Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2020
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

A different Absu - 83%

Omnivore, March 22nd, 2009

When I heard Absu were in the process of recording their first album in 8 years, I was stoked: this meant the return of the merciless Proscriptor and his pounding drumming as well as his violent vocals. But I was also saddened by the fact that two core members, Shaftiel and Equitant, had left the band, which meant a complete change of sound, even if good old Proscriptor was behind the cans on this one.

Absu have, throughout their discography, stayed true to their blackened thrash metal origins and delivered fine material along the years. With their distinctively thrashy sound and esoteric lyricism they had set themselves apart from the crowded black metal scene and made a name for theirselves. In 2001, they released their greatest album yet, “Tara”, which in my opinion is the greatest blackened thrash release ever, delivering energetic and ferocious drumming with lacerating monotonous riffs.

After a few years, “Girra's Temple” suddenly pops up. Upon my first listening I went completely crazy whilst speculating about the next records quality. That was Proscriptor alright, but something in the riffing had changed, which is obviously due to Shaftiel's departure and the recruital of Aethyris McKay, who is a fine musician but sounds much more different. Kay

I finally got my hands on a copy of “Absu” a day ago, and I was more excited for it than a dog for some wholesome meat. My reaction at the first listening was quite mixed.

At first I was surprised and overjoyed by the return of the might Proscriptor and the improvement he had undertaken over years with his drumming heard on such songs as “Girra's Temple” and “13 Globes” which is now more controlled though more technical and his vocals which sound like genuine shrieks rather than goblin eeks heard on “Tara”.
The production was also of great quality, pushing every instrument forward and giving to the album a modern feeling, which was a change compared to their early recordings.
The lyrics here deal more on ancient Middle-East mythology, which is breath of fresh air from the trilogy of “The Sun of Tiphareth/The Third Storm of Cythraul/Tara” exclusively based on Celtic mythology.

Secondly, I was somehow disappointed at the song structures and riffing showcased here. It seems that over the course of these 8 years, Proscriptor has inhibited a great deal of a progressive rock influence: the songs are longer and more elaborate than on “Tara”, opting for unsubtle transitions in tempo and tone. The riffing is deceivingly different than on “Tara”: gone are the monotonous riffs which used the open string as an omnipresent frequency to lay down the play on the octaves creating an epic sound, here we can clearly hear riffs that change with little ease over the course of the songs. Some songs even sound like they were pieces put together (like on “Ye Uttuku Spells” that starts on good but gets annoying after a while due to the repetition of unsubtle transitions) rather than on “Tara” where the songs flowed effortlessly and fluidly together.

Finally, “Absu” sounds like a scrambled effort to record material: most songs sound pieced together which ruins the flow of the album. But of course, we couldn't ask for a second “Tara”. What was done on that album could have only been done once, not twice, and so “Absu” is the answer: a thrash/black metal album laced with progressive influences and an atmosphere wholy different from the previous album. I still think Proscriptor and the guys could've done ,much better.