Proscriptor - Vocals (studio), Drums, Mellotron
Ezezu - Vocals, Bass
Zawicizuz - Guitars, Synthesizers, Programming
Aethyris - Guitars, Synthesizers, Backing Vocals
The godfathers of the american black metal scene are back after a lengthy 8 year hiatus with their sixth full length album, self-titled "Absu" (Feb 16 2009). And boy has it been worth the wait. The new release wastes absolutely no time in serving up its collection of heavy black thrash laden melodies which see a return to form for this Texas-based band. Everything in this album, from Proscriptor's killer drumming to Zawicizuz's fast guitar work is like a breath of fresh (or perhaps foul) air especially considering just how weak the USBM scene really is. Not to mention that this year has been a somewhat slow year for new black metal releases.
Proscriptor returns with a whole new lineup with guitarists Zawicizuz and Aetheyris and ex-Panzram member Ezezu on vocals and bass guitar duty. Whats noticeable here is that the music this time around has a slight sumerian/middle eastern flavor which is not surprising considering Proscriptor played drums for the oriental black metal band Melechesh and that the frontman of that band, Ashmedi, features as a guest lyricist in this release. Production wise, the album is extremely polished, and its safe to say the melodies are stronger here than in Absu's last album "Tara" released in 2001.
This glossy new version of Absu brings its A-game right at the forefront with the opening track, "Between the Absu of Eridu & Erech" a simply fantastic and catchy track, The song is marked by the band's trademark unbridled aggression and spooky guitar melodies layered over fast blastbeats. Of this the highlight is undoubtedly the song's fine drum solo.
"Night Fire Canonization" is vintage Absu, a no holds barred thrasher which scorches eardrums with blistering leads and frenzied drumming. The fast paced "Amy," meanwhile, seduces with its deceptively catchy guitar riffs before unleashing a torrent of pure hellish mania. Last but not least, "Nunbarshegunu" twists and turns like a cyclone, its whirling vortex of guitars and percussion eventually collapsing into a headbanging riff replete with stabbing leads.
From this point forward, Absu ascends into progressively cosmic realms. "13 Globes," for example, is a song which blasts through passages of angular, precise chords before floating away into ringing guitar tones and hypnotic chimes.
If theres one thing more kvlt than the music itself its the album's curious song titles. Of these the more intriuging of which include "Magic(k) Square Cipher", "In the Name of Auebothiabathabaithobeuee", and "... Of the Dead Who Never Rest in Their Tombs Are the Attendance of Familiar Spirits ... Including: A.) Diversified Signs Inscribed; B.) Our Earth of Black; C.) Voor".
Rounding this 13 track album off are the numerous guest appearances by other artists such as Blasphemer (Ex-Mayhem/Ava Inferi), Ashmedi (Melechesh), and Nornagest (Enthroned). Thus the end result is a fantastic 53 minute gem that meshes different musical influences into one cohesive brilliant piece. This impressive effort definitely gives you the best bang for your buck and should result in countless plays for quite a long time.
1. Between the Absu of Eridu & Erech
2. Night Fire Canonization
5. 13 Globes
6. ...of the Dead Who Never Rest in Their Tombs Are the Attendance of Familiar Spirits Including: A.) Diversified Signs Inscribed/B.) Our Earth of Black/C.) Voor
7. Magic(k) Square Cipher
8. In the Name of Auebothiabaithobeuee
9. Girra's Temple
10. Those of the Void Will Re-Enter
11. Sceptre Command
12. Ye Uttuku Spells
13. Twixt Yesterday the Day & the Morrow
Guest appearances by:
Ashmedi (Melechesh) - Lyrics for "Nunbarshegunu," "Those of the Void Will Re-Enter," and "Ye Uttuku Spells"
Blasphemer (Ex-Mayhem/Ava Inferi) - Guitar solos on "Night Fire Canonization" and "Girra's Temple"
Equitant (Ex-Absu/Equitant) - Programming/Synth/Arrangements on "Twix Yesterday, The Day & The Morrow"
David Harbour (Ex-King Diamond/David Harbour) - Synthesizer solo on "B) Our Earth of Black" (Part II of "...Of The Dead Who Never Rest In Their Tombs Are The Attendance Of Familiar Spirits...")
Michael Harris (Darkology/Michael Harris) - Gutar solo on "In The Name Of Auebothiabathabaithobeuee" and "Those Of The Void Will Re-Enter"
Mindwalker (The Firstborn) - Backing Vocals and Ceremonial Tibetan Horn on "13 Globes"
Nornagest (Enthroned) - Backing Vocals on "Night Fire Canonization" and "Amy"
Vorskaath (Zemial) - Backing Vocals, Brake Disc, Gates, Greek Bell and Vibraslap on "Amy" and "A) Diversified Signs Inscribed" (Part I of "...Of The Dead Who Never Rest In Their Tombs Are The Attendance Of Familiar Spirits...")
Additional Musical Credit to Shaftiel on "Night Fire Canonization" and "Girra's Temple", and Vastastor on "Nunbarshegunu", "In The Name Of Auebothiabathabaithobeuee", "Those Of The Void Will Re-Enter" and "Ye Uttuku Spells"
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