ABSU

Black Metal / Death Metal • United States
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Absu are an American black metal band with a sound informed both by thrash and death metal. Formed in Dallas, TX in 1989, the band's name was originally Dolmen but this was soon changed to Absu, drawing thematic influence from middle-eastern and celtic mythology they recorded four albums and an EP from 1993 to 2001. After the release of Tara in 2001 the band was put on hiatus as guitarist and bassist Equitant Ifernain and Shaftiel departed, citing musical differences and disinterest in the band, respectively. Drummer Proscriptor continued with solo work, performing drumming & vocal duties for Melechesh alongside his involvement in projects such as Equimanthorn.

In 2007, Proscriptor resurrected Absu, announcing a new line-up and a new (self-titled) album was released in 2009 followed by ANOTHER self-titled album in 2011.

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The Third Storm of CythraulThe Third Storm of Cythraul
Osmose Records 2017
$12.39
$14.78 (used)
TaraTara
Osmose Records 2017
$14.98
Barathrum V.I.T.R.I.O.LBarathrum V.I.T.R.I.O.L
Osmose Productions 2013
$7.25
$6.65 (used)
The Sun Of TipharethThe Sun Of Tiphareth
Osmose Productions 2013
$7.70
$16.86 (used)
AbzuAbzu
CANDLELIGHT RECORDS 2015
$9.29
$7.74 (used)
AbsuAbsu
CANDLELIGHT RECORDS 2015
$39.99
$7.90 (used)
THE TEMPLES OF OFFAL + RETURN OF THE ANCIENTSTHE TEMPLES OF OFFAL + RETURN OF THE ANCIENTS
DARK SYMPHONIES
$16.95
AbsuAbsu
Candlelight 2010
$7.14 (used)
Tara / In the Eyes of IoldanachTara / In the Eyes of Ioldanach
Osmose Productions 2009
$17.97 (used)
In the Eyes of Ioldanach EpIn the Eyes of Ioldanach Ep
2011
$98.12
$34.99 (used)
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ABSU Discography

ABSU albums / top albums

ABSU Barathrum: V.I.T.R.I.O.L. album cover 2.98 | 12 ratings
Barathrum: V.I.T.R.I.O.L.
Black Metal 1993
ABSU The Sun of Tiphareth album cover 4.05 | 19 ratings
The Sun of Tiphareth
Black Metal 1995
ABSU The Third Storm of Cythrául album cover 4.00 | 13 ratings
The Third Storm of Cythrául
Black Metal 1997
ABSU Tara album cover 4.46 | 14 ratings
Tara
Black Metal 2001
ABSU Absu album cover 3.64 | 12 ratings
Absu
Black Metal 2009
ABSU Abzu album cover 4.06 | 10 ratings
Abzu
Black Metal 2011

ABSU EPs & splits

ABSU The Temples of Offal album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Temples of Offal
Death Metal 1992
ABSU ...and Shineth unto the Cold Cometh... album cover 4.50 | 3 ratings
...and Shineth unto the Cold Cometh...
Black Metal 1995
ABSU In the Eyes of Ioldánach album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
In the Eyes of Ioldánach
Black Metal 1998
ABSU L'attaque du tyran: Toulouse, le 28 avril 1997 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
L'attaque du tyran: Toulouse, le 28 avril 1997
Black Metal 2007
ABSU Demonical / Absu album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demonical / Absu
Black Metal 2007
ABSU Speed n' Spikes Vol. II album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Speed n' Spikes Vol. II
Black Metal 2008
ABSU Tour 2011 Flexi album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tour 2011 Flexi
Black Metal 2011

ABSU live albums

ABSU demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ABSU Immortal Sorcery album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Immortal Sorcery
Death Metal 1991
ABSU Return of the Ancients album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Return of the Ancients
Death Metal 1991
ABSU Infinite and Profane Thrones album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Infinite and Profane Thrones
Death Metal 1992
ABSU Promo Tape 1993 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Promo Tape 1993
Black Metal 1993

ABSU re-issues & compilations

ABSU Mythological Occult Metal: 1991-2001 album cover 5.00 | 2 ratings
Mythological Occult Metal: 1991-2001
Black Metal 2005
ABSU Tara + In the Eyes of Ioldànach album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tara + In the Eyes of Ioldànach
Black Metal 2009
ABSU Origin: War and Magick album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Origin: War and Magick
Death Metal 2014
ABSU Mythological Occult Demo album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mythological Occult Demo
Death Metal 2016

ABSU singles (2)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Abraxas Connexus
Black Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Telepaths Within Nin-Edin
Black Metal 2015

ABSU movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
In the Visions of Ioldánach
Black Metal 1999

ABSU Reviews

ABSU Tara

Album · 2001 · Black Metal
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Warthur
The first phase of Absu's existence, before lineup changes prompted a hiatus and a realignment of their sound, might just be the absolute pinnacle of their unique style of "mythological occult metal". Steeped in the darkly surreal atmosphere of Celtic mythology from the cover art to the occasional acoustic moment of calm to the twisting guitar riffs, the album takes us on a furious black metal journey of unusual technical complexity and accomplishment. With the vocals (including a guest appearance from King Diamond under the pseudonym Masthema Mazziqim) shrieking like capering spirits and the musical backing making the best use of the studio (I particularly like how they briefly go lo-fi at the start of From Ancient Times to get across the idea of a legend from the distant past), if Absu deserve to be remembered for anything, it's for this.

ABSU Absu

Album · 2009 · Black Metal
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Warthur
Absu re-emerge after 8 years in the underworld with a highly thrash-influenced black metal formula - I wouldn't quite go so far as to call it blackened thrash but I might call it thrashened black - which trades the complex and murky sound of their earlier releases for greater clarity. Whilst this does allow their particular technical skills to shine, I'm not a hundred percent convinced that the compositions on offer here really offer enough meat to make their displays of technicality interesting. It's an entertaining enough listen, but I confess that it doesn't always hold my interest and I wouldn't put it on the top tier of their releases.

ABSU Abzu

Album · 2011 · Black Metal
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Conor Fynes
'Abzu' - Absu (9/10)

Long described as a black-thrash hybrid, I don't believe that manages to fully describe what Absu are all about, particularly with their more recent work. Sure, the rapidfire pace of a band like Slayer makes for a decent comparison when speaking of the band's intensity and aggression, yet it doesn't take into account the progressive complexity Absu brings to the table. The second in a prospective trilogy of like-titled albums, "Abzu" finds a perfect balance between speed and sophistication.

"Abzu" gets it right from square one. Taking less than three seconds to hit full-force, a martial drum roll and King Diamond-esque shriek are all it takes to beckon in the fury of the album's opening track, "Earth Ripper". For a three-piece, the band sounds incredibly vast. This is largely in thanks due to their respective virtuosities as musicians. Needless to say, frontman Proscriptor McGovern is one of the most gifted drummers in all of metal, and he doesn't disappoint here. A good word to describe his performance on "Abzu" might be 'busy'. The rhythm patterns are constantly shifting, and- paired with the unrelenting speed- this will pass the inattentive listener as indecipherable chaos. Vis Crom's guitarwork manages to keep up with Proscriptor, which is a feat in its own right. On top of some very memorable riffs played within thrash convention, Vis will often layer his central guitar with a brighter-sounding secondary guitar. Surprisingly, this brighter guitar sounds close to Mastodon guitarist Brett Hinds' signature tone. More surprisingly still, it compliments the otherwise aggressive sound. Although it's not surprising given the band's roots in black and thrash metal, Ezezu's basswork is given a disproportionately small amount of exposure in the sound, and given the skill of the other two, this feels a bit of a lost opportunity. On the other hand, Ezezu pairs up with Proscriptor on vocal duties, which round off the sound with a fitting rasp. Barring the outrageous falsetto that opens the record, the vocals generally keep within black metal canon. The lyrics are another matter, however. Taking the 'occult' theme to heart, there is esoteric terminology aplenty here. I think it will past most listeners as needlessly pedantic, although there has certainly been thought put into the use of words.

On top of that aforementioned black-thrash style, Absu bring a strong sense of progressive rock to their sound. Unlike the case of Opeth or Enslaved however, it is never overt enough to besmirch their aggression. A psychedelic twang can be heard underneath the colossal riffs of "Circles of the Oath", before the composition devolves into a short, but effective acoustic interlude. Absu may occasionally diverge from the intense speed, but the sabbaticals are kept largely brief and innocuous. The only time when listeners will be subject to a longer break from the thrashy carnage is during the progressive epic "A Song for Ea", a near-fifteen minute opus that recalls the dissonant strain of Deathspell Omega. After some of the album's most intense and engaging passages, the quiet guitars return, bringing about a haunting atmosphere that I might only compare to the sort of sophisticated sense of dread you find in mob movies. Before the album is through, Absu blast the listener with their most blackened slew of carnage, a sort of encore that manages to take the sound to even more aggressive levels.

At little over half an hour in length, "Abzu" leaves a listener wanting more. After a two year wait, I can see why some would be disappointed to receive something dwarfed by the size of most metal albums nowadays. Of course, with the speed and intensity these guys drive throughout the album, it may have been a good choice to leave things as they are. It's a masterful album, and I cannot wait to hear what the third installment will sound like.

ABSU The Third Storm of Cythrául

Album · 1997 · Black Metal
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Warthur
Presenting an intoxicating amalgam of classic Darkthrone-inspired black metal, raw and ugly thrash metal, and a pinch of down and dirty hardcore punk, Absu's third album finds the band raving away about fancy-pants fantasy scenarios and mystical occult topics and kicking up a one hell of a storm when it comes to their actual performance. The end result is an intriguing brand of black metal which you bang your head to just as hard as any high-tempo thrash metal group's output. Though I think on balance The Sun of Tiphareth is the better album, The Third Storm of Cythraul is a highly entertaining followup.

ABSU The Sun of Tiphareth

Album · 1995 · Black Metal
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Warthur
Absu's second album shows an amazing level of development over their debut, their style mutating from the more or less straight-ahead black metal (with occasional death metal vocals) of their debut into an intriguing mix of thrash metal and black metal predating Immortal's acclaimed experiments in blackened thrash by years. Occasional folky interventions and a spine-tingling spoken word part towards the end of A Quest Into the 77th Novel are numbered amongst a range of left-field features of the album - it's one of those discs where you can never quite be sure what the band are going to do next. In just one album Absu go from a band I had my doubts about to one which I am decidedly enthused by.

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