Absu | ‘Abzu’
Unlike so many bands in the underground, you know you can rely on Absu.
If every band stuck to their creative and aggressive guns the way these half-crazy Texans have, metal would be a hell of a lot more vigorous. I’m not knocking development. I’m just saying that this is how to stay true and stay fresh.
Their extensive ‘best of’ a few years back was called ‘Mythological Occult Metal’, and that continues to sum up what the band are about. What’s best about this new one though is the degree to which they’ve gone back to speed metal basics for an all out attack. It’s atmospheric, but in an entirely riff based way.
They’ve tightened every screw. Made sure every join is flush. Got pressure into the system – then openened the values to let scintillating blasts like ‘Earth Ripper’ loose. These are some scorching tracks to be sure. It’s all about tightness, all the time. The band are so together it’s frightening.
None of your downtuned weight here, either. This is proper, controlled, palm muted, downstoke, killer tight genius. Just catch the opening of ‘Circles Of The Oath’ to hear that one. In fact, just clock all of it.
The strangely named ‘Ontologically, It Became Time And Space’ is absolutely ravishing too. Fast, starry, atmospheric, and at all times rooted within black metal, it’s yet another example of how briliantly in charge of their instruments they are.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget, amongst a mass of double kick and low tunings, what an important skill rhythm guitar is. The same is true for tight and fast drumming that still has personality and groove. Absu, in their idiosyncratic and unique way, prove with this album that they’re operating (still) on a higher plane in extreme metal.
If you ever dug Melechesh’s ‘Sphinx’, old Desaster or old Ancient Rites, this one is essential for you. Absu have always been amnong the underdogs of black metal, working away for what must be fifteen years now to little or no real fanfare. When the result is an album as tight and charging as this though, you have to question whether your assumptions and loyalties are in the right place.
The fact is that Proscriptor and his crew deserve so much more attention than they get. Start changing that. Buy this immediately if you truly have metalized blood. Fast, furious and frenetic, but tightly controlled and atmospheric. A total killer.
4.7 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 25/09/11