Absu

S/T

Candlelight Records 2009

In some ways this is a really difficult album to wrap one's head around.  Esoteric American black thrash metallers return after a long silence with huge expectations resting on the shoulders of their self-titled new disk.  Immediately on Between The Absu of Eridu & Erech it is evident that black metal will take a more prominent role in the compositions than the thrashy leanings of the last few releases.  However quick bursts of thrash riffs are shot rapidly towards the listener throughout the track.  Even more imposing thrash guitar mastery is unfurled to introduce Night Fire Cannonization.  Nunbarshegunu features a streamlined and speedy initial phase that reveals a more pompous chorus and slow chugging passages.  A blistering guitar solo sears its sounds into your brain as the furious and hyper fast Girra's Temple hurtles into a spastic orgy of violence and esoteric conjurings.  Sceptre Command generates energy though there is a hint of a melody lurking at the completion of each riff and keyboards enforce a sorrowful feeling.  A nostalgic guitar solo weaves a magic web and then fades as more relentless intensity surges forward.  Simplistic synths make their presence felt on most tracks adding another edge to slice your eardrums with.  The drum patterns and fills on Absu are slightly more reigned in than the kit insanity that marked Tara.  With that said, Proscriptor is still a beast filled with a madness of the sticks.  His vocals are sharper and raspier than previous albums but they are filled with confidence and command the listener as they seduce the lyrics.   Lyrically this time around he concentrates his lyrical incantations on Sumerian themes versus the Celtic mythos that have so fascinated him previously.  The new Absu is a strong album but I somehow get the feeling that compared with my expectations for it I was a little let down.  However when contrasted against most of their contemporaries they leave them breathing their ethereal dust.  Absu has been missed and like forgotten heroes lost in lore, their return is heralded throughout the underground.