds secure and determined, with righteous double-bass action that is
to murder for. I also really like the aforementioned guitar work, as
well as the synthesizers, keyboards, whatever, you know, the stuff that
simulates orchestrations. It all fits perfectly with the music and sets a
The lyrics are your usual fucked up, occult stuff that is great for
metal songs, but only make any sense to people that spell magic with a k
(See “In The Name Of Auebothiabathabaithobeuee”, for instance. That’s
just fucking gold). I enjoy them, though, I think they’re a perfect
match for Absu’s music.
Alas, although there has been nothing but praise so far, I must
confess this album falls a tad short from my expectations. There is
nothing inherently wrong with it, but it also lacks anything of a “wow”
factor. “The Sun of Tiphareth” and “The Third Storm of Cythraul” (by the
way, you should check out two very good reviews by Baalzamon666 of
those albums here and here)
are rightfully called masterpieces, and even the straight-forward
“Tara” deserves rich praises and to be on the pantheon of greats.
“Absu”, on the other hand, is a cooler, more contrived Absu. It’s a
little bit too much by the books, and I can’t help feeling that a return
should warrant some more balls.
It’s a good album, but I think history will look down on it as one of the lesser Absu records.
The cover: It’s very Absu-nian.
6 esoteric towers out of 10.