ABSU, arrogant mythological occult metal discoverers (and sometimes referred to as Texan extreme metal mummies by certain Mr. Rivadavia), apparently showcase their signature style of occult black/thrash mythology to dark, new, calculating territories with their just released video ‘Hall Of The Masters’. Before watching the video you are advised to read the accompanying words uttered by ABSU vocalist and drummer Proscriptor as well as tremble in fear:
“ ‘Hall Of The Masters’ is a conceptual video concerning the wedlock between a speculum of apparitions and the rite of transfiguration. The mortality featured in the video is unexpectedly visited by the Elder Ones and swept from Earth by the form of the Master. Every dream of man and woman is superlatively coiled by the Lamia!”
Pondering, it is hard to imagine that ‘Hall Of The Masters’ sound was recorded at Nomad Recording Studios in Carrollton, Texas and mixed by J.T. Longoria. It’s even harder to believe that the video for the song was then filmed by director Daniel Garcia. I intend to completely ignore the fact that the above video was brought to us from depths of hell by [adult swim].
In related news, ABSU's latest longplayer, ‘Abzu’, came out in October 2011, courtesy Candlelight Records. You can listen to the album in its metaphysical and murky entirety here (BandCamp) or below. Buy here (Candlelight Records). ‘Abzu’, part two of a planned trilogy of albums, was recorded at Nomad Recording Studios in Carrollton, Texas and mixed by J.T. Longoria, and features drummer and vocalist Proscriptor and bassist and vocalist Ezezu sharing equal vocal duties as well as debuts new guitarist Vis Crom. ‘Abzu’s artwork was created by Polish artist Zbigniew Bielak.
“[Comments Proscriptor:] ‘Abzu’ is the first studio release to feature a co-vocalist alongside myself since our third album, ‘The Third Storm Of Cythraul’ . Ezezu's vocal presentation is beyond superlative and I am overly pleased with his execution and delivery. The songwriting undertakings were equally distributed between both Ezezu and Vis Crom and I must admit it brings an admirable multiplicity to the album as a whole. The last song on the album, ‘A Song For Ea’, was composed in six movements, as it brought the entire band together as an equivalent songwriting team. Vis Crom has definitely proven to be ABSU's most proficient guitarist in the history of the band. This album has not only been the most challenging in ABSU's discography, but the quickest paced – composition and arrangement wise. The current line-up is scattered all across the United States, so the album was physically written utilizing internet file sharing. We even rehearsed, at times, while communicating via cell phones. Lyrically, the album descends deeper into Enki's lower world as well Thelemic and Enochian Magic(k) Systems. My lyrical architecture is extremely convoluted, so I decided to create a generalized synopsis explaining the themes behind each song. I feel these are my best poems since 2001's ‘Tara’.” [Visit ABSU's official site for lyrics which you’ll find in the “lyrical magick” department – here; scroll/descend way down into darkness, since ABSU have much to say]
“It’s also rich in both extreme metal fundamentals and enough amusing quirks to once again distinguish ABSU's vision from most of the competition, including piercing squeals (‘Earth Ripper’), blackened thrash breakaways (‘Skrying In The Spirit Vision’), and Spanish guitars (‘Circles Of The Oath’), not to mention the oft-recurring Celtic music ingredients. … To put it simply, it’s irresistibly confounding. And then there’s the aforementioned epic, ‘A Song For Ea’, which unfurls all of six distinct songs within a song, immersed one and all in Sumerian religion and specifically the mythical Abzu, from whence all of the earth's fresh subterranean waters supposedly flow. Catch the drift? Bottom line is that ABSU's intriguing musical visions may fade into lengthy silence now and again, but whenever they emerge with something new, fans of thought-provoking black metal would do well to listen up,” [complimented the recording aforementioned Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here:]
Back in 1989 in Plano, Texas, Shaftiel and Equitant Ifernain founded ABSU under the moniker “Dolmen”, changed their minds after a while and dubbed the project “Azathoth”, reconsidered once again and finally came up with the name that stuck, ABSU. Basing the lyrical content within ABSU's music on such themes as Sumerian, Mesopotamian and Celtic mythology, Goetic, Chaos, Enochain Magic(k), Thelemic Mysticism, Metaphysics, Necromancy and Barbarism, the band released their debut demo ‘Return To The Ancients’, followed by ‘The Temples Of Offal’ 7” EP in 1991. Early members departed from the band and drummer Proscriptor McGovern, keyboardist Black Massith and guitarist Daviel Athron Mystica were conscripted in 1992. ABSU released their debut full-length entitled ‘Barathrum: Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultul Lapidem’ (V.I.T.R.I.O.L., for short) in 1993 via Gothic Records. 1995's ‘The Sun Of Tiphareth’ and 1997's ‘The Third Storm Of Cythraul’ (both released on Osmose Production) ABSU recorded as a three-piece, with Proscriptor on drums, vocals, synthesizer and flute, Equitant Ifernain Dal Gais on guitar and bass and Shaftiel (Lord Of Shadows) on guitar, bass and vocals. In 2001 out came ABSU's fourth full-length, ‘Tara’:
“ ‘Tara’, or “Exhibit V”, as they like to refer to it. And this is only the beginning, as you’d be hard-pressed to find a band in any genre who invests so much storytelling detail into their musical tapestries. ABSU excels at it, using their virulent wall of black/death metal as a mere backdrop to their epic legends of Celtic conquest and warfare. Unwavering speed and intensity are the main course, only occasionally interrupted by eerie synth breaks or sound effects, as demanded by the story line. Oh yeah, and they’re from Texas,” [explained Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]
After a 2-disc collection spanning the band's career, ‘Mythological Occult Metal: 1991-2001’, was released via Osmose Productions, ABSU signed with Candlelight Records. Their fifth album, 2009's ‘Absu’, featured new members guitarist Aethyris MacKay and bassist Zawicizuz as well as numerous guest appearances including MELEHESH's Ashmedi, extraordinary Paul Harbour and others.
“In 1989, the vast majority of headbangers in the United States didn’t even know what black metal was. But black metal has come a long way since 1989, and ABSU's work became increasingly Scandinavian-influenced as they went along. Black metal, in fact, is the main ingredient on this 2008 release; there is some thrash metal in ABSU's sound, but the material is black metal more than anything. From the ominous harmonies to the sinister-sounding rasp vocals to the blastbeats, this 53-minute CD could easily be mistaken for the work of a Norwegian or Swedish black metal band. But ABSU are definitely from the United States, and the phrase “black metal band from Texas” is certainly an attention-grabber in light of the fact that the Lone Star State isn’t exactly considered a black metal hotbed,” [commented AllMusic's Alex Henderson – more here]
Ex-PANZRAM member Ezezu was added to the line-up in 2008, as Zawicizuz left and was duly replaced by Vis Crom.
ABSU features: Proscriptor McGovern (Russley Randell Givens) – drums, percussion, vocals, mellotron, lyrics and arrangements, Ezezu (Paul Williamson) – bass and vocals and Vis Crom (Matt Moore) – guitars