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Absu were always one of the best bands that incorporated black metal elements to come out of North America, in my opinion. It’s been a few years since “Absu” was released in 2009, and now we’ve got an album with a similar title; “Abzu”. I was excited when the release date was announced, and I was really looking forward to it. I pre-ordered it as soon as it was made available.
The record is a really catchy and memorable slab of thrashy black metal. It’s got tons of energy and a great, hateful and angry attitude that is not your typical hatred-filled euro black metal. As suggested by the artwork, and as heard on the band’s previous releases over the years, the lyrics deal with mythological themes and they give the record a strong mysterious and occult feeling. The guitars are really fast and cut through you like razor-sharp blades. The playing is really tight and precise. I can’t hear the bass, but it’s not really a problem in this particular type of music. Occasional bursts of acoustic guitar passages can be found many times on this record. The drum work is killer and really aggressive. The vocals are sung in a raspy black metal style but with a thrashy edge. They sound really cool nevertheless! You can actually understand the lyrics without the booklet and that’s a plus!
The production is great; exactly what the music needed to feel perfect! It sounds raw, yet polished, if that makes any sense at all. What I mean, is that it has a raw feel, while everything is still pretty clear and enjoyable. The music is really complimented by the amazing production values. In case you were wondering what’s going on with the last track of the record, in regards with its song length, I’ll tell you what’s going on. It’s basically six different songs put together into one. My assumption is that they are grouped because they have a really similar lyrical content and they are sort of connected by that. In short the record is not lengthy at all, so it’s a short and sweet one. It’s full of energy and the performances are all passionate, with the exception of the bassist who is not audible at all. The whole thing is straight forward and aggressive, fast thrash/black metal with an occasional death metal feel.
Absu have succeeded in keeping their legacy and offering another blistering release for all the dedicated headbangers out there. Grab some beers and enjoy this work of chaos!