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Return of the Cythraul Klan - 93%

eerie_noctular, February 17th, 2009

So here we are 8 years after "Tara". Is it even possible for this band to top what they accomplished with Tara? Really, why would they want to? Many people wondered if they could even continue with the loss of Shaftiel (despite some lyrical/musical credit) and Equitant. And yes, some of the riff schizhoid thrashing insanity and insane speed is missing (think of this album as going 90mph instead of 120mph like "Tara" did - its still fast, but it seems slow compared to going 120 mph), but overall, this is a great fucking album.

One thing I was a bit concerned about was Proscriptor turning this album into essentially a 60 minute drum solo, overpowering everything and drowing out all other instruments. Surprisingly he seems in more control here with nothing that really blasts you in the face like "Tara" did (not that thats was a bad thing, of course). He definitely utilizes all his talents here, but never once does it seem over-the-top, although I do miss the fact that there is not one falsetto scream here. Oh well. Also Zawicizuz and Aethyris are fine replacements for Shaftiel and Equitant (Vastator is also credited for some of the work but left before completing the album and for the record Ezezu didn't actually play on this album).

There are more keyboards spiced along the album here and there than "Tara", along the lines of "Third Storm of Cythraul". In fact, the old-school thrashing madness of "Third Storm..." is all over the place here (but with cleaner production), and I'd compare this album more to "Third Storm..." than to "Tara". You can really hear the influences here intensely but it is also 100% uniquely Absu. Lots and lots of twists and turns in the songs and no spots where I thought "this sounds kinda familiar" as I think that was the only thing Tara suffered from slightly (for example, compare listening to "The Cognate House Of Courtly Witches Lies West Of County Meath" and "She Cries The Quiet Lake" as well as "Four Crossed Wands (Spell 181)" and "Vorago (Spell 182)" back to back). I don't get that at all with "Absu" as every song has something different and unique about it.

"Between The Absu Of Eridu & Erech" is a great fucking start with a quick intro then blasting into the chaos that is completely Absu. Even includes a marching breakdown that kicks ass. "...Of The Dead Who Never Rest In Their Tombs Are The Attendance Of Familiar Spirits...", the more epic track on this album chugs on more at a midpace, but with some speed here and there and includes a really tripped out synthesizer outro that brings you back to the 1970s (theres that psychadelic influence Proscriptor mentioned would make an appearance here). "Amy" completely conjures up total fucking 80s thrash. "Those Of The Void Will Re-Enter" is an odd piece that seems to go everywhere from blasting black metal, to ambience synth with acoustic guitars. "Sceptre Command" starts and doesn't stop for five minutes of blasting speed. We end the album with "Ye Uttuku Spells" and "Twix Yesterday, The Day & The Morrow", songs that brings forth some more odd time signatures and start/stop insanity and a rather unique outro track (respectively), fitting for the end of this album. And the guest list on this album is incredible: Ashmedi (Melechesh), Blasphemer (Ex-Mayhem/Ava Inferi), David Harbour (Ex-King Diamond), Michael Harris (Darkology), Mindwalker (The Firstborn), Nornagest (Enthroned), Vorskaath (Zemial) and even Ex-Guitarist/Bassist Equitant makes an appearance. Awesome!

Overall, you can't go wrong with any track here really. As long as you go into this album not expecting a sequel to "Tara", you will not be dissapointed. It's a whole new era for this band, and I hope they do carry on well past this album and create many more. Welcome Back ABSU!